Cross posted from Daily Kos, DC Examiner and Open Salon:
National Catholic Reporter reports that Father Joseph Palacios of Georgetown University, along with other Catholic leaders in the fight for marriage equality, have joined forces to add a Catholic face to the movement for marital rights for gays and lesbians. Fr. Palacios notes that 62 percent of Catholics favor such rights, even though the hierarchy does not. For more information, go to National Catholic Reporter's story at http://ncronline.org/news/politics/group-aims-mobilize-catholics-equality
Catholic bishops have been among the most vocal opponents of marriage equality - lending both their time and our treasure to ballot initiatives to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman - as it was defined in Genesis, a definition repeated by Jesus in his teaching about divorce. In other words, the Bishops are proof texting like they were Protestants. The spirit of both scriptures is the teaching that when two people marry, they are no longer members of their families of origin and are instead a new family. That is as applicable to gays and lesbians as it is to heterosexual unions. Indeed, the theology of marriage is that the Church and community are only a witness to the marriage. The parties themselves actually perform the Sacrament. Only an outdated understanding of human sexuality provides any reason to believe that this scripture should not apply to our wonderfully made gay and lesbian bretheren. Indeed, I would go further than legal equality - I would aver that the wedding ceremony is for families and that it is wrong to deny a Catholic wedding ceremony to the very heterosexual families of gay and lesbian couples.
The acting Executive Director of the group is Phil Attey. Among the other founding board members are Aniello Alioto, as well as a cascade of stars from the marriage equality movement, including:
Anne Underwood, a leader in Maine’s Catholics for Marriage Equality; Patsy Trujillo, a former state representative from Santa Fe, N.M.; Eugene McMullan, lead organizer of Catholics for Marriage Equality in California; Charles Martel, a clinical social worker and co-coordinator of Roman Catholics for Marriage Equality in Massachusetts; and Tony Adams, a resigned Catholic priest who writes for Queer New York and South Florida Gay News.
Their main strategy is to enhance their visibilty through "equality brunches" so that rank and file Catholic leaders actually break bread with gays and lesbians on the theory that it is harder to discriminate against someone that you know. Of course, the many of us with a gay and lesbian family member don't need a brunch to meet someone who is harmed by the Church's attitude to marriage equality, we need only gather for the holidays.
I suspect there will be blowback on this - however the more the hierarchy resists - indeed, the more forcefully they do so, the closer we are to winning the hearts and minds of the remainder of the Church.
The group's web page is http://catholicsforequality.org/