EB in the News

LGBT Catholics hope for future papal dialogue after Benedict's resignation

In the wake of Pope Benedict's resignation announcement Feb. 11, gay and lesbian Catholics reacted with relief and cautious optimism for a pope willing to engage in dialogue.

In a collective statement, leaders of Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholics that works for equality for gay people, called upon the cardinals to select a pontiff who will realize that "in promoting discrimination against LGBT people, the church inflicts pain on marginalized people, alienates the faithful and lends moral credibility to reactionary political movements across the globe."

The coalition, which includes Call to Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry, said the church now has the opportunity to turn away from Benedict's "oppressive policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, and their families and friends."

6 Images Every LGBTQ Religious Person Needs to See This Valentine's Day

For LGBTQ religious people, Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday. Many who come from faith traditions that are not yet LGBTQ inclusive find that friends, family, and community membership are not able to celebrate the love they have found. For too many, this prompts a sense of having to choose between two equally important identities, and makes remaining in faith traditions difficult.

Thankfully, this Valentine’s Day, a Catholic, faith-based coalition is working to spread a different message. Equally Blessed is motivated by a vision of a church where homophobia has no place, where all people – and all the love they find – are celebrated. Amelia Blanton – coordinator of Equally Blessed – and her staff created provocative images that they have been spreading across social media platforms today, images which offer a desperately needed message of hope and healing for the Catholic Church. “My church may need reform,” says a pink-and-red, cathedral-adorned graphic, “but, honey, you were made in God’s image.”

Same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court

There are growing movements within the religious community in support of gay marriage. There are religious groups who look at this as a matter of equality and justice. Jewish groups have been—Reform and Conservative Jews have been very supportive of gay marriage. Orthodox—not in the Jewish community; in the Christian community a little more complicated. Certainly while the Roman Catholic Church at the hierarchy is opposed, you have grass-roots groups, like there’s a group called Equally Blessed that says you can be a faithful Catholic and still support this on an equality issue. And then a lot of the mainline denominations really torn over the issue. United Church of Christ and Unitarians support gay marriage, but a lot of the other ones still define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Pope Benedict denounces gay marriage during his annual Christmas message

Pope Benedict used his annual Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the “essence of the human creature.”

In one of his most important speeches of the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of nature.”

Pope Benedict takes anti-gay marriage to new level in Christmas speech on family values

The pope pressed his opposition to gay marriage Friday, denouncing what he described as people eschewing their God-given gender identities to suit their sexual choices – and destroying the very "essence of the human creature" in the process.

Benedict XVI made the comments in his annual Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, one of his most important speeches of the year. He dedicated it this year to promoting traditional family values in the face of gains by same-sex marriage proponents in the U.S. and Europe and efforts to legalize gay marriage in places like France and Britain

 "Increasingly Catholics in the United States and around the world see what we see. Catholics, following their own well-formed consciences, are voting to support equal rights for LGBT people because in their churches and communities they see a far healthier, godly and realistic vision of the human family than the one offered by the pope," according to a statement from the groups Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.

Knights of Columbus Donate Millions to Anti-Gay Marriage Effort, Report Says

The Knights of Columbus are best known as a Roman Catholic fraternal and service organization that sells insurance policies to finance its charitable activities. The group provides coats for underprivileged children, prosthetics for Haitian earthquake victims and scholarships to Catholic colleges for the children of its members.
 
But less well known is that the Knights are also donating significant amounts of money and volunteer time to fight the legalization of gay marriage.  

Report: Knights of Columbus and allies are leading funders of anti-gay marriage drives

 
The Knights of Columbus, a wealthy and influential Catholic charitable organization, is a leading funder in the push to make same-sex marriage illegal in four states that have ballot measures on the issue this fall, a coalition of gay rights groups announced Thursday (Oct. 18).
 
"Carl Anderson is using the good name that the Knights have developed over generations as cover while pursuing policies and making alliances that many Catholics find deeply troubling when they learn about them,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, an organization of gay Catholics that was part of the coalition behind the report. 
 
The report, which culled information largely from the Knights’ Internal Revenue Service filings, found that the Knights donated $6.25 million to fight same-sex marriage initiatives between 2005-2012. Close to $2 million of those funds went directly to NOM. 
 

Catholic contributions in marriage fight are large, opponents' report says

 
A report by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday said that the Catholic Church has contributed more than half of the funding into efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
 
At the same time, Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholics who support same-sex marriage, issued a report saying the Knights of Columbus has quietly become one of the most aggressive forces opposing same-sex marriage.
 

Most U.S. Catholics Back Marriage Equality, But Knights of Columbus Pour Millions into Opposition

 
Quick, what organization was founded to support justice for immigrants, boasts nearly two million (all-male) members, and loves a good parade? The Knights of Columbus still support immigrants' rights, but those sober-faced men marching down Main Street in full parade regalia are also part of an organization that was the single largest donor in support of California's Proposition 8. 
 
This venerable fraternal order has taken up the anti-equality baton in a big, flamboyant way.
 
The National Organization for Marriage provides organizational muscle to anti-equality initiatives and legislative campaigns. What gives them that muscle is money, and lots of it, from big donors. A new in-depth report released today by Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-equality Catholic organizations, reveals that the Knights are among NOM's biggest supporters.

Catholics United's Statement on Knights of Columbus Anti-Marriage Equality Spending Report

 
Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholics, has released a report that discovered the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization, spent nearly $16 million since 2005 on far-right wing social issues, including $6.25 million opposing civil same-sex marriage. Of this, more than $600,000 has been donated in 2012 alone to anti-marriage equality ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
 

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