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Catholic High School Stands Behind Openly Gay Coach

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As we have reported many times before, Catholic schools do not have a good track record with gay teachers. As such, one would be forgiven for thinking that a story about a gay coach for a Catholic school, in South Dakota no less, would be one that ended in tragedy. Unbelievably, this is not the case; quite the opposite in fact.

Last week the volleyball and baseball coach for St. Mary High School, a Catholic school in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, Nate Alfson came out in an email to Outsports. Said Alfson of his follow-up meeting with the school:

The meeting with the school went great. We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. They want me to be their volleyball coach again and that I was a great role model to the athletes.

I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!

It's almost as if Alfson's orientation has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to be a leader, teacher, and role model. Congratulations to St. Mary for acknowledging and supporting Alfson's worth as a teacher and a person rather than dragging everyone down with archaic dogma, and here's hoping that more Catholic schools will follow their lead.

Check out a KSFY report on the original story HERE.


Anti-Gay Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Refuses To Resign - VIDEO

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John Nienstedt, the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has refused to resign despite allegations of sexual misconduct and a cover-up of child sex abuse, reports ABC News.

Last week, Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune called on Nienstedt - who in the past told the mother of a gay son that she must reject him or risk burning in hell and said Satan is behind gay marriage - to resign.

An allegation that he touched a boy inappropriately in a public setting resulted in no criminal charges. Another involves accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior with seminarians and priests. 

Nienstedt, who claims both allegations are untrue, said that although he was shown memos about problem priests, he didn't fully grasp the scope of the troubles until last year, after Jennifer Haselberger, Nienstedt’s top adviser on church law, resigned last year and publicly accused church leaders of mishandling several cases.

Writing in a column published last week in The Catholic Spirit, Nienstedt publicly addressed the numerous recent calls for him to resign:

"In a sense, you could say that I didn't see the forest through the trees. But when everything started coming out in October, whoa, Nelly, I just wasn't aware that there was the kind of breadth to the whole thing — which surprised me and kind of sickened me.

"I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here. I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.”

In a statement, The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said that it is "saddened" that Nienstedt won't resign "but distraught that he continues to deceive."

Watch a report on allegations made against Nienstedt last year, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Refuses To Resign - VIDEO" »


Catholic Church Fires Music Director Over Same-Sex Engagement

GayzColin Collette (pictured left) — the music director who served at the Holy Family Catholic Community church in Inverness, Illinois for the last 17 years — got fired by pastor Terry Keehan after Collette posted photos of his proposal to his long-time same-sex partner.

Though Keehan initially asked Collette to resign, Collette refused and so Keehan fired him. The Daily Herald reports:

”Holy Family was supposed to be a place where all are welcome," [Collette] said, noting the church's motto is "Inviting all to new life in Christ.”…

On Tuesday Collette sent an email about his firing to all the members of the church's choir, which he estimates to include 100 to 120.

"I needed them to know that I'm not doing this to contradict church teachings or make a political statement," he said. "I believe God has given me this in my life and saying no to this relationship would be saying no to God."

The response from his choir was overwhelmingly positive, Collette said. Their kindness and acceptance often moved him to tears.

In a statement released this week, the Chicago Archdiocese said they knew of Collette’s firing, but declined to comment on this specific case, instead adding, "Those that serve as Ministers of the Church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the Church.”


Anti-Gay MN Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Called On To Resign: VIDEO

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A Minnesota newspaper has called for St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop John Nienstedt to resign following confirmation that he has been subject to an investigation of sexual misconduct, ignored evidence of pedophilia, and concealed the names of priests involved in the abuse.

Last December, Nienstedt, who launched a mass mailing campaign of 400,000 anti-gay DVDs, told the mother of a gay son that she must reject him or risk burning in hell and said Satan is behind gay marriage, was accused of inappropriately touching a minor.

In an editorial last Saturday, the Star Tribune said that for the sake of the Catholic church, “one of this state’s most valued institutions,” Nienstedt’s service at the archdiocese should end now.

The editorial continued:

“Nienstedt has become the face of a coverup that has put children in harm’s way. His credibility is in tatters. The archdiocese needs a different leader — a reformer — to have a reasonable chance of restoring its damaged reputation and sustaining its service to the community.

“The damage that brand name is suffering in Minnesota has become severe enough to put public support — and, crucially, donor support — of all things Catholic at risk. The abuse scandal has become more than an internal problem.”

In conclusion, the paper suggested that Nienstedt should follow Pope Benedict’s example of church leadership:

“Eighteen months ago, Benedict concluded that he was not up to the task of meeting the church’s leadership needs, and broke with 600 years of tradition to resign from office. His decision was not a display of weakness, but of love for his church. Nienstedt’s resignation would show the same.”

Watch a report on last December's revelations, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay MN Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Called On To Resign: VIDEO" »


Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO

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A motion asking Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia to lift a stay in his ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional has been denied, reports CBS Miami.

The motion was filed by Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.

Last week, Garcia ruled that the 2008 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory and violates gay people’s right to equal treatment under the law.

However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who in May asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit seeking recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, filed a notice of appeal, staying the ruling.

Agreeing with Bondi, Garcia wrote:

“Based on decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other courts to stay proceedings in similar challenges, this court DENIES the Emergency Motion. The automatic stay, currently in place, shall remain in place until completion of appellate proceedings or until further order of the Court.”

Speaking to CBS Miami regarding his concerns about same-sex marriage, Auxiliary Bishop of Miami Peter Baldacchino said "our fear is that the implications of tampering with the language of marriage will have far-reaching implications that can hurt especially the vulnerable."

However, remaining positive, Huntsman said "whether is happens to tomorrow or if it doesn't, it's going to happen."

Watch the CBS Miami report on Garcia's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO" »


Latino Labor Group Stands Up To Catholic Church, Refuses To Cut Ties With LGBT-Friendly Allies

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The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has threatened to cut funding to a Latino workers rights organization if it refuses to cut ties with other groups that support marriage equality, reports Think Progress.

Voz, which primarily helps Latino immigrants find work in Portland, Oregon, does not take a position on marriage equality. However, when faced with the decision to end it’s association with Latino rights group the National Council of La Raza or lose $75,000 of it’s $310,000 annual budget, Voz leaders “self-disqualified” the group by voting to continue the affiliation.

The CCHD is subject to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a longtime opponent of marriage equality.

In a press release, Romeo Sosa, Executive Director of Voz, wrote:

“CCHD forced the question of Marriage Equality into the grant process. Ultimately we are an organization that does not discriminate; many of us know people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. They are our aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”

However, other local organizations are now rushing in to support Voz. Spokespeople from the Oregon AFL-CIO and Basic Rights Oregon hosted a news conference on Wednesday to declare their solidarity with Voz, and Basic Rights Oregon has already received nearly $10,000 in pledges from pro-LGBT organizations.

Call To Action, a Catholic social justice group, has launched an online Groundswell petition asking the CCHD to “stop bullying social justice organizations with litmus tests over LGBT equality.”

The CCHD’s decision is seen by some as hypocritical given that Catholic groups are currently lobbying President Barack Obama for exemptions from a pending executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.


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