February 3rd, 2008
In 1997, the U.S. Catholic Conference issued a pastoral message, “Always Your Children,” with statements like “homosexual persons who are living chaste lives should have opportunities to lead and serve the community” and “homosexual orientation cannot be considered sinful, for morality presumes the freedom to choose.” That pastoral message was strongly opposed by conservative Catholics, who felt that these statements amounted to a step towards tacit approval to homosexuality.
But all of that changed after the clerical sex scandals, in which the actions of a very small percentage of priests cast a long shadow of suspicion that all priests felt — especially those who were gay but leading celibate lives. They fell under a particularly harsh microsocope, exemplified by the 2005 Congregation for Catholic Education’s instruction concerning gay men entering holy orders. This instruction, which barred gay men from entering the seminary unless they had “overcome” for at least three years, led to a virtual witch hunt within many seminaries.
One Mesa, Arizona priest, Fr. Leonard Walker, found he couldn’t endure the Church’s growing hostility to homosexuality. During his last year at Queen of Peace parish, he commonly told his friends and fellow priests that he felt like “a a Jew wearing a Nazi uniform.” He wanted to leave quietly in November 2005, but when diocesan officials told him he couldn’t celebrate a final Mass at Queen of Peace and that his health insurance would be cut off immediately, Fr. Walker made his resignation public.
That was more than two years ago. The Mesa-based East Valley Tribune published a follow-up yesterday, reporting that Walker is living quietly in Kingman with his partner and is working as a chaplain at a Mojave County hospice. On leaving the priesthood, Walker says:
“I have no regrets,” he said. “I discovered my integrity, and that is worth everything. Being able to go into (hospice) ministry made all the difference in the world.
“I did not resign the priesthood as some protest or some political stunt to get the church to recognize me as a gay individual,” he said.
But his church “increasingly and aggressively became anti-gay,” he said.
Walker said Church policies needlessly maligned extraordinary priests and led “gay youth and struggling adults” to suffer depression, self-hate and suicidal thoughts. He credits his work at the hospice and the welcoming community in Kingman for helping him work through the grief of leaving a vocation he loved for more than thirty years.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.