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In May of last year, the Catholic diocese ruled just hours before Holy Cross High School's graduation that the openly gay valedictorian and the student council president could not give their planned speeches at the Covington school's official graduation ceremony.
Bales said at the time that he was unsure whether his sexual orientation played a role in the Diocese of Covington's decision to not permit him to speak at graduation. "I honestly have no idea, because what I've been taught about the Catholic faith is that it's about love and tolerance and acceptance of all people," he said.
At the time, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Covington said the students' speeches were not submitted on time and "were political and inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church," assertions Bales denies.