Nicholas Coppola, the Catholic man stripped of all volunteer duties after he married his husband, has launched a Change.org petition, inviting Cardinal Timothy Dolan to dinner and conversation about the relationship between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and LGBT people.
Nicholas launched the Change.org petition after delivering over 18,000 signatures collected through Faithful America to the Diocese of Rockville Center, asking to be reinstated to his involvement in his local parish. The staff of the diocese refused to meet with Nicholas and later issued a statement that they continued to refuse to allow him to serve in his local church.
The Change.org petition targets Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and the Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Cardinal Dolan recently appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, saying that the Roman Catholic Church isn't "anti-anybody," stating the church has to do better at listening to and supporting gay people.
Nicholas' invitation in the Change.org petition gives Cardinal Dolan the opportunity to listen to a real gay Catholic and dialog about the relationship between LGBT people and the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
"Cardinal Dolan says he wants the Roman Catholic Church to be friendly to LGBT people, but experiences like mine show that it's not," said Nicholas. "I'm hoping that by sitting down, Cardinal Dolan can learn about the real lives and realities of LGBT people, and ways that the Church can make a real difference in our lives."
The petition has already gathered over 9,000 signatures, with thousands more expected in the coming days.
"If Cardinal Dolan wants to make good on his desire to better communicate with LGBT Catholics, he should start by sitting down and hearing the story of Nicholas Coppola," said Ross Murray, GLAAD's Director of News and Faith Initiatives. "Cardinal Dolan risks nothing by breaking bread with Nicholas, and he could demonstrate that the Roman Catholic Church really does care about LGBT people."
Join Nicholas Coppola and GLAAD in signing the Change.org petition to invite Cardinal Dolan to dine with Nicholas Coppola so he can see that they are just like any other American Catholic family.