Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lay Catholics in Support of Gay Rights: Statements after SCOTUS DOMA Decision

Meanwhile, on the planet on which most of us human beings (as opposed to His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone) live, here are some responses to what Dolan and Cordileone said about the Supreme Court decision yesterday, and some articles noting lay Catholics' considerable involvement in the struggle for gay rights:

At Catholics United's Our Daily Thread, Daniel Byrne responds to Dolan's and Cordileone's statement that striking down DOMA is a "tragedy":

It further upsets me that you call these decisions "tragic." What's tragic is that 23% of children live in poverty. What's tragic are the natural disasters occurring because of climate change. What's tragic is that Guantanamo Bay is still open (thanks to Bishop Pates for his statement, by the way). Providing equal rights for same-sex spouses is not tragic. 
Let's be clear, this is a civil rights issue. No longer will same-sex spouses be turned away from seeing their partner in a hospital. No longer will binational couples be separated because their marriage isn't recognized in the US. No longer will another 1,100 rights be denied same-sex spouses. 
You go on to discuss the family - how children deserve a mother and a father. Let's go out and shout this from the rooftops: Sorry single parents, your love isn’t good enough. Sorry grandparents raising grandchildren, neither is yours. Because only one mother and one father can truly provide children with the security, the upbringing they deserve. 
Wait, no that’s wrong. You know what children deserve, Your Eminence? A loving home.

At Huffington Post, Jamie Manson tells the story of the Catholic activists, particularly from the Dignity organization in New York, who have stood with and assisted Edie Windsor in her battle to see DOMA overturned:

As millions celebrate today the Supreme Court's striking down of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), many will be giving thanks to Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old plaintiff in the case, and her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan. 
What most people will not know, however, is the instrumental role that a few members of the New York City chapter of DignityUSA played in this historic moment.

At Bondings, Francis DeBernardo writes on behalf of New Ways Ministry:  

Catholic lay people across the U.S. and in California have worked hard to support their deeply held Catholic belief that equal treatment by our government’s laws should be extended to lesbian and gay couples who want to marry.  Catholics hold this belief because of their faith, not in spite of it.  Our Catholic social justice tradition motivates us to work for strong families and expansive social protections, and these can only be achieved when all families are treated fairly and equally under the law.

At the Wild Reed site, Michael Bayly provides a valuable compendium of links to articles noting the considerable lay Catholic involvement in the struggle for gay rights in the U.S.

And for a final word, back to Daniel Byrne at the Our Daily Thread blog, as he tells His Eminence Cardinal Dolan what many real-life Catholics actually think about the current pastoral leadership of the U.S. Catholic bishops on these and other issues:

The real tragedy, in my opinion, is the airtime that the USCCB gives to right-wing issues. Let us disenfranchise the already disenfranchised, that's what Jesus would've done, right? The Church can exile same-sex attracted Catholics because we love the sinner, but hate their "sin" more than others. 
Because, after all, right-wing issues are the only ones you can't argue with. You ask about war? Well there can be just wars. Poverty? It's a complicated issue. Same-sex marriage? This can never happen, there is no debate. 
Never mind the fact that Pope Francis was willing to compromise on civil unions - that same-sex spouses might receive more rights (what the SCOTUS decision does, after all). Never mind the fact that civil marriage has no bearing on the Church's definition. 
If this is what the New Evangelization looks like, I am not moved. The Church is mistreating our gay brothers and sisters, and it is losing young Catholics.

To which I say, Amen--especially about how the "new evangelization" absolutely repulses many of us who have eyes in our heads to see that the news Catholic leaders offer us as gay people is anything but good news.

The graphic: a snapshot of where various Christian groups now stand in the U.S. in June 2013 on the question of gay marriage, from Pew Forum.

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