An Irish American pastor in Boulder, Colorado has defended his decision not to allow a child of a lesbian couple to continue to attend Catholic school in his parish. The child is currently in pre-school there.

The Rev. Bill Breslin, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Boulder, posted his sermon to parishioners.

"The issue is not about our not accepting 'sinners,'" he said. "It is not about punishing the child for the sins of his or her parents. It is simply that the lesbian couple is saying that their relationship is a good one that should be accepted by everyone; and the Church cannot agree to that."

Gay and lesbian groups are attacking the decision

"The Archdiocese of Denver has acted very unjustly in singling out this child for exclusion," said Dignity USA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke in a statement Monday.

"Until every student's parents are tested on Catholic teaching, this action by Catholic officials cannot be understood as anything other than discrimination on the back of a child. At a tender age, this child has learned that Catholic officials are willing to inflict pain on children and families."

However, the archdiocese of Denver is strongly defending its decision. “Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment," it said in a statement posted on its website. "To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home.”

Gay groups plan to protest

"These actions by the Denver Archdiocese harm the student by taking the child away from friends, teachers and community," said Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "It's deeply troubling to see any school remove a child from their educational program simply as the means of rejecting that child's parents."

But the archdiocese defended its decision.

About 30 opponents of the move protested Sunday outside the church during Mass.

"I was disappointed, but it was pretty much what I was expecting to hear," said Dave Ensign, board president of Boulder Pride, a Gay organization.

"When people hear about this, they speak up, and I think that says a lot about our community."

The child has not been identified publicly.