Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride

I spent most of last weekend (June 29-30) in Minneapolis' Loring Park at the Twin Cities Pride festival. I helped staff the CPCSM/Catholics for Marriage Equality MN booth and participated in Sunday's parade down Hennepin Avenue in the heart of Minneapolis.

Given the recent advances in marriage equality at both the state and federal levels, our theme this year was "Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality!" We altered our banner to reflect this theme and gave out hundreds of stickers bearing this message (above left). These stickers were very popular.

Above and below: As well as giving out our "Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality" stickers, we also invited those who visited our booth to complete a questionnaire so as to help us discern the future direction and focus of our organization. Questions included:

• What do you think is the most pressing area of concern for LGBT people in the Roman Catholic Church?

• How would you describe your relationship to the Church?

• Where do you currently find affirmation and spiritual nourishment?

UPDATE: To read the findings from the questionnaire, click here.

Right: With my friend and fellow C4ME-MN board member Mary Kay Orman – Saturday, June 29, 2013. The wonderfully creative Mary Kay was the director of C4ME-MN's 2011 series of "video vignettes" entitled Catholics for Marriage Equality.

Above: Lisa, Brent and Katie at the C4ME-MN booth in Loring Park – Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Above and below: Lots of friends and supporters stopped by our booth! 

Above: Jay and Ron.

Above: My friend and housemate Tim with Aimee and Sarah.

Above: Paul and Michael.

Above: My friend Beth and her two boys.

Left: C4ME-MN board member Mary Kay Orman (right) with Lisa Clare, creator of the online forum Over the Rainbow for Marriage Equality – Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Above: Brian McNeill, president of Dignity Twin Cities.

Above and below: Preparing to march in the Twin Cities Pride parade – Sunday, June 30, 2013.

Above and below: Parading down Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis – Sunday, June 30, 2013.

Writes Beth Hawkins:

Taking place six weeks after Minnesota became the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage and days after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions advancing the cause nationwide, the parade drew an exceptionally diverse crowd. The throngs were so large officials cordoned off the parade route with pink tape.

When the flimsy barriers ended up on the ground, it didn't matter. Two historic votes – the first rejecting a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage – took place between last year’s Pride festivities and this year’s, and the mood was celebratory.

The annual festival took place on the 34th anniversary of the riots at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village gay bar where patrons, tired of police harassment, rioted in 1969. The first “gay liberation” march – later rechristened Pride – took place a year later, kicking off a movement that has had decisive victories in recent months.

. . . Parents of a young gay man, Lisa and Brendt Vanderlinden traversed the route twice, first with Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality – last year the group marched as Catholics for Marriage Equality – and then again with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

Above: Members of the Saint Paul City Ballet participated in Sunday's Twin Cities Pride parade . . .

. . . as did a very different type of dancer! Yes, it's the go-go boys from The Saloon Gay Bar and Dance Club!

Above: Hello, boys!

Right: Isn't the hair of the woman on the right wonderful?! I just had to stop and ask if I could take a picture.

Above: Speaking of hair . . . These good Catholic girls who stopped by our booth on Sunday were all from Edina!


Above: Gay Superman! . . . Or is it Super Gay Man?
And what a funny place to keep your spare pair of socks!

Above: I thought this guy's top was definitely worth taking a photo of – along with some of his other attributes! Good, too, to see some political activism taking place behind him there.

Above: Sassy with a capital 'S'! And that guy on the right is wearing our "Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality" stickers very creatively, wouldn't you say?

As in previous years (see here, for example), there was a small group of biblical fundamentalists present in Loring Park. They were quite close to our booth and were not only anti-gay but also anti-Catholic! When a young married couple saw their "Jesus Hates Sin" sign, they quickly went back to their nearby home and created the sign they're holding above.

Related Off-site Links:
Twin Cities Pride: This Year, A Day of Celebration and Gratitude – Beth Hawkins (MinnPost, July 1, 2013).
Historic Pride Weekend in Pictures – Corey Anderson (MinnPost, July 1, 2013).
Twin Cities Pride Festival Has Joyous Tone in 2013 – Leslie Dyste (, July 1, 2013).
At Twin Cities Pride, Relief and Excitement – Pam Louwagie (Star Tribune, June 29, 2013).
The Annual Gay Pride Festival at Loring Park – Photo GalleryStar Tribune (June 29, 2013).
Pride Parade in Minneapolis – Photo GalleryStar Tribune (June 30, 2013).
Justin's Gift: Months After Anoka Rejection, Marchers Are Met with Cheers and Love at Pride Parade – Roxy Orcutt (MinnPost, July 1, 2013).
Court Wins Draw Big Crowds to Gay Pride Parades – Lisa Leff (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, June 30, 2013).
NYC Gay Pride Parade Draws Massive CrowdYahoo! News (July 1, 2013).
Over Thousand in Bradley Manning Support Contingent at San Francisco Pride (July 1, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2012
A Big Gay 'Yay' for the Catholics!
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2011
Sharing the Good News of Marriage Equality at the Basilica Block Party
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2010
LGBT Catholics Celebrate Being "Wonderfully Made"
At UST, a Rousing and Very Catholic Show of Support for Marriage Equality
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2009
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2008
300+ People Vigil at the Cathedral in Solidarity with LGBT Catholics
Inclusive Catholics Celebrate Gay Pride (2007)
Tips on Speaking as a Catholic in Support of Marriage Equality

Images: Michael J. Bayly.


McAuley said...

Great photos, Michael. C4ME-MN, CPCSM, Dignity Twin Cities, and all Catholic marriage equality supporters have reason to celebrate, and to show their Pride. Thank you all.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictues. Thank you for your witness, Michael, and all the good that you do. Happy 4th of July - Mark

Terry Nelson said...

I noticed a family from my parish - they don't know me - we recognize one another at Mass - I just love them. I've always admired them as a family.

Tine said...

I see some familiar faces in those pics! But one I didn't expect to see is the female member of that couple with the fabulous "Jesus doesn't hate" sign. I think that's Jillian Rae Martin, my daughter's fantastic fiddle teacher.