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New Pope In Rome, Same Old Anti-Gay Focus From The Catholic Church In America

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Pope Francis gave hope to millions of progressives worldwide, including the LGBT community and our allies, that the Roman Catholic Church would change into the religious institution it is supposed to be: one focused on helping the poor, the needy, the sick, and the elderly, and spreading the message of God’s love across the world; in short, what America’s Catholics expect of their Church. But in reality, little has changed, at least here at home in the U.S.

The vast majority of America’s Catholics support same-sex marriage and the civil rights of LGBT people — even at a rate higher than the average American. They also do not see same-sex relations as sin.

Yet Cardinal Timothy Dolan (image, top,) who is the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Archbishop of New York — making him the highest-ranking Catholic in America — has worked to distance himself from the LGBT community, and made it clear how incredibly uncomfortable he is with LGBT people and embracing us as part of his flock.

Dolan yesterday appeared on his weekly Tuesday Sirius radio show, telling tales and stories, laughing, and joking with comedian Jim Gaffigan. It was certainly a heartwarming show.

But the Cardinal knew he had to say something about the dramatic increase in anti-LGBT hate crimes in New York City — his home — this month and this year.

Why?

Because he had said absolutely nothing, even after the hate crime murder of Mark Carson, a gay man shot to death literally for being gay.

The New Civil Rights Movement and other LGBT activists, including Scott Wooledge of Memeographs and Joseph Amodeo via the Huffington Post, have been asking why the nation’s number one Catholic had been uninterested in denouncing the violence against LGBT people.

So yesterday, at the very end of his radio show, Cardinal Dolan mustered the courage to make mention of the violence.

“You look at even the violence in our own city with some homosexuals who have recently been beaten and killed,” Dolan said. “I mean that’s just awful, that flies in the face of divine justice. Every human life deserves dignity and respect, right? Anytime life is attacked we all suffer.”

LOOK: Cardinal Dolan Spends A Few Seconds Mentioning Violence Against ‘Some Homosexuals’

Dolan said the very least he could have, just so he could be on the record as “denouncing” anti-gay violence given the nine incidents of anti-gay violence in NYC this month alone.

Hardly a denunciation. It took up all of 19 seconds.

And then the Cardinal launched into comments about Memorial Day.

Compare Cardinal Dolan’s “that’s just awful” that “some homosexuals…have recently been beaten and killed” comment with that of one of the nation’s leading anti-gay professionals.

“We condemn in the strongest possible way the murder of a gay man in New York by a killer who apparently hurled anti-gay insults at him moments before the killing,” National Organization For Marriage president Brain Brown’s statement last week reads, posted to NOM’s blog days after the shooting-death murder of Mark Carson. Brown added:

This senseless act cannot be condoned in America or anywhere, and we urge that the perpetrator be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Our heart goes out to the family of the victim, and we hold them in our prayers. While this killing appears to have no connection to the current debate about redefining marriage, there is no room for violence toward any American — whether they support traditional marriage or not. No person should be subjected to violence because they are gay or lesbian or because they believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. There is no place for violence, period.

Last summer, when the Family Research Council was attacked by a lone gunman who put a bullet in the arm of the FRC’s security guard, within hours more than two dozen LGBT organizations rushed to condemn publicly, and in writing, the violence.

So, Cardinal Dolan’s tepid and offhand remarks, as much as they are appreciated as an important first step, and far from sufficient.

If Dolan truly wishes to condemn hate-motivated violence against the LGBT members of his church, and against all LGBT people, he will have to say more than “that’s just awful,” and he’ll have to stop issuing directives to his Bishops telling them to preach against same-sex marriage and LGBT relationships too.

LOOK: Cardinal Dolan Calls For Anti-LGBT Sermons In Shadow Of Violent Anti-Gay Hate Crime Wave

Earlier this month, Dolan through his USCCB issued a directive to be shared with all Catholics, calling the Prop 8 and DOMA same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court the “’Roe v. Wade’ of marriage.”

And he called on all Catholics to “pray, fast, and sacrifice” so the Court would not grant civil rights to loving same-sex couples.

