Is There a Catholic in the House?

This past week, we reported in our NEWS NOTES feature that the Catholic governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire, announced her strong support of a marriage equality bill there.  She joins other Catholic governors who have endorsed or are presently endorsing legislation that grants marriage or partnership rights to lesbian/gay couples:  New York’s Andrew Cuomo, Maryland’s Martin O’ Malley, and Illinois’ Pat Quinn. 

We also reported that Governor O’Malley is supporting the transgender non-discrimination bill in Maryland. There are many other Catholic lawmakers in Maryland who are supporting the marriage equality bill, the transgender bill or both:  Senator Rob Garagiola, Delegates  Heather Mizeur, Joseline Pena-Melnyk, Kriselda Valderrama, Anne Healey, Victor Ramirez, to name a few.

We’d like to know who are the other Catholic lawmakers–local, state, federal– around the nation who support or have supported marriage equality, transgender non-discrimination, and other pro-LGBT initiatives.  Who are they?

Help us find the names of these leaders by responding in the “Comments” section of this post with their names, titles,  locations, and what issues they support or have supported.  Such a list will help to support Catholics around the nation who support equality and justice.

Please share this posting with your friends via email and social media so that we can get a response from a variety of locations.  Here’s a shortlink for this post:  You can cut and paste it into your email or social media posting.

Thanks in advance for helping us with this effort!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

0 replies
  1. newwaysministryblog
    newwaysministryblog says:


    Thanks for this information about the situation in Canada. Just wanted you to know that we are with you on the schools issue. One of this blog’s first postings was in support of naming the groups “Gay/Straight Alliances.” You can read it here:

    Keep up the good work, and let us know how it is going!

    –Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

  2. Charles G. Martel
    Charles G. Martel says:

    Mayor Thomas Menino, the Mayor of Boston, has been a wonderful and consistent supporter of marriage equality. When representatives of the Religious Coaliton for the Freedom to Marry met with him to thank him for his support, he replied “It was a no brainer!”.

  3. Christopher J. Duncanson-Hales
    Christopher J. Duncanson-Hales says:

    This is a link to an op ed I wrote on this topic for the Ottawa Citizen. Since first appearing, I’ve edited and had it posted on The link is…

    The only Catholic politicians who were censured by the Catholic church, were members of the New Democratic Party, which has strong roots in the Social Gospel movement emerging from western Canada during the Great Depression. Timmins James Bay MP Charlie Angus was refused communion by his parish priest, which prompted me to write this op ed. Joe Comartin, MP, for Windsor-Tecumseh was asked, with his wife, to no longer participate on the parish marriage preparation team. Joe confided that through out his political career, he had be able to shield his family from the political fall-out of decisions he made. What deeply hurt him was not his being asked to step down from the marriage prep. team, but that his wife was censured for his actions. The final MP to be censured was Tony Martin, MP for Sault Ste. Marie. who was removed from the ministry of the word. I think the NDP MP’s were not so much singled out, as they were seen as easy targets, as at the time the NDP were the fourth party in the House of Commons, behind the ruling Liberals, the Conservatives (then Official Opposition, now ruling party), the Bloc Quebecois, (Quebec Separatist party). I suspect things would have been different if the the NDP had the strength in the House of Commons that it has today, (it is now the 2nd place party, and the Official Opposition). You can read more on the Canadian experience at

    The most recent issue in Canada, is in Ontario where publicly funded Catholic School boards have been mandated (along with all publicly funded schools) to allow for the establishment of gay/straight alliances. This is under new, anti-bullying/safe schools legislation. In Ontario, we have four publicly funded school systems, Public English, Separate Catholic English, Public French and Separate Catholic French The Catholic school trustees (English and French) are awaiting word from the conference of bishops as to the language to be used to establish, if asked by students, these alliance. They (the trustees) have expressed discomforted with the term, ‘Gay/Straight Alliance,’ as to their mind it is overly politicized, and has been ‘hijacked by Gay activists with an agenda to ‘normalize’ homosexuality, which they see as contrary to Catholic teachings. So while they will not be able to stop the establishment of ‘Gay/Straight’ Alliances, it appears that by banning the word ‘Gay’ they will try to force Gay Catholics into yet another closet. Chris


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Two of the five mayors who organized this project–Thomas Merino of  Boston and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles–are Catholic.  A complete list of the mayors who support marriage equality can be found here.  Please let us know if you know if any of the other mayors on the list are Catholic. (New Ways Ministry is attempting to develop a list of Catholic government leaders who support LGBT equality initiatives.  You can read more about this project here.) […]

  2. […] via Is There a Catholic in the House? « Bondings 2.0. […]

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