Letter to the Editor
This is a difficult situation to talk about. Yes, the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM – LGBT Roman Catholics) would prefer not to address the situation, as I am sure other members in the community would not. Dignity is promoting a closet mentality by selecting a closeted man as their president, and the Coalition of Welcoming Church’s would prefer to ignore the whole situation.
Let me just say that Dignity and the Coalition of Welcoming Churches do wonderful work in our Community and that is a solid reputation my letter does not question the good works they do, but sometimes we all miss the mark. Justice is a minimum that we are obliged to do to the other. But mercy is the maximum, it goes beyond justice.
Yet the RSM must shine the spotlight on this situation, not only for the mental health of the closeted Dignity President, but also the negative message it sends to Dignity’s members, and the LGBT Community.
Promoting a closet mentality is unacceptable for any LGBT organization, or communities of faith who claim to be our allies such a position must be found to be unacceptable for whatever reason.
Certainly Dignity can find an” out and proud member” or even supportive ally to serve as its president, rather than a closed man. I believe that closeted people can help in many aspects of our movement, but never in a leadership position. Such a position can only be viewed as unreasonable and missing the mark .
I have reached out to both Dignity, and the coalition of “Welcoming Churches “ Of which Dignity is a member in order to better understand the situation, and possibly to start a dialog
The response from Dignity has been silence, while from the Coalition I got a email response from . Rev. Jacki Belile, CPC, Founder and Director, Living Well Ministries Minister of Congregational Development, Eden United Church of Christ, Project Manager, Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches President, Ministers Council, ABC-Metro Chicago While I appreciated her sensitivity and perhaps the complexity of the situation I cannot in good faith ever it is not a Gospel Value to support a closeted leadership for any reason.
In my opinion, both organizations have missed the mark when it comes either understanding how dangerous a closet mentality is to this community, or the ramifications of such a positive position has on our young people, leadership, and those individuals who have committed suicide; it Is dangerous..
Rainbow Sash Movement