Here are some items that may be of interest to you:
1. Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, urged parents of students in public schools to opt out of the city’s sex education program, in part because it covered LGBTQ topics in an inclusive and affirming way, according to WGBH. Religious groups were the main opponents of the curriculum, which also played a large role in local elections.
2. Dignity/Washington announced the opening of its new office and community space in downtown Washington, D.C. after the sale of its old building. The group’s president, Tom Yates, said the space would not only benefit Dignity members, but be open to other LGBTQ organizations. Funds from the sale of its old building would enable Dignity/Washington to “become more active speaking truth to power of the Catholic Church,” especially given its close proximity to the city’s Cathedral, according to Yates. To read more about the move, visit The Washington Blade.
4. To mark World AIDS Day, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics published a witness from a gay Chilean man living with HIV, Gonzalo Jiménez. He wrote off the isolation and despair that comes with being HIV positive, but also the good that comes from finding supportive LGBTQ community, which now has a continued mandate. Jiménez wrote, in part:
“The LGBTIQ+ community ceased to be the sole focus of HIV a long time ago. It is our job to break the stigma, overcome prejudices and accompany our brothers and sisters who are diagnosed, with the love of God. I am sure that Jesus would do it and I want to be His disciple and follow him.”
5. Last fall, ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said in an interview that the pope should warn the president against hiring transgender teachers (Rubio’s exact words on a far right-wing media network were actually an anti-trans slur). The senator encouraged religious institutions’ “right” to discriminate against trans employees and others deemed not in conformity with Catholic teaching, reported The Washington Blade.
—Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, January 8, 2022