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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

John nienstedt

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

Aaron huntsman

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

Voz

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.


Anti-Gay Archbishop Nienstedt Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct With Men

John Nienstedt

In news that should surprise approximately no one, a virulently anti-gay Catholic church leader is being investigated for sexual impropriety with other males. Minnesota's Archbishop John Nienstedt is presently under investigation for inappropriate sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other men, allegations that Nienstedt denies.

Said church whistle-blower Jennifer Haselberger to Commonweal magazine:

I believe that the investigators have received about ten sworn statements alleging sexual impropriety on the part of the archbishop dating from his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Bishop of New Ulm, and while coadjutor and archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. [He] also stands accused of retaliating against those who refused his advances or otherwise questioned his conduct.

Well, at least this time his accusations are coming from adults instead of children.


Elton John Says Jesus Would Support Gay Marriage - VIDEO

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There's a new interview with Sir Elton John, covering topics ranging from his favorite charities (SportsAid) to his plans for marriage to partner David Furnish and his views on the Catholic church.

On this latter topic, the interviewer presses John on whether he believes LGBT priests should be able to get married. What results is a fantastic little tangent:

Of course [they should]. And I don't see why Catholic priests have to be celibate. It's crazy. These are old and stupid things. And the church hierarchy might be, you know, 'up-in-arms' about it, the traditionalists. [But] the times have changed. We live in a different time. If Jesus Christ were alive today... I cannot see him as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was saying 'this cannot happen.' He was all above love and compassion, and forgiveness, and trying to bring people together. And that's what the church should be about.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Elton John Says Jesus Would Support Gay Marriage - VIDEO" »


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