LGBT and allied Catholics gather in Detroit amid protest

A few weeks ago, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron stated that supporters of marriage equality shouldn't receive communion, and that they were committing perjury. The controversial statement has garnered criticism from across Catholicism, and beyond. Even retired Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton stated that Vigneron's words were "legalistic." Family and friends of LGBT people, as a part of the organization Fortunate Families, held a demonstration Thursday against the Archbishop's words.  

However, the Catholic protests aren't over. Dignity/Detroit’s 39th anniversary celebration is being held this Sunday at Marygrove College. Retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who had earlier criticized Archbishop Vigneron's statement, is presiding. Lourdes Rodriguez, Dignity's national president, will be presenting him with the inaugural “Risk-Taker and Justice-Maker” Award. Now, anti-gay organizations, including the American Family Association, are planning to bring protesters to the anniversary celebration.


"Dignity/Detroit has provided spiritual support and opportunities for Gospel-based service for thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and our families since 1974. That is a remarkable accomplishment, worthy of joyous celebration," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA. There are some members of our community who have decided their jobs or safety might be threatened due to the anti-LGBT action. This is a reality that many LGBT people still face on a daily basis, and a reminder of why Dignity/Detroit gathers to pray and work for justice. Our hearts are with those kept away from this celebration of the Eucharist, and we rededicate ourselves to working for the day when Jesus’ prayer “that all may be one” will be realized."

Last year in Michigan, Dominic Sheahan-Stahl was barred from speaking at the graduation of his alma mater after posting photos of his engagement. GLAAD worked with Dominic and the people in his town to create an inclusive graduation event. Since then, Dominic has started a foundation dedicating to raising scholarship funds for LGBT students. They have just released an anthem, "Dream in Color," for purchase on iTunes.

The Roman Catholic hierarchy has stepped up its anti-gay rhetoric and action, despite the fact that Catholic in America overwhelmingly support LGBT people and issues like marriage equality.