1) Back in April, we posted about Anna Maria College, a Catholic campus in Worcester, Massachusetts, disinvited Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Senator Edward Kennedy, from speaking at the school’s commencement ceremonies, in part because of her support of marriage equality. This past week, Anna Maria College welcomed Ms. Kennedy as the keynote speaker at an academic symposium on “Faith and the Public Square: Balancing Religious Beliefs with the Common Good.” The Worcester Telegram and Gazette article on her speech notes that she received a standing ovation when introduced.
2) In September, we reported that Nigel Studdart, a Catholic high school teacher in New Zealand, was fired from his job because he criticized his principal’s negative remarks about gay parents, and because he supported the students’ protest of the remarks. Recently, a follow-up story in The New Zealand Herald notes that Mr. Studdart is considering legal action to get his job back.
3) Over the past year, we’ve been following the story of Ontario’s new law which requires state-funded Catholic schools to establish gay-straight alliances, if requested by students. A possible law suit against the government may be brought by a group who feels that Catholic education rights are being violated by the new law, reports The Globe and Mail.
4) In September, we reported that Catholic organizations were among over 30 religious groups that endorsed the passage of a California bill which would outlaw forcing minors to undergo “conversion therapy” to change their sexual orientations. The bill was passed into law and signed by California’s Catholic Governor Jerry Brown. CNN.com reports that in signing the law, Brown hoped that conversion therapy would be consigned “to the dustbin of quackery.”
5) Last week, we reported on Equally Blessed’s report which detailed how the Knights of Columbus are spending millions of dollars to prevent marriage equality from becoming the law of the land. Today, the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog carries an op-ed essay by Marianne Duddy-Burke, a representative of Equally Blessed and executive director of DignityUSA, which provides some context and analysis for this report.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry