Biden May Not Speak for Obama, But He Speaks for Most Catholics

May 7, 2012

Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 115 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families:  Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.

The coalition released the following statement in response to Vice President Joe Biden’s comment on marriage equality made yesterday on Meet the Press (Bondings 2.0 reported earlier about Vice President Biden’s remarks.  For background click here.:

“While Washington insiders puzzle over whether Vice President Joe Biden was speaking for the Obama administration when he endorsed marriage equality Sunday on Meet the Press, one thing is crystal clear: Biden, a faithful Catholic, was speaking for the majority of lay people in his church.

Vice President Joseph Biden on “Meet the Press.”

“According to recent polling by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 52 percent of Catholics support marriage equality, while only 37 percent oppose it. And Catholic support for marriage equality in the Pew poll has climbed six percentage points since 2010, despite the hierarchy’s costly and divisive campaign against it.

“That poll may actually underestimate Catholic support for marriage equality. When the Public Religion Research Institute, asked Catholics if same-sex couples should be able to enter into the kind of marriages “you get at City Hall,” 71 percent said yes.

“In expressing his support for equal justice under the law, Biden joined the growing number of Catholic leaders—including governors John Baldacci of Maine, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Christine Gregoire of Washington, John Lynch of New Hampshire, Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Pat Quinn of Illinois—who have been willing to break with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and speak out on behalf of LGBT people and their families.

“The members of Equally Blessed salute the vice president for his willingness to risk the censure to which the Catholic hierarchy will now subject him. And we thank him and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, a longtime advocate for LGBT rights, for their courage and their support.”

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–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


NEWS NOTES: January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

Here are some links to items you might find of interest:

1) The Washington Post editorialized in favor of  “Same-sex marriage in Maryland,” chastising the Maryland Catholic Conference for criticizing Governor O’Malley’s support “as a distraction from more pressing economic needs. What may be a distraction for the conference is a fundamental concern for the state’s gay and lesbian residents.”

2) In “Moving Ahead on Marriage Equality,” The New York Times editorialized in support of New Jersey’s legislation, which is opposed by Governor Chris Christie, a Catholic.  In the closing paragraph, they cite three other Catholic governors who support marriage equality: New York’s Andrew Cuomo, Maryland’s Martin O’Malley of Maryland,  and Washington State’s  Christine Gregoire.

3) New York State Assemblyman “Daniel O’Donnell To Marry Boyfriend John Banta on Sunday,” reports OnTopMag.com.  According to the article O’Donnell, brother of openly-lesbian entertainer Rosie O’Donnell, met Banta in 1978 as students at Catholic University of America.

4) Coming to the defense of lesbian/gay people against a claim by a prominent Christian minister in Australia is the editor a Catholic church newspaper there.   In “Margaret Court says being gay the result of sexual abuse” in the Sunday Sun Herald,  Peter Rosengren, editor of The Record said “he had ‘never heard of any scientific study’ linking abuse and homosexuality, and that ‘everyone has to be respected.’ “

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Is There a Catholic in the House?

January 8, 2012

This past week, we reported in our NEWS NOTES feature that the Catholic governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire, announced her strong support of a marriage equality bill there.  She joins other Catholic governors who have endorsed or are presently endorsing legislation that grants marriage or partnership rights to lesbian/gay couples:  New York’s Andrew Cuomo, Maryland’s Martin O’ Malley, and Illinois’ Pat Quinn. 

We also reported that Governor O’Malley is supporting the transgender non-discrimination bill in Maryland. There are many other Catholic lawmakers in Maryland who are supporting the marriage equality bill, the transgender bill or both:  Senator Rob Garagiola, Delegates  Heather Mizeur, Joseline Pena-Melnyk, Kriselda Valderrama, Anne Healey, Victor Ramirez, to name a few.

We’d like to know who are the other Catholic lawmakers–local, state, federal– around the nation who support or have supported marriage equality, transgender non-discrimination, and other pro-LGBT initiatives.  Who are they?

Help us find the names of these leaders by responding in the “Comments” section of this post with their names, titles,  locations, and what issues they support or have supported.  Such a list will help to support Catholics around the nation who support equality and justice.

Please share this posting with your friends via email and social media so that we can get a response from a variety of locations.  Here’s a shortlink for this post: http://wp.me/p21uEP-d6  You can cut and paste it into your email or social media posting.

Thanks in advance for helping us with this effort!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


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