Haitian Church Leaders Oppose Legal Reforms to Protect LGBTQ People; And More News

Here are some items that may be of interest:

1. Catholic leaders in Haiti have raised objections to legal reforms that, among other changes, would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. President Jovenal Moise issued a decree that changes many elements of the nation’s penal code, which dates to 1835. The Miami Herald reported that Catholic officials issued a letter objecting to some of the reforms, including those related to LGBTQ equality. The Association of Salesian Cooperators of Haiti held a Mass and a protest in July against the legal reforms “chanting anti-Jovenel, anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality and anti-same sex marriage.”

2. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists gave a 2020 Excellence in Journalism Award, specifically for coverage of religion, to Michael O’Loughlin for production of his podcast, “Plague: Untold stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church.” The Catholic Press Association also awarded “Plague” in second place for its Best Podcast award. For more information on the podcast, click here.

3. U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, a Catholic, condemned the dozens of Polish towns that have declared themselves as “LGBT-free zones.” Tweeting out an article about European political leaders’ condemnation of these zones, Biden commented, per The Advocate, “Let me be clear: LGBTQ+ rights are human rights — and ‘LGBT-free zones’ have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world.”

4. The University of Dayton received a 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight into Diversity magazine. The inclusion of an LGBTQ+ Support Center, as well as initiatives to expand gender and racial diversity, were among developments at the university in the last four years which led to its recognition, reported a press release from the school.  The University of Dayton is a Marianist Brothers school. It was one of 90 campuses to receive the award.

5. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami was named acting chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty in June after the previous chair, Bishop George Murry, formerly of Youngstown, passed away, reported Crux. Wenski has a highly LGBTQ-negative record, including in 2015 attacking publicly his brother bishop, Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, for saying the church’s rhetoric had a role in the Orlando massacre and warning church workers in a letter that they would lose their jobs if they supported LGBT equality.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 26, 2020

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