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- 10/19/16--11:07: There is a faithful spirit moving through #SpiritDay
GLAAD hosted a Google Hangout after a very busy and anxious month for LGBT and allied Catholics. In September, Pope Francis visited the United States, addressed congress, spoke at the United Nations, and participated in the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. While many LGBT people were calling on him to say some word of welcome for LGBT people, no such word was given.
Pretty much immediately after Francis' departure from New York, LGBT Catholics from around the world, including representatives from Dignity and News Ways, gathered in Rome for the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. This gathering coincided with the beginning of the Synod on Marriage and Family, a gathering of selected bishops to discuss Catholic Church teaching on issues related to marriage and family.
Take a look at the discussion.
Ross Murray is GLAAD's Director of Programs, focusing on global and the US South.
Marianne Duddy-Burke is the Executive Director of DignityUSA. Marianne lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her spouse Becky Duddy-Burke and two adopted daughters, Emily and Infinity.
Francis DeBernardo is the Executive Director of New Ways Ministry. He has been providing reporting and analysis from the Vatican while the Synod on Marriage and Family has been happening.
Janet Quezada is a Spanish-Language Media Strategist at GLAAD. She helped to create GLAAD's resource "The Papal Visit: A journalist's guide to reporting on Pope Francis and the LGBT community," a resource guide written in both English and Spanish for journalists covering Pope Francis and LGBT Catholics, as well as lining up interviews with Spanish-language media to talk about Catholic issues.
Francis DeBernardo reminded us that a Synod of Bishops, including this one, is advisory in nature, and that the Pope has the ability to accept or reject the report that came from it. DeBernardo also pointed out the divisions that existed among the bishops participating in the Synod. Some didn't want to talk about them at all, some wanted to affirm the status quo, and some seemed open to further inclusion. These divisions might even be seen as a sign of progress, given that a short time ago, none of the bishops would have been open to even discussing LGBT people in the life of the Roman Catholic Church.
Janet Quezada talked about the importance of family to Latinos, and that when a member of the family is being shunned from the Church, that it impacts the entire family. "Latino families go to church together. It's the grandmother all the way down to the grandson. It's really painful when one part of the family can't go because they fear that something harmful is going to be said from the pulpit." Quezada noted that Latinos are very accepting of LGBT people.
Marianne Duddy-Burke spoke of the lack of women and LGBT representation at the Synod. This means that decisions were being made for people without listening to who will be impacted by these decisions. She also noted that this entire conversation has changed the narrative about LGBT people and family. "This focus has made us think about the important role that family has for the LGBT movement…for us as LGBT people to claim the importance of family to us."
GLAAD has been advocating for the stories of LGBT Catholics to be heard. In preparation of Pope Francis' arrival in the United States, GLAAD released a resource guide to reporting on Pope Francis and the LGBT community of faith for media professionals in English and Spanish. Also, GLAAD was in Washington, D.C. at President Obama's White House reception for Pope Francis and on the ground in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. During the papal visit GLAAD led the #TellThePope campaign which provided a platform for voiced experiences of LGBT folks or allies to be heard.
Faith organizations, leaders, and have been getting into the spirit of Spirit Day 2016! Youth ministries, camps, congregations, campus ministries, advocacy organizations, and whole denominations have gone purple today. These organizations are standing in solidary with LGBTQ youth and against bullying.
New Ways Ministry, an LGBTQ Catholic organization, has been reaching out to Catholic schools, and created Catholic school specific banners for students to share on social media. This display of solidarity in religious based schools is especially important for LGBTQ students and/or faculty who may feel alienated by some religious teachings.
Other groups have turned their social media purple, and have asked their congregations to go purple too!
; The Naming Project (@namingproject) October 18, 2016
About Spirit Day
Each year, millions of people "go purple" for Spirit Day in a united stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth. According to a 2015 GLSEN survey, more than half of LGBTQ students report being victimized based on sexual orientation, with a further three quarters of students who report hearing anti-LGBTQ remarks in school. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals around the world, who join together in a united stand against bullying.
Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, official partners, NBA and WNBA, NFL, Viacom, and WWE, and supporting partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal, Kellogg’s, Kirkland & Ellis, Toyota Financial Services, and Zipcar. The translation of GLAAD’s Spirit Day Resource Kit into multiple languages is made possible by a generous grant from Google supporting GLAAD’s Global Voices Initiative. Global Spirit Day resource kits are presented by Logo’s Global Ally campaign.
Past participants in Spirit Day include the White House, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Laverne Cox, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Shaquille O'Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, MTV, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.