Wisconsin
The Madison Diocese is doubling down on its suggestion that priests should not provide last rites to LGBTQ people, Wisconsin State Journal reports:

The Madison Catholic Diocese doesn’t have to be worried whether withholding funeral rites for people in same-sex unions offends public opinion, because it’s not inherently wrong to be out of step with contemporary sensibilities on matters of sacred theology, its leaders said Monday.
In other words, Monsignor James Bartylla said Monday, just because it’s modern — or legal under civil law, as the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage to be in 2015 — doesn’t make it right in the church’s eyes.
“We have to be careful not to engage in chronological fallacy,” Bartylla said. “This (issue) could easily fall into the cultural milieu where anything that is new is seen as a (positive) development and therefore correct.”
Also, he added, “civil law is not the arbiter of what is morally licit or illicit. It is not the arbiter, as we know from failed nations who allowed things or did things that were terribly immoral under the guise of the law.”
Bartylla, who as vicar general is second-in-command to Bishop Robert Morlino, issued a controversial, confidential email to priests with Morlino’s backing on Oct. 21 that, in part, spelled out a series of “considerations” that priests should use in deciding whether to provide funeral rites for Catholic parishioners in same-sex unions.

The Diocese also defended itself against a petition asking for the bishop’s removal, the anti-LGBTQ website Lifesitenews reports:

An online petition accusing Bishop Robert Morlino of “hatred and discrimination” is a “PR stunt” based on accusations that “are demonstrably false,” the Diocese of Madison said this week.
The petition, started late last week by a Madison woman, asks Pope Francis to remove Bishop Morlino after the diocese’s Vicar General provided guidelines to priests on how to handle funeral rites for individuals who had been living in openly homosexual relationships.
The diocese said the petition was a predictable approach for groups who “use whatever means necessary to besmirch a good bishop’s name,” and that this was not the first time Bishop Morlino had been attacked.
“Because everything he teaches,” a diocesan statement said, “which is the reason for these various petitions over the years, is the consistent and universal truth, taught by the Church, since the time of Christ Himself.”
The petition had more than 4,500 signatures as of Monday morning.

An Office Max in Marshfield refused to print anti-LGBTQ fliers for an event in that city featuring hate group leader Peter LaBarbera, the religious right website OneNewsNow reports:

After pro-family activist Peter LaBarbera was confirmed to speak Nov. 16 at a Wisconsin event, program organizer Rob Pue dropped off his order for event flyers at an Office Max store in Marshfield.
Pue is the founder and publisher of Wisconsin Christian News in Marshfield, a city of approximately 20,000 in Wood County.
LaBarbera operates Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, which investigates and exposes homosexual activism.
According to LaBarbera, Pue’s order didn’t go as planned after an employee contacted Pue via email and claimed the flyerviolated corporate policy, likely for stating “The Homosexual Agenda Exposed” with a rainbow flag.
LaBarbera tells OneNewsNow that Pue asked for more information about the corporate policy but was never told how he violated it.
“The printer and the manager of the Office Max in Marshfield,” recalls LaBarbera, “refused to print an ad because it’s for an event that opposes homosexuality and the gay agenda.”

The Northwestern looks at how cities in the Fox Valley fared on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index:

Three Fox Valley cities near each other on the map are far apart in policies on how they treat people who are gay or transgender.
A report from the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group found a spotty record in Wisconsin, with four of seven cities surveyed scoring below the national average on how well local policy supports people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or identify themselves as queer.
Green Bay lags the national average while Appleton exceeds it in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Municipal Equality Index.
Meanwhile, Oshkosh is tied with Racine for the lowest score in the state.
“I was simultaneously appalled and not surprised,” said Liz Cannon, director of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s LGBTQ resource center. “It reminds us that we have a lot of work to do in Oshkosh.”
Advocates and local officials say the results of the report are evidence of neglect in Oshkosh and Green Bay. But the report could also be a blueprint for cities to improve by adopting a pointed list of policies to support LGBTQ people.

Iowa
A guilty verdict was reached in the trial of Jorge Sanders-Galvez, the man who killed Kedarie Johnson, the New York Times reports:

A trial in the killing of a popular Iowa teenager whose death drew the notice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended on Friday with a verdict of first-degree murder.
A jury in Keokuk, Iowa, convicted Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, of killing Kedarie Johnson, the teenager who sometimes dressed in women’s clothing and whose mother described him as gender fluid. The trial, which stretched over two weeks, had stirred a debate over what should be deemed a hate crime.
Kedarie’s mother, Katrina Johnson, said she considered her son’s death a hate crime. Prosecutors laid out a case that suggested that Mr. Sanders-Galvez and a second man had pursued Kedarie, 16, one evening in 2016, believing that he was a girl, and grew enraged when, during a sex act, they discovered that he was a boy.

The state charges against Mr. Sanders-Galvez and the second man, Jaron Purham, who is still awaiting trial, were for murder, not hate crimes. Iowa’s hate crimes statute does not cover gender identity, and efforts to add it to the state law died last year in the Legislature.

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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, Vita.mn 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.

1 COMMENT

  1. ” is the consistent and universal truth, taught by the Church, since the time of Christ Himself.” The only thing wrong with this is the simple history of Christ, would show this to be a later fabrication, to empower the Cardinals and Bishops in their running of the church. Show the world Christ’s book of laws [None exist] as these laws are created by the worlds largest and richest corporation, the Catholic Church, the Pedophiles den?!?!

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