Open Letter to the National LGBT Catholic Community

Joe Murray – Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement

On behalf of the Rainbow Sash Movement I wish to thank my fellow LGBT Catholics for voting for President Obama. Not only did we take part in the reelection of the President: we also sent the message that this country is governed by loving and caring people who are more concerned with the fairness of Gay Marriage rather than the promotion of bigotry.

We clearly said that life beyond the wound was as equally important as life within the wound, and that a women controls her body.

Our opposition to the anti gay initiative in Minnesota which attempted to write discrimination into the state constitution was historic. The archdiocese of Minnesota donated upwards of $1 million to ban same-sex marriage. Archbishop Nienstedt tried to promote the lie that Gay Marriage was a redefinition of marriage rather than an evolution of Marriage.

We stood opposed to Maine, Bishop Richard Malone who said of Catholics who support same-sex marriage are “unfaithful to Catholic doctrine.”

In Maryland, churchgoers were subjected to a letter from Baltimore Archbishop William Lori that concluded “Each one of us — as Catholics and faithful citizens — must show up on Election Day and do our part by voting against Question 6.”

In the Archdiocese of Chicago Cardinal Francis George asked all the priests of the Archdiocese on the Sunday before the election to make clear the Church’s position on both Gay Marriage and abortion in all the parishes of the Archdiocese? The coded language was clear support the GOP. The courageous priests of the Archdiocese refused to be brow beaten by the Cardinal and remained neutral.

In the state of Washington, Bishop Joseph Tyson said marriage equality is “actually offensive to basic human rights and equality.”

Despite this attempt by this minority of bishops in the USCCB Catholics threw their support to their LGBT brothers and sisters. In Maine, Catholics held prayer vigils in support of Question 1. In Maryland, Catholics held an illuminated rally at a basilica to encourage voters to vote for Question 6. In Minnesota, streets were dotted with signs that said, “Another Catholic Voting No.” In Washington, more than 1,000 Catholics signed on to statewide ads to approve Referendum 74.

At the voting booth both LGBT and straight Catholics followed their faith in voting their consciences and hearts, for that I am deeply thankful.

Our votes were joined with other communities of faith, Presbyterians, Jews, Muslims, Lutherans, Baptists, Buddhists, atheists, Unitarian Universalists and more, in deciding yesterday’s election.

These votes stopped a constitutional amendment that limited the right to marry in Minnesota. Your votes also stood with marriage equality in Main, Washington, and Maryland.

Our next step is to bring the issue of marriage equality to the pews of our Church. No family’s existence should be a threat to another’s.

It is time for our LGBT National Catholic Organizations to join hands in this struggle. We should always be open to dialogue with our Roman Catholic Bishops.


Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement


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