Saturday, February 06, 2010

Mobilizing Catholic Support for LGBTQ Equality

by Kathy Drasky

Tom Tierney, a guy who really is a fierce advocate and volunteers tirelessly for UAFA and our inclusion in comprehensive immigration reform suggested I take in this Creating Change workshop. As someone who was raised a Catholic, and hasn’t exactly seen eye to eye with my friends and family over teachings of the church since oh, say 1975 you can imagine the “Ugh!” factor I gave this.

But after hearing Tom Saenz’ opinions that the Catholics could be swayed to support LGBT inclusion in CIR, I was happy to have this on the list. When I told Marianne Duddy, Executive Director of DignityUSA, the workshop moderator that I was from Out4Immigration and we wanted LGBT inclusion in CIR, she knew exactly what the problem was. “You have opposition from the Catholic bishops,” she said.

So did everyone else in this workshop -- most of whom had concerns about the hostility practicing LGBT Catholic youths and adults receive from the church hierarchy.

Marianne was quick to point out some major inconsistencies between those official hierarchical anti-gay statements and how the majority of Catholics really feel:
78% of American Catholics favor either civil unions or marriage for gay and lesbian couples (Harris Poll, 2008)
That’s the good news.
48% of American Catholics support allowing gays to sponsor partners for immigration (Harris Poll, 2008)
It’s the “back door to marriage” argument apparently, since the same poll found 46% of American Catholics support civil marriage equality (as opposed to the 78% who support “either” civil unions or marriage). Polls do have a way with wording questions, don’t they?

By the numbers above, though – it’s clear where Out4Immigration members who want to work with changing hearts and minds among Catholics must be done. We must convince them – our families, our friends in the church – that UAFA alone and/or its inclusion in CIR is not marriage – it gives us just one federal right, the right for an LGBT American to sponsor a foreign partner, the person with whom they are in a loving and committed relationship. It’s a right that should come with a civil union. It’s the right to keep a family together – and our families include not only our partners, but also our parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends and our community. Surely no person who believes in the teachings of Christ can say that it is right to separate anyone from their family.


Comm said...

"Without any doubt in my mind, I believe Schumer is right on this one. I support same-sex marriage and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but we have to take what we can get. Right now, given the political climate, comprehensive immigration reform is going to be monumentally difficult to pass, and any issues relating to same-sex marriage will only make it harder and scare off one or two or three moderate Democrats from supporting it.

The “all-or-nothing” point-of-view is impossible for me to comprehend. No bill that passes Congress, especially right now is going to be perfect, let alone great, and will have disappointments for real progressives.

The health care bill, as watered down as it was, stalled. Same-sex marriage is unfortunately a tough pill to swallow for a lot of ignorant and hateful people in this county and dragging the issue into comprehensive immigration reform would be a mistake; a poison that would help kill it, as if we didn’t have enough trouble getting it done as it is.

This is a fight you have to sadly and realistically put off for now until more people become enlightened, more states recognize same-sex marriage, and as a new generation of people take power over homophobic, selfish politicians. Read responses and please bring OUT4I people to respond to this guy who calls hmself "SORRY" Tell him how it affects your life and why Equality should come first... melanie nathan

Madison said...

Good for Catholics that they 'support' gay marriage or civil unions. Unfortunately it's these same people who give their money to the Catholic Church. And you know their motto, "The only good gay is a dead gay." We are fooling ourselves if we think any religious organizations are on our side in this battle. To my LGBT Community who attend some sort of Vatican affiliated church, talk is cheap. The priests, pastors, etc. and churchgoers will look you right in the eye and tell you how much they want you to have the same rights as everyone else. If that were really true, we’d have gay marriage voted and law in seventeen states now.

Madison said...

Fair enough. I think your post also gives a heads those who vote for Democrats to REALLY EXAMINE who they are voting for and who they are electing. When 70% of Democratic voters consider themselves "more liberal" than the representatives they have elected something is clearly wrong.