Apr 25, 2015

Gay News of the Week

Gay News of the Week - some cheering and uplifting, some not so much.

First, a charming and inspiring incident from a Las Vegas high school:

Jacob Lescenski, a Las Vegas, Nevada high school student, is straight. His best friend, Anthony Martinez, is gay.
As you can see from the photo above and this tweet, Jacob asked his buddy Anthony to the prom, because, why not?

“He’s a real man,” Anthony said of Jacob in a post, “given that he has the guts to fulfill my gay student council dream of always helping out planning dances, and never getting asked. I couldn’t ask for a better person in my life.”
In a follow up piece, NewNowNext chatted with the two friends.
“I decided on going to prom alone because my original date idea didn’t work out so well,” explained Jacob. “Then one night I saw Anthony, who is my best friend, Tweeting about wanting a date. I then thought about how amazing of a guy he is and that he deserved a date. So, I came up with the poster idea, asked my friend Mia to make it and asked him that next day. No one knew about it except for me, my friend Jamie, and Mia (who made the poster). Therefore it was a giant surprise to everyone, especially Anthony!
“I just always wanted a date,” says Anthony, “but I knew being gay, and knowing I’m too busy for guys, no gay guy would ask me to a dance, let alone prom. So like any teen I complained about it on Twitter. On April 21 I was down at lunch selling prom tickets and I went upstairs to go to class and saw this giant poster and assumed it was for another person… until I read ‘You’re hella gay.'”

Read the whole story here at The New Civil Rights Movement. 

Next on the list, an event that is both negative and positive, but I prefer to 'accentuate the positive'.

The Pope finally met with the French government's candidate for ambassador to the Vatican, Laurent Stefanini,  and told him politely to his face that he was not acceptable because (horrors) he might get married to another man while serving in the Vatican. The Pope apparently expressed his disapproval of France's same sex marriage law and resented being forced to accept a gay man as ambassador. Why do I present this as a positive thing? Because the Franch government is not backing down. They are, in the words of one commentator, 'forcing the Pope to own his bias'. Awkward!

I have to say, however, I loved this comment from -

Bernard Kouchner, France’s former foreign minister, has been more outspoken.
“The Vatican seems badly placed to refuse homosexuals,” Kouchner told RTL Radio this week, adding, “but apart from that, I adore Pope Francis.”
Read the whole story here at Crux Now.

The last story is from my very own alma mater, Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, California. The 5 nuns in the school walked out of their classrooms last Friday in protest against a day of silence designed to call attention to the plight of bullied gay teens. The nuns said a gay group 'with an agenda' was on campus handing out fliers calling for the teaching of 'gay issues' to grammar school children and this made the sisters uncomfortable.

It's a very disturbing story on the surface, because the sisters walked out of their classes leaving their students unattended and because students were hurt at such an action on a day designed to support gay teens and their friends. This  has occasioned a fair amount of outrage and criticism, yet it also has its silver lining for revealing that the Marin Catholic High School community is divided over the issue of gay rights, but not evenly so. The majority are on the side of LGBT people and simple fairness and justice, while the admin - sympathetic and seeking to accommodate diversity - strains to walk the narrow razors edge between official Catholic teaching and simple ethical decency. It's a hard walk to make without tripping.

I posted this comment at the  San Francisco Chronicle article

I'm an alumni of Marin Catholic, but despite having received a superb education here many years ago, at this point in history - sadly - I would not send any of my children to a Catholic institution. Undoubtedly there are sincere, good Catholic educators among the staff, but the challenge of having to toe the 'official' Catholic line on issues such as this only results in ethical compromise and tortuous casuistry. Needless to say, the position of most pew Catholics regarding LGBT people and their relationships and rights is fundamentally at odds with the hierarchy that sets the official position. "God forbid" we should be perceived as promoting in even the slightest way the 'homosexual agenda', even through a day of silence designed to call attention to the plight of bullied teens, a plight that would be so much less severe without the explicit agenda of a sinfully homophobic church. My first lesson in the painful requirement of standing up against injustice meted out by corrupt institutions, even the most revered, came from my civics and religion teacher at Marin Cathoic, Father Bernard Cummins.

Despite the bad press, even this kind of event presages changes in the future. The Church's official bias against gay people is being exposed for all the world to see and religious like the nuns are running for cover in panic. I pity the poor Catholic administrators trying to hold all of these tensions in balance, but it was clear from comments by the Principal and Vice Principal that neither of them felt the nuns' behavior was 'constructive'. Indeed.


Anonymous said...

Christ came to forgive sin....not excuse it!!!