Tuesday, April 8, 2014

INTRO: MICHAEL J. O'LOUGHLIN. . . article from HUFFINGTON POST recently. . . .



GET UPDATES FROM MICHAEL O'LOUGHLIN

Lay Catholics Leading Fight For LGBT Equality

Posted: 06/08/2012 12:48 pm


June is designated as pride month, a time when LGBT people across the world celebrate the gains made in society and continue fighting for equality. Lots of groups and companies get in on the action, some to show solidarity and some to make a buck or two. One group that has been at the helm of the fight for gay equality in the US is the Roman Catholic community.
Come again?
The Catholic Church's official stance on same-sex marriage is widely known. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has elevated the defeat of same-sex marriage to high status; the Knights of Columbus ranked among the largest donors in overturning marriage equality in California; and Catholic bishops in Minnesota spent considerable resources producing and distributing anti-gay marriage DVDs throughout the state. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as Archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, does not shy away in denouncing Catholics who stray from the party line. Despite all this, lay Catholics have been leaders in the fight for equal rights for gay Americans.
The battle for same-sex marriage has been fought largely at the state level, and of the nine states that have or have had same-sex marriage rights (same-sex marriage laws in Maine and California were repealed), six were adopted through the legislative process. Five of those six laws were signed by Catholic governors: John Baldacci in Maine; John Lynch in New Hampshire; Andrew Cuomo in New York; Chris Gregoire in Washington; and Martin O'Malley in Maryland (Vermont's legislature overrode the veto of Gov. Jim Douglas, a member of the United Church of Christ). Some of these governors faced harsh opposition from local Catholic bishops and lobbying groups, but O'Malley and Gregoire both said explicitly that they were motivated by their Catholic faith to support marriage equality.
At the federal level, as well, Catholics rank among the most ardent supporters of gay marriage. When the United States Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws in 2003 in the case Lawrence v. Texas, it was a Catholic, Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion for the Court. A Catholic vice president, Joe Biden, went on national television and came out in support of gay marriage. A few days later, his boss followed suit.
It's not just the elites who are leading the way. Catholics support same-sex marriage at higher rates than any other Christian group, including all mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, and Mormons. A recent Pew survey found that Catholics support gay marriage by a margin of 52 percent to 37 percent, up from 2010, when 46 percent of Catholics favored marriage equality.
Catholic sisters, the beleaguered women who historically have run the social justice institutions that have served so many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have quietly supported gays and lesbians for decades, perhaps leading to a recent crackdown by church officials. Even if not challenging bishops, these women so often act as the pastoral face of the church, offering much needed pastoral support to those on the front lines of this culture war.
More quietly, at the most personal levels, gay Catholics and their families find support in the church from brave priests, monks, and lay ministers. A few Benedictine monks, living humbly and quietly in New Hampshire, have privately offered their solidarity and prayer to me over the years. This gentle love and devotion to the Gospel commandment of treating others how you wish to be treated may be off the radar and away from public consciousness, but it is a lifeline to those who feel marginalized, alone, and even angry.
Pope Benedict has called gay marriage a threat to the future of humanity, and the Catholic Church in the US remains a powerful force against same-sex marriage. Its ordained leaders are entrenched and buoyed by a faction of vocal conservatives. But this is not the case for ordinary Catholics, the everyday women and men who love their gay sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, friends and coworkers. And it is not the case for many lay Catholics who hold positions of power in state and federal government.
Catholic bishops and priests in the US have planted the seeds of social justice for generations. Increased support for gay marriage among lay Catholics and elected officials is the harvest.
 

Follow Michael O'Loughlin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mikeoloughlin
FOLLOW RELIGION

11 comments:

Coop said...

Even if the Church doesn't change its stance, it needs to stop harping.
Most of what the church says publically about gay people these days is "Marriage is between a man and a woman".








JustinO'Shea said...

