This weekend, Fox 9 released a 30-minute raw video of reporter Tom Lyden grilling Archbishop John Nienstedt about his views on homosexuality — views that Lyden pointed out are fraught with contradictions.
Lyden asked Nienstedt if he is “gay” or “homosexual,” and Nienstedt replied, “No, I’m not.”

Lyden, who is gay and has been with his partner for two decades continually asked Nienstedt to explain his — the the church’s — seemingly contradictory teachings on being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. While Lyden asked Nienstedt the questions, a woman in the background continually interrupted.

City Pages has a partial transcript of the exchange where Lyden asks, Does that seem reasonable to you, that we should all lead the lives of priests?… Tell me, archbishop, why should I lead the life of a priest?

Nienstedt responds: “Because it is of your nature to, um, express yourself sexually through a committed relationship.”

Lyden shot back, “I am. I’ve been with the same partner and husband now for 21 years.”

Lyden also questioned why Nienstedt and the church teach that sex should happen within marriage yet worked to deny marriage to same-sex couples:

L: So when you say you have nothing against homosexuals, you have nothing against homosexuals as long as they’re not having sex.

N: We believe, correctly, that sexual relations take place within the context of a committed marriage relationship.

L: And yet the church is opposed to marriage and you fought gay marriage.

N: I didn’t fight gay marriage. I fought for marriage as a traditional understanding of a union between a man and a woman.

Here’s the whole interview:

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


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