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Lennon Cihak, Minnesota Teen, Denied Confirmation For Supporting Gay Marriage On Facebook

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LENNON CIHAK CONFIRMATION
Lennon Cihak holds up the sign that he photographed and posted on his Facebook page and was ultimately denied taking part in his Catholic Church confirmation about three weeks ago in Barnesville, Minn. (AP Photo/The Forum, Dave Wallis) | Dave Wallis, The Forum / AP

One Catholic teen's Facebook post reportedly cost him his confirmation last month after a picture of him holding a sign urging people to vote for "equal marriage rights" was spotted by his priest at a Minnesota church.

Rev. Gary LaMoine of the Assumption Church in Barnesville, Minn., allegedly denied Lennon Cihak the religious rite of passage after seeing him online holding a sign altered to criticize the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports. The amendment would have changed the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Lennon's mother, Shana told, the Forum that she was shocked to hear of the decision after she was called into a private conversation with the priest, according to the outlet.

However, the priest has since told the Associated Press that the teen was not in fact denied confirmation, but declined to explain, calling it an "internal and pastoral" matter.

"Some people chose to run out into the public and put it out in the media," LaMoine said. He also said he was consulting with the Catholic Diocese of Crookston about the issue.

Lennon Cihak has expressed moderate views on gay marriage on his Twitter.

Lennon told the Forum that despite the church's rejection, the incident has not affected his faith.

“I don’t want the church to be put down. I don’t want the Catholic religion to be put down,” he said. “It’s just the way the priest has things running. He’s so strict. He won’t loosen up about things.”

Earlier this year, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Moorhead, Minn., was fired because she questioned the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, the state’s Catholic clergy were among the most vocal supporters of the state's anti-same-sex marriage constitutional amendment and actively asked Catholic voters to help pass the measure. Voters ultimately rejected the amendment, however.

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