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Local Catholic school board was concerned astronaut would talk about civil marriage during speech

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Cataldo Board of Governors said they were concerned NASA astronaut Anne McClain would talk about her civil marriage during a speech for local Catholic school students. 

The Spokane native recently returned to earth following a six-month trip to the International Space Station. 

McClain is in town to receive one of YWCA Spokane's Women in Achievement awards and stopped by her alma mater – Gonzaga Prep – to speak to students from Catholic schools around Spokane. 

Earlier this week, some of those schools announced they would not allow their students to attend McClain's talk. 

RELATED: Catholic Diocese refuses to sanction field trip to see astronaut Anne McClain speak at G-Prep

When 4 News Now reached out to the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, they declined an interview.

Cataldo Catholic School was one of schools that decided to now allow students to attend the talk as part of a school field trip. The principal said students would have an excused absent If they attended with their parents. 

The school did say the decision to sanction events was made by the Board of Governors. The board is made up of three Catholic priests  -- Fathers Kevin Codd, Darrin Connall and Brian Mee -- who serve at different parishes around the city. 

On Thursday, the board released the following statement: 

Cataldo Board of Governors Statement on McClain by Erin Robinson on Scribd

The Board stressed its decision regarded McClain's civil marriage, not her sexuality, saying "everyone is a beloved son or daughter of God worthy of love, dignity, and respect." 

McClain is an openly gay woman and has been married to a woman. At no point during Thursday's talk did she speak of her wife or her sexual orientation. 

4 News Now is speaking to McClain on Friday with the intent of asking her about the situation. 

This story will be updated. 

RELATED: Astronaut, Gonzaga Prep alum Anne McClain encourages students to chase their biggest dreams

RELATED: Astronaut Anne McClain speaks to local students from the International Space Station

RELATED: Raising an astronaut: Anne McClain's mom reflects on her journey to space



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