Separate But Equal in Colorado

, Kiera M. McCaffrey, Leave a comment





Last week the Catholic
League criticized a bill introduced by Colorado
Rep. Gwyn Green that
would make it easier to sue private institutions
in cases involving child sexual abuse. Our
criticism centered on one objection: public
institutions were given a pass. Rep. Green said at
the time that she would introduce another bill
that would address public institutions. She has
now done so. Here is what Catholic League
president Bill Donohue says about


“Rep. Gwyn is to Colorado what George Wallace
was to Alabama: a
public official who promotes the invidious
doctrine of ‘separate but equal.’ Just as it is
morally and legally indefensible to have one law
for whites and another for blacks, it is just as
reprehensible to have one law for Catholic
teachers and another law for public school


“Here’s what Green’s bills
do: (a) if Johnny was abused last year in the
Catholic schools—or was abused 50 years ago—the
school can be sued, but if Johnny was abused in a
public school over the same period, his parents
are denied the right to sue (b) if Johnny is
abused next year in a Catholic school, his parents
can sue, but if Johnny is abused next year in a
public school, the only way his parents can sue is
if the school failed to conduct a background check
of the teacher (c) if Johnny is abused in a
Catholic school, it is possible—under the
provision of ‘vicarious liability’—to sue the
principal as well as the diocese, but if Johnny is
abused in a public school, neither the principal
nor the superintendent of schools can be sued, and
(d) if Johnny is abused in a Catholic school,
there is no monetary limit on what it can be sued
for, but if Johnny is abused in a public school,
the most the school must pay is


“We are contacting the
entire Colorado
legislature about this matter. ‘Separate but
equal,’ as the U.S. Supreme Court said in its 1954
Brown decision, is ‘inherently unequal.’ Nothing
has changed since, and it matters not a whit
whether the bigotry is based on race or


This news release was originally published by the Catholic League.