Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, may be signaling a return to emphasizing social justice over doctrines — something that had begun to get the Jesuits in trouble with his two predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul.
In September, as the New York Times reported, Pope Francis “sent shock waves” through the church by remarking that the Vatican had grown too “obsessed” with issues like abortion, gay marriage and contraception. He urged an inclusive church, a “home for all,” contrasting sharply with Benedict’s insistence that stricter enforcement of doctrine should produce a smaller, purer Catholicism.
On the other hand, the same month he was issuing his remarks, Pope Francis was also issuing his first excommunication of a priest: that of the Rev. Greg Reynolds of Melbourne for his support of ordaining women and of equal marriage rights.
What impact will the change in tone, if not of actions, have in Seattle. In Gay Seattle, in Chapter 16, I discuss the history of the relationship between the local Catholic Church and the LGBTQ community in the 1970s and 1980s. (You can read excerpts from the menu above.) That history is updated in the introduction to the new paperback.
The new paperback edition of “Gay Seattle,” with its preface updating the original work through December 2012, is now available. You can order copies through the usual online sources or the publisher, University of Washington Press. I’ll also be signing copies at the June 30 LGBTQ Pridefest at Seattle Center.
Cardinal Bergoglio S.J., 2008, from wikicommons
The Seattle Gay News takes a look at the prospects for LGBTQ citizens under the forthcoming reign of Pope Francis I … and finds not much to cheer about. Read the story “Meet the New Pope, Mostly Same as the Old Pope” by clicking here.
The University of Washington Press has decided to re-issue Gay Seattle in both a paperback and digital edition. I’ve written a long, new preface that updates the themes in the original book from its close in 1994 through 2012…. including details on Washington state’s landmark decision to equalize marriage opportunities for all people regardless of their sexual orientation.
So soon you can have Gay Seattle either a lighter-weight or entirely no-weight book! Stay tuned for more details. The targeted date of release is Spring 2013.
Check out the new cover… much flashier than the old!
It’s been a long time since Faygele ben Miriam and Paul Barwick first tried to get a marriage license in King County. But now it’s official. Washington state voters have okayed the Legislature’s new law allowing marriage equality! Click here for photos of the celebration from the Seattle Times.
Proponents and opponents of marriage equality in Washington state are readying for the November election. The Seattle Times reports that the fundraising efforts of those in favor of maintaining marriage equality are currently running far ahead of those insisting that marriage continue to be unequal. But the National Organization for Marriage, a heterosexual-supremacist anti-marriage equality group, is expected to soon begin pouring big amounts of cash into trying to overturn Washington’s equal rights law. Click here to read the Times story.
There’s an outstanding, must-read article published today about Faygele ben-Miriam, Washington state’s 1970s pioneer in LGBTQ rights. It’s a profile excellently written by Eli Sanders, Seattle’s Pulitzer Prize winner, detailing Faygele’s visionary approach to both living queer and questing politically: See “Gay Marriage’s Jewish Pioneer”