In the movement toward LGBT equality, Roman Catholics are probably the most interesting religious population. While the church hierarchy vehemently opposes any form of LGBT equality, Roman Catholic people are the most LGBT supportive of any Christian denomination. This reality makes it difficult for the media report on Roman Catholics as a bloc relating to LGBT issues. On one hand, Roman Catholic hierarchy loudly proclaims that Catholic teaching opposes any protections or equality for LGBT people. On the other, everyday Roman Catholics consistently support their LGBT friends and family.
Just this week, more pro-LGBT Roman Catholics have found ways in which to speak up and affirm their faithful support for LGBT equality. Both of these examples demonstrate the stark difference between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the pew-sitting Roman Catholic men and women who work for justice and the common good.
Sister Jeannine Gramick is currently being featured in a series of videos hosted at The Daily Beast. The series, titled, Ask Sister Gramick Anything, is a nine-part video series in which the influential nun shares theology and biblical study that supports LGBT equality, both in the church and in the world. In the first two installments, Sister Gramick has already addressed biblical support for LGBT equality and her work that has supported civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Her series will run on Beast TV until the end of June.
In Baltimore, Catholics for Equality plan to demonstrate in opposition to the "Fortnight for Freedom," campaign by the US Catholic bishops, who want to receive government funding for social programs that discriminate against LGBT citizens. Catholics for Equality has joined with several fair-minded and faithful Catholic social justice groups in organizing a peaceful protest outside the kickoff Mass for the "Fortnight for Freedom" on Thursday, June 21, at 6:45 p.m.
The Mass will take place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Roman Catholic supporters of LGBT equality and others will gather across the street from the Basilica with a giant banner that reads, “Bishops: We Need Pastors, Not Politicians, Your Antics are Hurting the Church.” They will also distribute flyers with alternate Prayers of the Faithful that can be read in lieu of the hyperbolic petitions that will be read in church.
GLAAD salutes both Sister Gramick and Catholics for Equality for their pro-LGBT work within the Roman Catholic Church. GLAAD calls on the media to use more resources like Sister Gramick when discussing LGBT equality and the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, we call on the media to be sure to point out the discrepancy between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the people who worship in its pews.