WHO We are Protesting At Holy Name Cathedral And WHY
GLN permalink 2-9-2011
Our opponent is the Catholic archbishop of Chicago, Francis George, and not the lay Catholics entering or leaving the cathedral.
There are those who make no distinction between persons attending a Catholic church service and persons entering an event of the notorious Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). We think this is a serious error which could have the effect of driving people away from rather than toward our point of view.
The Catholic Church and AFTAH's hate gays group are different animals. The church is a multifaceted religious organization that attracts attendees for many different reasons, led to be sure by antigay bishops. On the other hand, AFTAH and its events have only one purpose: to attack gay people and our rights. People who attend his events know what he is about and are presumed to be in lock step with his message.
When differentiating between Catholic hierarchy and laity, we consider the following:
*** There are standout organizations like Dignity and the 8th Day Center for Justice, which has taken outspokenly pro-LGBT positions for many years.
*** Many Catholics in the pews are already alienated from the hierarchy due to the sheltering of criminal behavior in the pedophile priest scandal.
*** Polls showed that many Catholics backed marriage equality in California. Many Catholic legislators, including Governor Pat Quinn, have long ago broken ranks with the church hierarchy on gay issues.
We need to encourage more lay Catholics to break with the leadership. Those who attack both the Church hierarchy and all of the laity as anti-gay simply help drive the latter into the welcoming arms of the bigoted bishops.
The February 13th protest will focus on three demands:
*** Oppose the anti-LGBT bigotry of the Catholic hierarchy; support the many pro-equal rights Catholics organizing for change within the denomination
*** Demand full equal marriage rights in Illinois
*** Demand that tax dollars no longer go to tax-exempt religious groups that refuse to commit to equal rights for LGBT people.