NEWS NOTES: March 6, 2012

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

1) Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, senior religion editor of, answers a Catholic’s question: “How Can I Be a Lesbian and Stay in My Church.”

2) The recent case of the denial of communion to Barbara Johnson, a lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral is put into the historical context of the “wafer wars,” by theologian Mary Hunt in a column:  “Communion or Disunion?

3) Candace Chellew-Hodge examines Maryland’s potential referendum on marriage equality with Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, in a article: “Maryland Voters Split on Marriage Equality, So Far.” New Ways Ministry Co-Founder Sister Jeannine Gramick is also quoted in this article.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: February 24, 2012

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

1) Sister Maureen Fiedler, who blogs for the National Catholic Reporter, comments on the passage of the Maryland marriage equality bill by suggesting that “Catholic bishops should read the writing on the wall for same-sex marriage.”

2) In a essay, Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA, observes that “Same-Sex Marriage IS Dangerous — to Church Workers .”  She is commenting on the recent firing of a Catholic parish’s music director, which Bondings 2.0 reported on here.

3) North Carolina’s two Catholic bishops are among the supporters of a proposed state constitutional amendment to define marriage heterosexually, according to “Both sides gear up in N.C. gay marriage fight,” which appeared on The Washington Post website.

4) Maryland’s Martin O’Malley and New Jersey’s Chris Christie, two Catholic governors who have opposing views about marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples, will square off on TV’s “Face the Nation,” Sunday, February 26, 2012, on CBS.  While the topic for their segment is the 2012 presidential race, since both governors have been so visible about marriage equality, it will likely come up as a topic of discussion.  For more details, check out The Washington Post’s article  “O’Malley, adversary Chris Christie booked on ‘Face the Nation.’ “

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: February 21, 2012

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

1) More evidence that lay Catholics and their bishops differ strongly on support for marriage equality comes from a new poll reported by The New York Times in an article “Support Is Found for Birth Control Coverage and Gay Unions.”  Though the poll surveyed the general electorate, they report findings for different sub-groups, such as Catholics:  “More than two-thirds of Catholic voters supported some sort of legal recognition of gay couples’ relationships: 44 percent favored marriage, and 25 percent preferred civil unions. ”

2) In “Spectrum continues quest to abolish stereotypes on campus,” Loyola University Maryland’s student newspaper, The Greyhound, reports on upcoming semester plans for activities by their LGBTA organization.

3) If California’s Proposition 8 case makes it to the nation’s highest court, the “Gay marriage fight may hinge on Supreme Court’s Anthony Kennedy,” a Catholic, reports The Charlotte Observer.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


NEWS NOTES: February 14, 2012

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

1) Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, marriage equality has become the law of the land in Washington State, the seventh state (plus the District of Columbia) to enact such a law.  Catholic Governor Christine Gregoire signed the bill on February 13th. The Chicago Tribune ran a Reuters story, “Washington governor signs gay marriage law,” which notes Gregoire’s faith. Equally Blessed, the coalition of Catholic organizations which work for LGBT justice and equality (of which New Ways Ministry is a member) issued a statement affirming Governor Gregoire’s action.

2) Two Catholic “coming out” stories appeared on the web recently.  The Quinnipiac Chronicle carries “The Pride Inside,” an article about college student Michael Castro’s experience.  Posterous Spaces carries “Coming to terms with my homosexuality at the University of Notre Dame,” by Tanya Barrios, an alumna.

3) Maggie Gallagher, of the National Organization for Marriage, a Catholic who works against marriage equality is profiled in article, “The making of gay marriage’s top foe.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


NEWS NOTES: February 6, 2012

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

1) The Bangor Daily News reports that the “Maine Catholic bishop starts ministry to support people attracted to the same sex.”  The announcement of this “Courage” ministry comes just about a week after it was announced that Maine will have another referendum on marriage equality.   For a review of Courage’s ministry, see Bondings 2.0’s blog post about the establishment of such a program in Connecticut.

2) The Vista, the student newspaper of the University of San Diego, a Catholic school reports that “Joseph Colombo, religion professor, passes away.”    According to an obituary on the Gay San Diego website (, “Colombo served as the first openly gay chair of a theology department at a Roman Catholic University in the United States.”

3)  In the continuing controversy of what to name gay-straight alliances in Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools, a letter to the editor in the Toronto Star from Kevin O’Dwyer, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, notes that  while Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association has not supported students’ requests, his association, which represents teachers,  “has stated its support for gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and other student-led anti-homophobia groups. ”  Read the latest full reporting on this matter in the Bondings 2.0 blog post from January 28, 2012.

NEWS NOTES: February 2, 2012

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

1) The St. Cloud Times reports that the St. Paul and Minneapolis “Archdiocese contributes $650,000 to support gay marriage ban.”  This amount is the lion’s share of the $750,000 raised by the Minnesota Catholic Conference and the more than $1.2M raised by marriage equality opponents in that state.  An Associated Press story, “Gay marriage ban supporters raise over $1.2M,” on contains details.

2) The “Line between political spending and religious speech [is] getting blurrier” according to a article which looks at religious organizations’ fundraising and other activities in the marriage equality debate in Minnesota.

3) The video of a moving speech made in the Maryland’s House of Delegates in 2011 during the marriage equality debate by Heather Mizeur, a Catholic lesbian state legislator,  is featured on the front page of the progressive political website

4) “Acceptance Melbourne,” an Australian gay Catholic organization will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, according to article entitled, “Marching with pride.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 31, 2012

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

1) The controversy surrounding the naming of anti-homophobia student groups in Ontario’s Catholic schools has added a new wrinkle with a Toronto Star report that the Province’s Education “College [is] asked to investigate principal who banned gay-straight alliance.”   Bondings 2.0’s  latest posting on this controversy can be accessed here.

2) The Washington Blade reports that “religious institutions receiving federal funds for housing programs will have to abide by a new HUD (Housing & Urban Development) rule prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people.”  Details can be found in the article “HUD: Religious groups must abide by LGBT non-bias rule.”
In a letter to President Obama, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had opposed the non-discrimination rule. Equally Blessed, a Catholic coalition of LGBT justice and equality, also sent a letter to Obama in support of the rule.

3) The Buffalo News‘ Donn Esmonde writes how a “Priest’s legacy of tolerance is all-embracing.”  It’s an inspiring memoir about the late Msgr. William Schwinger of whom he writes:  “Back when society treated gays as incomplete people, long before anyone envisioned the state sanctioning gay marriage, this priest— despite the Catholic Church’s institutional condemnation of homosexuality— welcomed them into the fold.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry