Soulforce to Protest the Escalation of Catholic Anti-gay Policies and Teachings
- CALLED OUT
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Soulforce to Protest the Escalation of Catholic Anti-gay Policies and
Protests to Take Place at Catholic Bishops' Conference in Washington,
DC November 10 - 14, 2002
Soulforce leaders today announced plans to protest and vigil
November 10 - 14, 2002 outside of the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for the third year in a row. The
demonstrations will take place at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill,
400 New Jersey Avenue NW, in Washington D.C., to protest the
scapegoating of gay priests and the escalation of Catholic anti-gay
policies and teachings.
The theme for this year's protest is "God's Gay Children Bring Gifts -
Bless Them." This was also the theme used in January 2001 when
Soulforce supporters traveled to Rome to protest the Vatican's anti-
gay policies and teachings.
Vigils will begin Sunday, November 10 at the Hyatt from 5 p.m. - 7
p.m. Vigils will continue Monday - Thursday, starting at 7 a.m.
each day. Each day at noon, from Monday, November 11 through
Wednesday, November 13, a variety of gifts will be brought to the
Hyatt and bishops will be asked to bless them. The gifts are
symbolic of the gifts and talents that GLBT people bring to the
* On Monday, Nov. 11 (Veteran's Day), gifts will be brought for
homeless and disabled veterans.
* On Tuesday, Nov. 12, gifts will be brought for people living with
* On Wednesday, Nov. 13, gifts will be brought for marginalized,
abandoned and abused women and children.
The Catholic Church has been the subject of much criticism and media
attention recently involving a scandal and cover-up which scapegoats
gay priests in an attempt to protect the hierarchy of the church
over the well-being of children. According to the Catholic News
Service, the Vatican has recently prepared a draft proposal that
will prohibit gay men from becoming priests. Many experts estimate
that 50% of priests in the Catholic Church are gay.
"The Vatican has no concept of the gifts gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender (GLBT) people bring to the Church," declared Kara
Speltz, Soulforce Catholic co-chair. "Banning gay priests will
create a huge spiritual vacuum in the Church and have a chilling
effect on laity. A ban will be a stated and blatant rejection of
the many gifts that GLBT people bring to the Church."
In 2000, over 100 people were arrested in a non-violent civil
disobedience during the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops. Last year during the conference, no arrests were made, but
vigils were held in front of the Hyatt for three days in protest of
anti-gay policies and teachings.
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Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592 soulforcemedia@...