Michigan Bishops Falsely Claim Ballot Proposal Opens Gender Transition Care to Youth; And More News

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit

The following are some items that may be of interest:

1. The Michigan Catholic Conference released a letter urging the faithful to vote against a state ballot initiative that would establish reproductive justice as a constitutional right. One of the reasons offered by the bishops was the false claim that Proposal 3 would allow youth of any age to access gender-affirming medical care without parental knowledge or consent. Current polls show Michiganders are likely to pass Proposal 3, though it may be a close vote.

2. Bishop Peter Christensen of Boise asked Saint Alphonsus Health System with withdraw its sponsorship of the city’s Pride celebrations in September. Christensen said in a brief statement, “We oppose the messages promoted through events like the ‘Drag Story Time’ and ‘Drag Kids’ for obvious reasons, particularly the exploitation of children and young adults.” Other organizations also pulled their sponsorship, leading Boise Pride to postpone the children’s drag show.

3. Pax Christi New York honored gay advocate Brendan Fay with its 2022 Eileen Egan Peacemaker Award in a ceremony earlier this year, citing not only his work for nuclear disarmament, but LGBTQ+ rights. Rosemarie Pace, a leader of the chapter, commented, “You fought the nonviolent fight for gay rights with respectful persistence. When you were blocked from one space you created another and ultimately were accepted where you had been unwelcome.”

4. LGBTQ+ advocates in Lima, Peru expressed concern after a conservative Catholic was elected the city’s mayor. Rafael López Aliaga, who is a member of Opus Dei, won a tight election in a context where anti-transgender politics are rising. Previously, he has expressed concern about the “homosexualization” of children and threats of “gender ideology,” according to the Washington Blade. While López has signaled support for same-gender civil unions, advocates in the city worry the new mayor will rollback non-discrimination protections and approval for Pride celebrations.

5. A gay man in Ohio, Darrell Frye, claimed the Calvary Cemetery in Dayton intentionally removed the date of his wedding from the headstone of his now-deceased spouse, Jason Neto. The couple married in 2016, and then Neto died at the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020. Frye said he asked the Catholic cemetery outright if purchasing a plot as a same-gender couple would be an issue and was told it would not. The headstone was placed this year with the wedding date, but at a later point was removed, and when returned now had the wedding date etched out. Frye commented, “They dug into rock to erase our relationship.” The cemetery has not responded to Frye’s inquiries about the issue, reported WHIO 7.

Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, November 5, 2022

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