The Roman Catholic Church in the United
States has fired at least 17 employees this year over LGBT issues.
According to the National
Catholic Reporter, only 23 such firings occurred in the
previous five years combined.
Most of the employees received pink
slips after they married a partner of the same sex or expressed
support for marriage equality.
The paper wrote: “It is important to
remember these reported incidents are only those made public. If the
present pattern of firing persists, the number of LGBT-related
firings of and resignations by church workers will almost certainly
increase by year's end.”
Writing at The
New York Times, Frank Bruni called the firings “shameful.”
“The blunt truth of the matter is
that during a period when the legalization of gay marriage has spread
rapidly in this country, from just six states in 2011 to more than
three times that number today, Catholic officials here have elected
to focus on this one issue and on a given group of people: gays and
lesbians,” Bruni wrote Sunday.
“Their moralizing is selective,
bigoted and very sad. It’s also self-defeating, because it’s
souring many American Catholics, a majority of whom approve of
same-sex marriage, and because the workers who’ve been exiled were
often exemplars of charity, mercy and other virtues as central to
Catholicism as any guidelines for sex. But their hearts didn’t
matter. It was all about their loins. Will the church ever get away
“The couples in question stepped up
and made loving commitment of a kind that the church celebrates in
other circumstances. For this they were spurned. It's shameful,”