Same-sex marriage IS dangerous for church workers

By Marianne T. Duddy-Burke
On this St. Valentine's Day, we have a new step towards justice and equality for lesbian and gay couples to celebrate. Just yesterday, after Senator Ed Murray welcomed us to "the other side of the rainbow," Governor Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law in Washington state. As I watched the very moving and joyous ceremony, where the belief that this was the right thing to do was so very apparent, I rejoiced for all same-gender couples who will experience the profound joy of having their commitments and love legally recognized in the Evergreen state.

A Catholic case for same-sex marriage

This month in Maryland and the state of Washington, an extraordinary dynamic is playing itself out:  Two Catholic governors are prodding legislators to pass bills legalizing same-gender marriage. Like Govs. Andrew Cuomo in New York and Pat Quinn in Illinois — whose states recently legalized same-sex civil unions — Govs. Martin O’Malley and Christine Gregoire are acting against the strongly expressed opposition of their church’s bishops.

Some Knights of Columbus donations raise questions

By Nicole Sotelo
Next month, the Knights of Columbus will celebrate the 130th anniversary of their incorporation as a benefit society. Founded by a young parish priest and parishioners, the Knights united to serve their community with a special focus on supporting widows, orphans and those in need.

Why Cardinal George can say such outrageous things

By Marianne T. Duddy-Burke
In the wake of Chicago Cardinal Francis George's heinous comments comparing LGBT people to the Ku Klux Klan after a change to the city's Pride Parade route meant it would pass by a Catholic parish as a morning Mass would have been starting, Truth Wins Out (TWO) initiated a petition calling for him to resign. As much as I agree that someone who espouses and even reiterates such a perspective has no business leading one of the largest Catholic communities in the country, I also know that this petition will not achieve the intended result. There will be many important positive outcomes from such an effort, including allowing thousands of LGBT-supportive Catholics to take a public stand on our behalf, and putting Archdiocesan officials on notice that their actions and statements are being scrutinized. But structural issues within Catholicism that are nearly incomprehensible to most Americans--Catholic or not--mean that public accountability tools such as the TWO petition are essentially meaningless to the Catholic hierarchy.

Cardinal Dolan, talk To LGBT people, not about them

By Marianne T. Duddy Burke
Dear Archbishop Dolan,
Last week you accepted the resignation of Daniel Avila, who had served as policy adviser for marriage and family to the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. His recent column in the Boston Pilot suggesting that being lesbian or gay is the result of satanic influence proved an indefensible embarrassment.

The Catholic hierarchy's pointless campaign against LGBT rights

By Mary Ellen and Casey Lopata
In early July, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles opposed a modest piece of legislation that requires schools in that state to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, and other previously excluded groups, in their social studies curricula.

Religious liberty vs. Same-sex marriage: No real conflict

By Marrianne T. Duddy Burke
As the campaign to legalize same-sex civil marriage gains momentum across the country, opponents are employing new tactics to defend the status quo. Chief among those is the claim that legalizing same-sex marriage will infringe on the religious freedom of those who oppose the practice on theological grounds.

Maryland's Catholics back same-sex marriage

By Francis DeBernardo
Faithful Catholics who follow the debate on same-sex marriage have grown accustomed to our bishops making embarrassing and insensitive statements, and Monday's missive from the three bishops who exercise jurisdiction in the state of Maryland was no exception.
The trio advance hoary and discredited arguments steeped in ignorance.

The spiritual side of coming out

By Francis DeBernardo, Marianne Duddy-Burke, Casey Lopata and Nicole Sotelo
Today is National Coming Out Day, a day set aside as a special time of reflection and celebration by gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) advocacy groups to highlight the unique perspective of GLBT people in "coming out of the closet" to acknowledge, embrace, and communicate their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Knights of Columbus, Minn. archbishop imperil church's neutrality

By Nicole Sotelo

For the last 128 years, millions of Catholic men have faithfully served the church through the Knights of Columbus' mission to help those in need. But do today's 1.8 million members and their supporters know that their Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, is endangering their legacy by contributing their hard-earned charitable dollars not to the needy, but to political battles?