Dolan cares about the family, and families, but not those of same-sex couples. He is a supporter of immigration reform, but not of including protections for families headed by LGBT people.

In fact, in his directive, Dolan stated that “redefining marriage serves no one’s rights, least of all those of children.”

If there’s one thing most people can agree upon, it is that marriage strengthens families and provides safety and security for children — regardless of their parents’ gender(s).

Just a few weeks ago, Cardinal Dolan, or his representatives, used the NYPD to prohibit from Sunday worship services gay Catholics by barring their entry into NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the iconic home of the Roman Catholic Church in New York.

Why?

Their hands were dirty.

Cardinal Dolan had written a blog post demanding LGBT Catholics wash their hands — presumably of our bad behaviors, like entering into loving same-sex relationships and marriages — and Dolan refused to allow a small group of LGBT Catholics and their allies entrance into St. pats with their “dirty hands,” unless they washed them first.

In March, Cardinal Dolan said the Catholic Church wants “happiness” for same-sex couples but same-sex married couples are entitled only to “friendship” and not “sexual love.”

Last year, Dolan attacked same-sex marriage equality and abortion in his closing prayer while an invited guest at the Democratic National Convention.

Cardinal Dolan has been actively engaged in opposing the civil rights of LGBT people. It’s time for him to see us as human beings, and God’s children first.

Michelangelo Signorile invited me to speak on his SiriusXM OutQ radio show this afternoon, and he wondered why with a change at the top — with Pope Francis focusing publicly on the more traditional role of the Church as a savior for the sick, the poor, the needy, the elderly — if Cardinal Dolan is “freelancing” and acting on his own.

Signorile, a veteran journalist who has served the LGBT community for years, wondered why Dolan issued the directive to “pray, fast, and sacrifice” in the hopes of a Supreme Court upholding Prop 8 and DOMA.

Who knows what the Catholic Church is thinking. But we do know what the vast majority of America’s Catholics are thinking, and it looks nothing like what Cardinal Dolan is.

 

Related:

Gay Catholic Leaders Weigh In On Use Of NYPD To Bar Gay Catholics From St. Pat’s Cathedral

Cardinal Dolan Uses NYPD To Bar Gay Catholics From Sunday Worship In St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Cardinal Dolan: Same-Sex Couples Entitled To ‘Friendship’ But Not ‘Sexual Love’ (Video)

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COMMENTARY

Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.

Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.

On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.

Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”

READ MORE: ‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”

Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”

She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.

Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports

“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”

“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”

“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.

“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”

“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.

“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”

“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.

Watch below or at this link.

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'REGURGITATING RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS'

‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared angry and even hostile at several points throughout Monday’s oral arguments in a case brought by a Colorado right-wing evangelical Christian website designer who is suing the state because she wants to be able to discriminate against same-sex couples who are getting married.

The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, promises to be one of the most important of the term, and arguments extended more than two hours.

During one of the more heated moments, conservative Justice Gorsuch attacked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, claiming the state forced an infamous anti-LGBTQ baker who also went before the Supreme Court, winning his 2018 case in a very narrow ruling, into a “re-education program.”

RELATED: ‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Jack Phillips, a business owner who refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, citing his religious beliefs, was required to attend a class so he could become familiar with Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling at the time called it, “additional remedial measures, including ‘comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section'” of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Justice Gorsuch instead called it a “re-education program,” and slammed the state’s Solicitor General, Eric Olson, with it on Monday.

“Mr. Phillips did go through a re-education training program, pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked the solicitor general.

“He went through a process that ensured he was familiar –” Olson responded, before Gorsuch cut him off.

“It was a re-education program, right?” the justice blared.

“It was not a ‘re-education program,'” Olson replied, holding his ground.

“What do you call it?” Gorsuch, dissatisfied, pressed.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olson explained.

“Some might be excused for calling that a ‘re-education program,’” Gorsuch snapped.

“I strongly disagree, Justice Gorsuch,” Olson said, defending the law.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who provided the clip above, warns: “It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes ‘reeducation training’ on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules.”

