EB in the News

Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, NOM spending wildly to defeat marriage equality

The Roman Catholic Church is funneling unprecedented dollar amounts into the four states where marriage equality is on the ballot this fall – Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington – and in many cases, parishioners may not even be aware that their dollars are being used to fund discrimination.
The new report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) finds that the Church has spent at least $1.1 million as part of its broader effort to deny loving, committed couples the right to marry.
Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholic groups, will be releasing an extensive report in partnership with HRC today detailing the Knights’ longstanding financial support for anti-equality measures. “Our Catholic social teaching calls for us to work for a more loving, compassionate, and justice-oriented world for all. It does not call on us to discriminate against anyone,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, a Catholic leader with Equally Blessed and executive director of DignityUSA. “Unfortunately, the anti-LGBT activities of the Church hierarchy stand in direct opposition to the values of the majority of Catholics.”

The Renegade

Across the street from my home in Mount Rainier, Maryland, is a white three-story house with a wooden sign hanging next to its front door that reads, “NEW WAYS MINISTRY.” The house is among the quietest on the block, with its blinds drawn nearly all year round. Its residents are a couple of very friendly Catholic nuns and a quarrelsome pair of cats.

MSNBC profiles Catholic LGBT advocates

Two prominent Catholic LGBT advocates spoke with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell about the growing disconnect between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and everyday Catholics in America who support LGBT people. The segment was one of the most in-depth media discussions of this issue in recent times. Sister Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministry and Jeff Stone of Dignity USA reacted to recent anti-LGBT actions taken by the Roman Catholic hierarchy despite the fact that a growing majority of Catholics support LGBT people.

Maryland's Catholic governor signs bill for gay marriage

A coalition of Catholic groups that advocate gay rights in churches and society congratulated Maryland's governor after he signed a bill on March 1 making Maryland the eighth state to approve of same-gender marriage.
"We are deeply gratified that Governor Martin O'Malley has joined fellow Catholic governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Christine Gregoire of Washington in signing marriage equality legislation into law," said Equally Blessed, a coalition of four groups, including DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry.

MD priest who denied lesbian communion at funeral placed on leave

A priest who denied communion to a gay woman at her mother’s funeral mass has been put on leave by the Washington D.C.-area archdiocese, but the archdiocese said the suspension is not related to the communion controversy.

In a statement, the archdiocese said Father Marcel Guarnizo was placed on administrative leave because of “credible allegation that Father Guarnizo had engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others.”

The statement did not elaborate on what that behavior might have been.

The mamas and the papas: What it's like for Catholic parents of LGBT children

Parents have much to say about the church and their children. 
The young priest preached on the sanctity of life at a Denver hospice. Afterward an older couple asked him if their son, who had died of AIDS, would be in hell forever. The priest said he couldn’t answer that.
More than 20 years later Shawn Reynolds still remembers the anguish on the couple’s faces. “He didn’t say anything about Christ’s love,” Reynolds says.

Maryland Nun: Most Catholics disagree with bishops on gay marriage

Sister Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministry spoke at the Maryland Marriage Equality clergy press conference last week, in support of the bill introduced in the state legislature to legalize gay marriage. "I speak on behalf of the majority of U.S. Catholics who favor legal marriage for same-gender couples," she said, adding that this position "flows from our own church's social justice teaching."

Religious leaders debut new tactic on marriage

A group of nearly 40 conservative religious leaders released an open letter on Jan. 12 that seeks to reframe the battle over same-sex civil marriage as a threat to their freedom of religion.

Taking on the Catholic Church, from Chicago

It’s a long way from the Vatican to Roscoe Village, but a group based in that North Side neighborhood is leading a high-profile protest among American priests that challenges the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on ordination of women.

Decade after defiance, Jeannine Gramick as hopeful as ever

It’s been more than a decade since the Vatican attempted to silence Sr. Jeannine Gramick and Fr. Robert Nugent from their work with gay and lesbian Catholics.
Though Nugent agreed in 2000 to abide by the church’s prohibition on speaking and writing about homosexuality, Gramick politely declined. In a statement that has become a mantra for many Catholics who seek reforms in the institutional church, Gramick responded, “I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression.”