But Coopstababe, the Church IS changing. . . read Mike further. . .and. . ho ho ho, listen to me: WE ARE THE CHURCH! The hierarchy are a part of the Church. You and I are a part of the Church.
I challenge you to claim that, OWN your baptismal rights as Church. Stop talking about "THEM" and talk about "US". . .Mike is one of us too. . doesn't reading an alum of StAs move you? LOL
If we listen to what Francis is saying every day he is right on the mark about us BEing Church, spelling it out every day.
HEY, bro, we gotta start thinking, and stop waiting to be spoon-fed. . .you know?
Of course you do!!! It's work. . .but. . ysa wanna sit and be a rusty old church?

Coop said...

Aye vay. "The Church" I'm talking about is cardinal Dolan et al... upbrading everybody who disagrees with him.

O'Loughlin pointed out, quite accurately I think, that people within the church... who are members of the church... are changing.

But the official line (from Dolan et. al) is not. Francis has given everyone a lot to think about in the years since this piece was written. But as the heirarchy noticed?


Coop said...

Another thought: People like you, me and Mike, supporters of GLBT people with in the church, WE know what's going on. We're following the developments, etc.

But what about the people who feel like they've been pushed away by the church? Or people who think Catholics are bigots? Do they know what WE know... if they're relying on the Conference of Bishops. That's my point.

JustinO'Shea said...

Why would "they" listen when they only believe they are "the church"?
I am learning from Pope Francis that the mercy of God is far broader, wider, freer. .than any mercy I might have.
When I see the Abp of NYC and the Abp of San Fran - East and West coast czars I steam and do not feel mercy or justice. . .I need to convert!

JustinO'Shea said...

Coops, I read your last post. . Huuurrraaaaahhh! You, Mike, me and zillions of others like us have got a LOT of TALKING/SHARING/LIVING to DO. . .don't we!
BUT it is going. . it has started. . keep reading, thinking, BE-ing! :-))

Gary Kelly said...

Imagine how silly it would sound if those opposed to gay marriage stopped saying "marriage is between a man and a woman" and said instead, "marriage is all about genitalia."

Radical Joe said...

Justin, it makes me so happy that you have so much confidence in Pope Francis. We are all hoping that we will have much Change. I don't know if he will Look Back at our Church History, and find the 2 Gay Saints that were given Saint Hood. But we can Pray, that there will be some Hope, and Love that will be Forth Coming. Coop, you are more that right on his Stubborn(Dolan) resistance to any change. Pope Francis asked that all Bishops would send out a questionnaire to ALL parishioners in their Diocese, they have only sent it out to their Priest's and colleagues. So what are we??? Guess we the CHURCH don't count or maybe we are the Unknown actor. They have done the questionnaire's in other countries, not an iota to us, maybe they afraid of the response.

JustinO'Shea said...

JOE: Are you in the Diocese
of St Petersburgh? The consultation was done extensively there. . . . .;-)

Radical Joe said...

Justin, as strange as it may seem we are in Diocese of Orlando, Bishop Noonan is the one. Haven't had a questionnaire or what not.
Our Diocese stretches from Gainesville, to the county line of Hillsborough, then all the way back to the east coast, up to Daytona, then down to Melbourne.
We are very large. Bishop Noonan couldn't care less about all the
Crap that goes in this Diocese.
I don't want to go into any of this, it would make the Bling one in Germany, dance in the streets.
I know you don't want to know.
Have a Good Day, Justin O'Shea....

Radical Joe said...

Justin, as strange as it may seem we are in Diocese of Orlando, Bishop Noonan is the one. Haven't had a questionnaire or what not.
Our Diocese stretches from Gainesville, to the county line of Hillsborough, then all the way back to the east coast, up to Daytona, then down to Melbourne.
We are very large. Bishop Noonan couldn't care less about all the
Crap that goes in this Diocese.
I don't want to go into any of this, it would make the Bling one in Germany, dance in the streets.
I know you don't want to know.
Have a Good Day, Justin O'Shea....