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case

“Astounding that Gorsuch, A Supreme Court Justice,” tweeted Adam Cohen of Attorneys for Good Government, “Refers to Colorado giving courses on following civil rights law, As ‘reeducation training.'”

“Like being taught not to discriminate against LGBTQ is the same as being sent to a gulag for protesting communism in the Soviet Union,” he added.

Professor Elizabeth Sepper of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law says, “Justice Gorsuch describes education about antidiscrimination law and compliance as a REEDUCATION PROGRAM. This is beyond offensive. It was a central and SOFT tool of many civil rights movements and was essential to targeting market discrimination.”

Columbia Law School’s Elizabeth Reiner Platt, the Director of The Law, Rights, and Religion Project responded, “OMG Gorsuch repeatedly insists that a training on civil rights law is a ‘reeducation program.’ Good grief.”

Attorney Andrew L. Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State tweeted, “WHOA. Gorsuch asks a very hostile question about sending the bakery to ‘a re-education program.’ He spits the phrase with venom and repeats it several times. He’s regurgitating right wing talking points.”

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'INAPPROPRIATE'

‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in one of the most important cases of the term, a case that will determine if the nation’s highest court will or will not allow a person citing their personal religious beliefs to openly discriminate in the marketplace against same-sex couples.

In likely the most salient and important hypothetical example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in great detail a photographer wanting to re-create scenes from 1940’s Christmases with Santa Clauses and children, in sepia tones, and making them historically accurate.

She asked the attorney representing the right-wing Christian website designer who does not want to have to provide her product to same-sex couples, if under her legal theory the hypothetical photographer would have to create photos of a white Santa with Black children.

Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom‘s attorney arguing in favor of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, was forced to admit that the photographer would be able to say they would not take photos of Black children with a white Santa.

RELATED: Listen Live: SCOTUS Hears Christian Right Religion vs. LGBTQ Civil Rights Challenge

Later, Justice Samuel Alito, one of the Court’s most far-right jurists, decided to use Justice Jackson’s hypothetical analogy to make a point, and he did so by mockingly joking about Black children wearing KKK costumes.

“Justice Jackson’s example of that, the Santa in the mall who doesn’t want his picture taken with Black children,” Justice Alito began, getting the basics of the analogy incorrect.

“So if there’s a Black Santa at the other end of the mall, and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken with a child who is dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, now does that Black Santa have to do that?”

Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson replied, “No, because Klu Klux Klan outfits are not protected characteristics under public accommodation laws.”

READ MORE: ‘Anathema to the Soul of Our Nation’: Trump Pilloried for Demanding ‘Termination’ of the US Constitution

“And presumably,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor interjected, “that would be the same Ku Klux Klan outfit regardless whether if the child was Black or white or any other characteristic.”

That’s when Alito decided to make a “joke,” while thousands of Americans were listening to the Court’s live proceedings.

“You do see a lot of Black children in Ku Klux Klan outfits all the time,” he said, presumably sarcastically.

He then laughed, and some viewers in the gallery joined with him.

Many on social media were outraged and offended.

“He is so inappropriate today. And offensive,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). “The Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits? Not funny. Is this the highest Court of the most powerful country in the world? Good grief.”

Minutes later, NYU School of Law Professor of Law Melissa Murray weighed in, saying, “I’m going to need Justice Alito to stop joking about seeing ‘Black children in Ku Klux Klan costumes.'”

“Seriously, what am I listening to?” she asked, to which Ifill replied, “Just awful.”

“The joke about Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits?” Ifill also lamented. “No Justice Alito, these ‘jokes’ are so inappropriate, no matter how many in the courtroom chuckle mindlessly.”

Columbia University Professor of Law Katherine Franke tweeted, “Justice Alito is resorting to KKK jokes. Ha ha ha. As if what’s at stake here is funny, and isn’t taking place in a context in which LGBTQ people feel like we have a target on our backs. And, ahem – Klan jokes aren’t funny under any context.”

The Rewire News Group tweeted, in all caps, “I knew Alito wouldn’t be able to resist bringing up the Ku Klux Klan,” and then: “What the hell, Sam.”

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