This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, September 4, 2003. Watch The O'Reilly Factor weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, a disturbing report out of Eugene, Oregon. A four-year-old girl is not able to attend the O'Hara Catholic School because her parents are lesbians. The girl was adopted by the women, but church authorities out there say the lifestyles of her guardians are not acceptable to them.
Joining us now from Seattle is Dr. Dean Hudson, publisher of Crisis magazine, a national Catholic monthly. And on if phone from Eugene, Lee Inkmann, the mother of the little girl. Ms. Inkmann is a Roman Catholic (search).
Doctor, going to begin with you. I spoke to Ms. Inkmann extensively on the Radio Factor today. And I have her story down. I don't want to get into the legalisms of this. I think the school was within its rights. And based on the Boy Scout (search) ruling. And they'll win that, I believe.
They may have trouble with the state of Oregon, but federally, I think they're okay. However, I'm a Catholic. I was raised a Catholic. I know the teachings of Jesus as it pertains to the Catholic Church. And I don't think Jesus would deny this little four-year-old girl entry into a Catholic school, doctor. I absolutely am convinced that he would not.
DEAL HUDSON, PHD, CRISIS MAGAZINE PUBLISHER: Well I think the Catholic school did the right thing for the following reason. It's the job of any Catholic school to teach the faith and morals of the Catholic faith by word and by example. And nearly any elementary school, as you know, children are not isolated from their families. The parents and the families become part of a community.
And since the job of the school is to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman, and not between women or men, it would create a confusing and really contradictory message to have a lesbian partnership in that community. I think they did the right thing, Bill.
O'REILLY: Well, they're going to be in the community anyway, doctor. OK? I mean, they're around the town. And again, Ms. Inkmann wanted her daughter to have a Catholic education. And what the church is doing is depriving a little girl of that for the perceived sins of the mother.
If Jesus is standing in that doorway, I'm telling you, doctor, he's saying to the little girl, come on in. I'll handle this. I'll work on this.
I understand your points and they're valid. OK? There's a clash between their lifestyle and the church's teaching. But Ms. Inkmann seems to be comfortable with her daughter going into that environment and hearing about the Catholic Church's morals. So therefore, at this point at four years old, I think that should be allowed to happen.
HUDSON: Well, personally, I think it's great that she wants her daughter to hear what the church's teachings are on sexuality, on marriage, which would be a little bit confusing for the girl, since she's being brought up by parents who...
O'REILLY: Yes, all right.
HUDSON: But what about this? I mean, what about the fact that what would Jesus say, you know, to the lesbian parents who were...
O'REILLY: That's none of my concern. That's between Jesus and the parents. OK? My concern is to the little four-year-old, who's being deprived of a Catholic education by the church who is holding the child accountable for their mom.
Now let's get to you, Ms. Inkmann. The thing that disturbs me about this, and I told you this on the radio, is that you defined your sexuality in some way that this school learned that you were a lesbian. Now you adopted this little girl. There are plenty of heterosexual single people who adopt children.
LEE INKMANN, FIGHTING CATHOLIC CHURCH: Yes.
O'REILLY: There is no reason they should know you're a lesbian. OK? And that's the crux of the matter. If you hadn't said anything about it, your daughter would be in the school right now.
INKMANN: Yes. I identified myself as having a two-parent family, parent number one and parent number two as we appear on the Oregon birth certificate. That's all I identified us as, two parents.
O'REILLY: All right, so how did the lesbian thing come up?
INKMANN: I guess they surmised the two parents, who are both women, who live together are also...
O'REILLY: Why would they do that? My aunts live together. They never married. And they weren't lesbians. And I mean, why would they surmise that you were?
INKMANN: I don't know.
O'REILLY: Well, why did lesbianism get dragged in this in the first place? Why didn't you just file a complaint with the Human Services Department of Oregon saying hey, there's no reason why they're not letting this little girl in here?
INKMANN: I did. That's exactly what I did.
O'REILLY: But the lesbian thing is all over the complaint.
INKMANN: No. No.
O'REILLY: You're being deprived of your rights because of sexual orientation.
INKMANN: Actually the complaint reads that our child was denied admission to a private school that is state-supervised, the pre-school that's state-supervised. And we aren't certain of the reason. I mean, they told us that the reason was our lifestyle, which was never defined at that moment by the principal. Our lifestyle would be...
O'REILLY: All right, so you never, and your lawyers never mentioned the word "lesbian?"
INKMANN: Actually, we don't have a lawyer. We've only consulted a lawyer.
O'REILLY: Right, how did the press get the lesbian deal?
INKMANN: You know, the school told us that our lifestyle would be too confusing...
O'REILLY: But the press has got you as a lesbian. How did that happen?
INKMANN: Yes. I don't know.
O'REILLY: All right.
All right, Mr. Hudson, now I'm going to assume Ms. Inkmann, because I haven't witnessed anything, is just an American. She says she didn't define herself as a lesbian. If that's true, does it make any difference to you?
HUDSON: Well, certainly the principal of the school found this out in some way. I think that they are members of that parish, of that school. I'm not certain of that.
O'REILLY: Doctor, if the woman is not going to define herself in a sexual way, the pastor can know a lot about a lot of people. You know, there are a lot of adulterers. There are a lot of divorced people. You're going to throw their kids out, too?
INKMANN: I was wondering about that myself.
HUDSON: No, but I mean, adulterers usually I mean usually are repentant about mistakes they've made.
O'REILLY: Oh, stop it. Doctor, come on.
HUDSON: Yes, they are.
O'REILLY: This is a complicated issue. It's emotional. I feel very bad for the four-year-old girl, I really do. And we appreciate you both coming on and talking about it.
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