As a gay man who has been with my partner for almost 13 years and married for almost two, it felt nice to hear these two Christian groups making an effort towards gay people. But the feeling didn't last long.
I bet you all the money in the Vatican's coffers that Bill Donahue of the Catholic League is still screaming in his office -- or on Fox News -- as you read this. So I take all of this "news" with a grain of salt -- a huge grain of Mediterranean Sea salt.
When I first heard about Dan Savage's NALT ("Not All Like That") Christians Project, which features videos by Christians who are not anti-LGBT haters, I was very skeptical. In fact, I was so skeptical that I ignored it. But I had this niggling curiosity.
Pope Francis' Catholic Church isn't abandoning its anti-LGBT beliefs; it's just going to talk about them less often. The pontiff's comments were a response to the shifting politics around LGBT issues, not a new policy of inclusion. They are, at most, a change of style, not one of substance.
While Catholics in general are supportive of LGBT people, the church is still perceived as unwelcoming. This seems to indicate that the church is so identified with the positions assumed by its leadership that the reality among "rank-and-file" Catholics is rendered meaningless.
Though the cardinal would like the LGBT community to accept his religious rhetoric, all razzle-dazzled up with words like "love" and "acceptance," it is basically just the same old hate-filled speech we've heard before, just said with a big smile and jazz hands.
In the latest episode, I and guest panelists Jim Smith (program manager of Dignity USA), Mike Moroski (equal rights activist) and Brent Childers (executive director of Faith in America) discuss hopes for a new, reformed pope and how Catholicism plays a role within the LGBT community.
Until more lay Catholics, priests, and even bishops start to stand up and speak out against the Catholic hierarchy and its persecution of LGBT people, the bullying, oppression, and repression will continue unabated, and we'll continue to hear more sad stories like that of Al Fischer.
I'm a bit confused by news that the Archdiocese of Hartford is about to offer a program to help gay parishioners. The program, called Courage, does one the favor of recognizing one's gayness in exchange for a pledge to stop doing it with members of the same sex.
Fortunately, many Catholics disregard the perverse and tyrannical efforts of the bishops to police the sex lives of Catholics and discern. But tuning out the hatred the bishops disseminate may not be enough when it comes to homophobia.