High School Principal Must Apologize for Canceling Speech by Marriage Equality Activist

Target: Celene A. Seamen, principal of The Bishop Ready High School

Goal: Apologize for canceling a commencement speaker because of his affiliation with a marriage equality organization.

The Bishop Ready High School in Ohio canceled the invitation for one of their alumni to speak at their graduation ceremony because he supports marriage equality. The invitation to John O’Grady was extended two months before the ceremony. However, just days before the graduation it was canceled due to O’Grady’s affiliation with Ohio’s initiative “Freedom to Marry” that supports marriage equality.

The Bishop Ready High School is a local Catholic school in Columbus, Ohio from which John O’Grady graduated in 1982. He has since become a politician and an activist for marriage equality by becoming a co-chairman of the organization “Freedom to Marry” that campaigns for the right of same-sex couples to marry in the United States. In an interview to the Columbus Dispatch, O’Grady expressed his sadness over the situation, because he was looking forward to give the commencement speech.

The principal of The Bishop Ready High School, Celene A. Seamen, invited O’Grady to give the commencement speech and then canceled it after learning that O’Grady was involved with the human rights activism organization. By signing the petition below, you will ask the principal of The Bishop Ready High School to apologize for blatantly discriminating against the school’s alumni and his involvement with a marriage equality organization.


Dear Celene A. Seamen,

In the anticipation of the 2013 graduation ceremony at The Bishop Ready High School, you invited the school’s alumni, John O’Grady, to participate at the commencement speech. However, after learning that O’Grady is associated with an organization called “Freedom to Marry” – an initiative working to support same-sex marriage in the US – you cancelled your invitation just days before the ceremony.

I am asking you to apologize to Mr. O’Grady for cancelling his speech based on your discrimination of his involvement with the organization. Your actions show bad judgment of a successful individual who might have potentially given a wise and inspiring speech to the young high school graduates. John O’Grady is a community leader, working to protect American citizens, and your decision to cancel the invitation for him to give a speech at the ceremony denied your own students of being led by example.


[Your Name here]

Photo credit: Benson Kua via Flickr

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. This is not true, especially since Celene Seamen is not straight herself!

    • Celene A. Seamen needs to come out with the truth especially teaching many years in the Catholic School System from Sacred Heart High School in Pittsburgh, PA. The year is precise 1979. I agree to the above that she is not straight. Maybe it is time the Bishop and Celene speak openly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


131 Signatures

  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ellen McCann
  • Ann Blank
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Carole Mathews
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
1 of 13123...13
Skip to toolbar