1) “Do you think it’s appropriate for the Catholic Church to promote petitions for anti-gay marriage Referendum 74?” is the question that a Washington State newspaper asked its readers in reference to the ballot initiative to repeal the state’s newly-minted marriage equality law. You can get a flavor of the 5,400 responses by reading The National Catholic Reporter’s blog post entitled “Washington newspaper readers split on church’s role in same-sex marriage petition.”
2) The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) reports that when a lesbian couple were barred from their Lexington, Kentucky, Catholic high school’s prom, they threw an alternative prom in the school’s parking lot, enjoyed by many students. Read about it in “Barred from prom, gay couple come out(side).”
3) In Minnesota, the Council for the Baptized, which is described as a “collegial voice for Catholics in the Archdiocese of St.Paul/Minneapolis,” has issued a statement of “Opposition to Marriage Amendment,” explaining why they oppose the state’s proposed constitutional amendment against marriage equality. You can read the full statement here.
1) The Constitutional Court of Colombia has awarded pension benefits to the male partner of a deceased Catholic priest. Read the PinkNews article “Colombia: Partner of gay Catholic priest wins pension rights.”
2) The Associated Press says that the heavily-Catholic country of Argentina is now the world’s leader in transgender rights and equality, with the passage of a new law “giving people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures beforehand.” NPR.com carries the full AP story entitled “Argentina Gender Rights Law: A New World Standard.”
3) In “Catholic bishops denounce threats to religious freedom,” CBC.com (Canada’s public radio) reports that Canadian bishops have issued a pastoral letter which encourages “civil disobedience in cases where public policy runs afoul of private morality on questions such as abortion, contraception and gay marriage.”
4) When an “Australian former judge says he is a ‘second-class citizen’ because he cannot marry” at a recent senate inquiry on legalizing same-sex marriage, a Catholic MP there relied on her faith as her reason for supporting the legislation: “Catholics have a responsibility to form their conscience. . . . A Catholic who has formed their conscience cannot be compelled to act contrary to it.” GayStarNews.com carries the full story.
5) The Church’s role in marriage equality debates in heavily-Catholic countries such as Italy, France, and Portugal is examined in GayStarNews.com’s article “Why same-sex marriage is spreading in Europe.”
6) Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests has been working for reform in many areas of church life. A recent survey they commissioned shows that 60% of Ireland’s Catholics disagreed with Church teaching that same-sex relationships were immoral. Read about the ACP’s work in the BBC’s report “Association of Catholic Priests discuss Church’s future.”
7) A “Filipino lawmaker urges colleagues to fight homophobia” by coming out of the closet in this heavily Catholic nation. Read the whole story on AllVoices.com.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry