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Entries in Catholic Church (2)

Tuesday
Mar162010

Turning the Rainbow Green

Tomorrow marks St. Patrick’s Day.  A day set aside by many to drink and be merry while wearing green and proclaiming their Irish history.   Boston, a city known for its large Irish community has already held its parade, but something was missing.  Since 1737 Boston has been hosting the oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the United States and some believe the world. With the first Parade in Ireland not being held until 1931.

You might be thinking, a parade that has been around this long surely must be easily coordinated.  What could be missing?  What is missing from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston and indeed in many other cities is the voice of the gay community.  In 1995 the highest court in the United States voted that parade coordinators may deny entry of any groups they choose into their event.  There was hope that when the longtime organizer of the Boston parade retired last year that things would be different.  Sadly that was not the case.

It seems odd for a state like Massachusetts, one of the few states in the US to allow gay marriage to block this group of people from a parade.  Even in the Roman Catholic bastion that is Ireland the idea of homosexuality, and gay marriage has steadily been progressing.

In 1981 the European High Court of Human Rights struck down Northern Ireland’s criminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults.  Six years later the people of Ireland elected the first openly gay person to public office in the form of David Norris.  A year later Norris won his case Norris V. Ireland and the European Court of Human Rights struck down a law that criminalized male-to-male sexual acts.  Today same-sex couples are allowed to marry in Northern Ireland as they are in the United Kingdom, but Ireland remains unmoved in its definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  In recent years public opinion polls have shown a greater percent of the population is open to the idea of same-sex marriages. In fact, the group MarriageEquality reports that 62% (as of February 2009) of the population now supports allowing gay couples to marry.

It seems odd then that gay groups are still being denied the chance to participate in St. Patrick’s Day parades.  After all there are many gay people who count themselves as Irish citizens or being of Irish heritage.  Indeed Ireland has enough gay history that author Brian Lacey has written a book about it.  For a holiday that seems to be less and less about the celebration of St. Patrick and more and more about drinking to excess, who really care’s if some of the gay community puts away the rainbow flag for a day and dons their finest green to take part?

Links of Interest:

Terrible Queer Creatures: A History of Homosexuality in Ireland by Brian Lacey

Gay Ireland

St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday
Mar092010

Man on Man Action at the Vatican

The story broke on Friday, which may have been one of the best things to happen to the Catholic Church in a longtime.  You see, not many people watch the news on a Friday.  Luckily, though it was buried in other news stories over the weekend I stumbled upon this gem.  For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, on Friday it was announced that one of the Pope’s ceremonial ushers (or Gentleman of his Holiness) has been having sex with men.  Through a contact in the Vatican Choir, the Gentleman of his Holiness named Angelo Balducci was arranging to have sex with other men.  Balducci is no ordinary usher mind you.  He had the honor of carrying the coffin of Pope John Paul in 2005.

I honestly don’t care if two men are having sex.  As we all know this is a blog about being gay and about gay life.  I do however think it is great that this scandal has landed right on the doorstep of the Catholic Church.  For so long Catholics have preached about the evils of homosexuality (I know, I had to sit through the sermons) yet we are everywhere.  Organized religions make a huge stink about gay’s being members of the clergy but lets face it, there are already gay pastors and priests.  Just as there are gay soldiers protecting freedom, so too are their priests spreading “the good word.” When are religious leaders just going to accept that homosexuality is part of nature and not something that needs to be feared? 

I think it might be time for the Catholics to let Priests marry again.  Yes, you read that correctly I said again.  Until roughly 1022 Priests were allowed to marry if they so chose.  It wasn’t until Pope Benedict VIII came along and decided that Priests should live celibate lives that marriage among the clergy was forbidden.  Not that being married stops men from having sex with each other, but that is another story for another time.

More Details:

Article on the Scandal

Info. on Priets Getting Married