1) France has withdrawn their nominee for ambassador to the Holy See, Laurent Stefanini, after the Vatican refused to accept his credentials for nearly ten months, reported The Guardian. Though unconfirmed, it has been speculated that the Vatican refused Stefanini because he is a married gay man while others criticized Pope Francis and the Vatican’s silence on the matter. For more information, click here.
2) A year after trans woman Jennifer Laude was murdered, mourners gathered in the Philippines and abroad to celebrate her life and demand justice, reported Inquirer.net. Joseph Scott Pemberton, the U.S. Marine charged with Laude’s murder, is using a “trans panic” defense, reported The Advocate. Catholic leaders, including the bishops’ conference and conference of religious superiors, have called for justice and granted Laude a Catholic burial respectful of her transgender identity. For more information, click here.
3) Archbishop Stanislav Zore of Ljubljana backed the movement for a popular referendum that seeks to remove Slovenia’s marriage equality law passed last March. The nation’s Constitutional Court is currently deciding whether a referendum is permissible, Gay Star News reported, and if not, equal marriage rights will remain in the majority Catholic nation.
4) Italian legislators introduced a civil unions bill to Parliament earlier this week, the latest attempt to grant legal rights to same-gender couples in the only Western nation yet to do so. Civil union benefits will not be equal to marriage benefits under Italian law. The bill could come up for a vote in early 2016, reported the Daily Mail. For more coverage on Catholic LGBT issues in Italy, click here.
5) Two Catholic school alumni, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan, involved pled guilty to attacking a gay couple in Philadelphia, but will receive no jail time, according to The Advocate. Kathryn Knott, the third alleged assailant, refused the deal. Statements from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia regarding the 2014 attack were criticized for refusing to acknowledge this incident as a hate crime or reach out to the city’s LGBT community.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry