Open Letter to the Chicago Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach Board of Directors

I write this note with a heavy heart because you have chosen to ignore the cries of your own community for Justice. You even try to legitimize your behavior by the idolization of the Eucharist; with a profound deception about separating the liturgy from the issue of social justice. You promote a closet mentality and hide from the cries of your own people for Justice for personal comfort.

Now you try to hide from the responsibility of inviting Cardinal George to your 25th anniversary as if you have no accountability to this Eucharistic Community. Your reasoning like your decision to invite this bigot into our liturgical community is flawed and lacking in both common sense and integrity.

My faith is in the power of the sacraments to change individual souls into a community that would overflow with love of neighbor and seek a just society where all people are treated with dignity and respect. You turn your backs on this form of Catholic Action, see, judge and act. I can only presume you do so out of fear of losing something you really never had.

We come to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel this Sunday as people of faith who have committed ourselves to the Gospels. I call on you to take a Christ inspired active role in saying homophobia is not a Value of those Gospels even if a Prince of the Church tries to promote it as such from the pulpit of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Also, I call on you to promote the equality of love due to each and every human being in the sight of God.

Be not afraid.

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Catholics) responds to the Faith based bigotry of Cardinal Francis George on Gay Marriage.

Cardinal Francis George will be visiting Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 708 W. Belmont, Chicago, in the heart of Chicago’s Gay Ghetto on Sunday, June 16, at 7PM. The visit was requested by the Board of Directors of the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministry to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

A demonstration will be held in front of the Church led by the Gay Liberation Network and Rainbow Sash Movement, while inside individuals attending the Mass will stand when the Cardinal approaches the lectern to give his sermon, and turn their backs when comments on Bigotry .The RSM has informed Cardinal George by letter that if he shows up he will be met with open opposition. In the same letter he was told of our willingness to meet with him to discuss the issue.

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement said “Our message to the Cardinal is simple hate is easy, love takes courage, and the kind of faith based bigotry he promotes is not welcome in Chicago’s LGBT Community. This visit is especially poignant since it takes place during June which is the month our community celebrates Gay Pride.”

In his most recent column in the Chicago Catholic New World the Cardinal has conveniently ignored Christ’s mandate that his disciples love one another as he has loved them as he publicly beats his chest about the recent no vote on the Illinois Gay Marriage Bill.

Many in today’s Church feel a disconnect with the hierarchy because they have become detached from the concept of social justice and human dignity and wallow in the caves of bigotry when it comes to Gay Marriage.

Increasingly the Cardinal’s political activity shows open contempt for LGBT People. His trust in the promotion of bigotry over moral dialogue or ethical analysis only highlights how dysfunctional and unreasonable his position is. Clearly he does not agree with the concept of separation of Church and State when it comes to marriage.

RSM News Team

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Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Catholics) Calls on Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to Reclaim God’s radical inclusivity on Pentecost Sunday (May 19)

The Catholic Church teaching calls same-sex attraction “an objective disorder” and condemns homosexual activity as immoral, though it also calls on Catholics to welcome and respect gays and lesbians in their faith communities. How the later can be accommodated with the former is a mystery and therefore creates a web of bigotry resulting in Catholic’s losing their jobs, being denied the sacraments, being excommunicated or who have been made to feel ‘less than’ by their church leaders because of who their families are as result of love.

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) released the following statement.

“It has been difficult for the Rainbow Sash Movement to remain part of the Roman Catholic Church because of a hierarchy that has been so hostile towards the LGBT Community in recent years. This is especially true considering nearly 30% of all successful teenage suicides are attributed to sexual identity issues.

We call on Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to open his mind, heart and see this as an opportunity to love, support and welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation on Pentecost Sunday. We also call on him to support the right of all couples regardless of sexual orientation to be treated equally and fairly when it comes to the institution of marriage under Illinois State Law. A majority—54 percent—of U.S. Catholics support gay marriage, compared to 47 percent of all Americans, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

We see our speaking out as an act of love towards a community which was born of God’s radical inclusivity. We have lost that in our church, and we would like to get it back. This is why we will wear Rainbow Sashes this Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral at the 11AM Liturgy as a sign of love and hope.”

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Chicago Catholic LGBT Community Divided over Cardinal George

A Time for Prayer and Integrity

A Time for Prayer and Integrity

The Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO) will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary on June 16, 2013, Sunday, @ 7PM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Belmont Ave in the heart of Boystown.

The Chicago LGBT Roman Catholic Community is divided over whether Cardinal Francis George should be invited to this community Liturgy.

Without consultation of its membership or the vast majority of people that attend this liturgy, who are not members of the organization; the AGLO Board of Directors has chosen a reckless, divisive course of action by ignoring the reality of the Cardinals long, antagonistic, and biased relationship with the Chicago LGBT Community over the years, which in my opinion can only be attributed to a clueless mentality.

Most recently George’s pointed and very public attacks on Gay Marriage, Immigration reform which seeks protection for LGBT families’, and women’s ordination can only be understood in terms of bigotry. Those attacks have only harmed innocent members of our community, and beyond. Sadly the AGLO Board has chosen to be blind to these facts, and put their trust in the Cardinal’s pious prattle. He condemns those who Christ did not condemn.

Why is the AGLO Board of Directors so silent when the Cardinal asks of us to embrace Christ spirit by rejecting our God given ability to love? Or, even the promotion by the Cardinal of the ridiculous idea that AGLO supports celibacy for its membership? Homophobia whether external or internal is wrong.

The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) is calling the AGLO Board of Directors to join us in telling the Cardinal he is not welcome in our community as long as he promotes such negative messaging whose only reasonable outcomes will be violence directed at our community. Should he come to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on June 16 he will be met with open opposition.

Please do not use this sacred liturgy as a backdrop to celebrate your 25th Anniversary in such a disrespectful, disgraceful, and dismissive manner to the LGBT Community.

The Chicago Rainbow Sash Movement is calling on the Chicago AGLO Board of Directors to call on Cardinal George not to come to their 25th Anniversary.

RSM Board of Directors

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Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) Calls for Prayers for the Passage of Gay Marriage in Illinois

The LGBT Community in the state of Illinois faces the very real question of justice in the form of Marriage Equality legislation. Presently that legislation is stalled in Illinois House of Representatives. We are asking for prayers from the various Catholic parishes across state, on March 24th the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, a prominent human rights defender who was murdered during the Salvadorean civil war, for the passage of this legislation.

We believe our allegiances cannot be divided between the Gospels and Gay Marriage. We understand there is no gospel apart from the Good News proclaimed to the LGBT Community in need of Justice and fairness, and the Gospel proclaimed to other groups in need of liberation.

Here is a link if you wish to find out more about Archbishop Romero’s death on the altar of hate.!.

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago: An Open letter Concerning LGBT Children



I hope this public letter finds you in good health.

The issue of LGBT kids in Catholic homes, and homeless LGBT children on the streets of our city is in my opinion a scandal; not because of those who are helping, but because of those who are not.

Recently I became aware of what is happening at Old St. Patrick’s Parish about LGBT children in Catholic homes. My joy over this effort quickly evolved into concern.

What concerns me the most are the conflicting messages that I am getting about the group’s purpose and the role the Church’s teaching on the homosexual person will play. Additionally, I am told you are opposed to working with PFLAG because you feel this organization is too political, rather you are encouraging a Catholic response to PFLAG.

My problem and the reason for this letter is the apparent lack of consistency when it comes to the promotion of the Church’s Teaching on the homosexual person. This wink and nod attitude in its promotion will only put these children in harm’s way.

As you know I am opposed to this Teaching, and believe that reasonable people in the Church will also be opposed to it if they are made aware of its hazardous implications to the mental health of LGBT children. I believe the current atmosphere in the Church not to be supportive of LGBT couples, their children, or that of straight couples who have LGBT children.

We are called to do better than this especially when it comes to children’s safety.

I will keep you in my prayers especially during this historical time in the Church.


Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Rainbow Sash Movement sees a perversion of religious power in the Gay Marriage Debate

The Illinois Catholic Conference announced they are organizing a lobbying day for February 20, 2013. John Cullerton president of the Illinois State Senate said his intent is to introduce the Gay Marriage Bill and immediately pass it over to the House for passage hopefully by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.

Cardinal Francis George’s approach when it comes to marriage is that one size fits all. Thus he would have us believe that his sacramental view of marriage is embraced by all, or at least should be embraced by all. The Rainbow Sash Movement would tend to agree with George that marriage today is broken or a wounded institution, but responsibility for this problem should not be placed at the feet of the LGBT Community. Nor should it be used as a reason to deny LGBT people the right to marry.

We do not stand alone in the Catholic Church in supporting Gay Marriage as poll after poll have shown, on the contrary it is the ecclesiastical authority who are not listening to the people of God.

The Cardinal’s focus on Marriage appears to be from a religious perspective only, and the religious ceremonies that initiate it. In the Cardinals mind Civil Marriage has become confused with the sacramental principle. He cannot understand this because of his theology. Marriage for most LGBT people is about friendship, support, love, legal protection and adoption.

The state does not understand marriage as a covenant with God as the Cardinal does. From the state’s perspective marriage is a legal contract between two people. Because it is a contract it can be broken under our no fault divorce laws. In our opinion, Gay Marriage is about evolving that contract to include LGBT people it has nothing to do with sacramental marriage on the contrary if it was about sacramental marriage divorce would not be an option. Gay Marriage should not be about promoting or not-promoting ones religious belief.

We believe it is important that reasonable people in Chicago raise their voices against those who would promote such a double standard and stand with us. We are encouraged to see both rational Democrats and Republicans in Springfield reaching across the aisle to pass this legislation.

We invite people of good will both gay and straight, Catholic and Non Catholic to join us in asking for fairness when it comes to Marriage Equality

We believe this to be another historical step in the arch of the social justice journey for Civil Rights. Join us with the Gay Liberation Network outside of Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, February 10, @ 10:30AM.

Rainbow Sash Movement News

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