Friday, June 21, 2013

Doing Papa Proud

I recently noted on Facebook how honored I am to have been featured in the 'Marriage in Minnesota Retrospective' in Lavender magazine's Pride 2013 issue.

In this retrospective I'm profiled with some very inspiring folks, including Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, Sharon Kowalski and Karen Thompson, the late Sen. Allan Spear, former Gov. Arne Carlson, Sen. John Marty, Doug Benson, Dale Carpenter, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, and Gov. Mark Dayton. Elsewhere in Lavender's Pride 2013 issue Rep. Karen Clark, Sen. Scott Dibble, and OutFront MN Executive Director Monica Meyer are honored, while earlier in the year all involved with Minnesotans United for All Families were collectively named "Person of the Year" by the magazine.

Following is Lavender writer Shane Lueck's write-up of me. The photo that accompanies it is by Sophia Hantzes and was taken at this event in April 2010.

As the Executive Coordinator for Catholics for Marriage Equality MN, Michael Bayly speaks on behalf of many as a David to the Catholic hierarchy's Goliath. With a mission to answer the call of the Gospel's message of inclusion and compassion, Bayly's Roman Catholic organization advocates for civil marriage for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. Following Jesus' call for social justice, Bayly is passionate that marriage equality is a fundamental human right because of his Catholicism at a time when the Catholic hierarchy expressed just the opposite.

I've received many positive comments on Facebook about my write-up in Lavender, including from my dad in Australia who wrote:

You continue to fill your mother and I with pride. Love & Peace, Dad.

Of course, as I wrote back, I have my parents to thank for helping guide and shape me into the man I am today. I also have the best aspects of my Catholic faith to be grateful for. These include its grounding in the radically inclusive life and message of Jesus, its emphasis on the primacy of conscience, its rich and evolving teachings on social justice, and, as Pope Francis, the Catholic papa, has recently reminded us, its call for all of us to be revolutionaries of and for transforming love!

A Christian who is not a revolutionary today isn’t a Christian. . . . Love is the greatest force for transforming reality because it breaks down the walls of selfishness and fills the chasms that keep people far from one another.

Yes, a revolutionary of and for transforming love! That's exactly what I see my work with CPCSM and Catholics for Marriage Equality MN to be all about. I'm happy that so many Catholics – the majority, in fact – recognize that loving and supporting gay and lesbian individuals, couples and families is an authentic expression of that revolutionary love of which Pope Francis speaks.

And Papa himself? Does he, somewhere deep within his heart, recognize this also?

All I can hope and pray is that Pope Francis, as with so many other Catholics and people of good will, is on that wondrous, at times unsettling journey whereby old ways of thinking about the complex reality of sexuality are being inevitably dismantled and transformed by God's loving presence discerned and experienced in the lives and relationships of gay and lesbian people. The title of Lavender's Pride 2013 issue really says it all: it's all about celebrating love!

Postscript: I've decided to make this post Part 1 in The Wild Reed's 2013 Queer Appreciation series. For Part 2, focusing on Jesse Bering's contention that "it's time to throw 'sexual preference' into the vernacular trash," click here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Michael Bayly: Changing the Church from Within
Knowing What to Do, Knowing Why to Stay
Trusting God's Generous Invitation
Catholic Rainbow (Australian) Parents
Thanks, Mum!
One of These Boys . . .
Soul Deep
Somewhere In Between
Thomas Fox: "Our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters Have So Much to Teach Us"
Catholic Theologian: "Heterosexism, Not Homosexuality, is the Problem"
In the Struggle for Marriage Equality, MN Catholics are Making a Difference by Changing Hearts and Minds
The Minneapolis (and Online) Premiere of Catholics for Marriage Equality
A Catholic Rationale for Opposing the 'Marriage Amendment'
Drawing the Circle Wide
Rediscovering What Has Been Written on Our Hearts from the Very Beginning

Recommended Off-site Link:
The War Between the Liberation Theology Movement and Rome is Over – Gianni Valente (Vatican Insider, June 21, 2013).


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael, we are glad that your parents are so proud of you! You have certainly blazed a trail on the other side of the world. Please tell us - are your parents very close to your siblings back in Australia? What sort of lives do your brothers lead, and what are their values and beliefs to your knowledge? Do you know them very well after all these years away? Do you think that your parents are equally as proud of your brothers as they are of you? Just really interested to know how your life has paralleled (or not) with your siblings back home.

Michael J. Bayly said...

This is a message to 'Anonymous' who has written requesting I share information about how my parents relate to my brothers, what sort of lives my brothers lead, and whether my parents are also proud of them.

You've raised these types of questions in the comments section of a previous post, and I have responded to them to the extent I feel is appropriate in such a public forum.

I find it a little disingenuous that you are so insistent about knowing about my family, my brothers in particular, and thus in having me share very personal information when you do not even share your name/s, let alone why you are asking the type of questions you are.

I feel I've spoken for my family members to the extent that I can. There comes a point when to go further would be inappropriate. Also, I find it problematic that you have not been forthcoming with what's behind your interest in the dynamics and relationships within my family. The bottom line is that such dynamics and relationships are loving, respectful, and healthy.

I've already shared much about myself and my family on this blog, yet you have shared absolutely nothing of yourself. I think when one asks the type of questions that you do, a level of trust via mutual sharing, needs to be established. That you have not been forthcoming in sharing anything of your own story, journey, or even the reasons for your inquiry seems rather odd to me and makes me cautious in responding.



Anonymous said...

Disingenuous? Likewise, perhaps, Michael. Respectful and healthy relationships are not that hard to propagate or maintain.