1) Croatians overwhelmingly voted to constitutionally ban marriage equality in early December, with backing largely coming from Catholic leaders. In response, the government released a law legalizing same-gender partnerships and granting them equal rights, aside from adoption. It is expected to pass Parliament, and many have questioned whether the anti-marriage referendum is truly indicative of where heavily-Catholic Croatians really stand on LGBT matters.
2) Pennsylvanians working for an LGBT non-discrimination law have a new ally in their Catholic governor, Tom Corbett, who has promised to sign any bill passed by the state’s legislature. That said, Corbett remains opposed to equal marriage rights for same-gender couples. The governor has continued defending the state’s marriage equality ban in a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn it, even after the state’s Attorney General refused to do so.
3) Portugal’s bishops have been criticized by Rumos Novos, an association for LGBT Catholics in that nation, after releasing a letter which called same-gender relationships “sinful.” Rumos Novos claims the Portuguese Episcopal Conference published the letter to foster anti-gay attitudes at a time when Pope Francis is seeking to open the Church up, and more concretely, solicit input for next fall’s Synod on Marriage and Family Life.
4) Gay soccer star Robbie Rogers, who is also a devout Catholic, is set to release a book this year about his life titled Coming Out To Play. Rogers has previously spoken about how his faith impacts his identities as a professional athlete and a gay man, and it will be interesting to see what appears in this book.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry