Above: Yayo Grassi (left), an openly gay man, and his partner, Iwan, greet Pope Francis with a warm hug at the Vatican Embassy in Wasington, D.C, on September 23, 2015. (Image: A screen-cap from a video of the meeting)
Let's be clear: the pope did not "meet" Kim Davis, any more than he "met" dozens of LGBT activists at the White House. They were in a large crowd on the White House lawn – but it was nevertheless a PR coup for our side. [Similarly, Kim Davis] was one in a long line of people, who got no personal message at all – but a PR coup for their side. Score tied.
On the other hand, it's now been confirmed that one of the private meetings that did take place, but was very properly kept private, was a face to face meeting requested by Pope Francis himself, with a gay man who has been in a committed same-sex relationship for 19 years. That was not spun for PR advantage, as the purpose of the meeting was entirely personal and pastoral. However, we now know that it did take place, at Francis' request, and that surely trumps all the PR spin from either side.
Related Off-site Links:
Pope Held Private Meeting with Same-Sex Couple in U.S. – Daniel Burke (CNN, October 2, 2015).
Before Kim Davis, the Pope Hung Out With a Gay Couple – Emma Green (The Atlantic, October 2, 2015).
News Flash: Pope Met Gay Friend While on American Tour – William D. Lindsel (Bilgrimage, October 2, 2015).
How the Outrage Over the Pope's Kim Davis Meeting May Have Paid Off in a Big Way – Michelangelo Signorile (HuffPost Gay Voices, October 2, 2015).
The Vatican's Internal Fight Over Kim Davis and the Pope – Emma Gree (The Atlantic, October 2, 2015).
Vatican: Pope Did Not Show Support for Kim Davis – Stephanie Kirchgaessner (NPR News, October 2, 2015).
The Real Story Behind the Pope's Meeting with Kim Davis – Amy Sullivan (Yahoo! News, October 2, 2015).
With Whom the Pope Meets... – Questions from a Ewe (October 3, 2015).
UPDATES: Gay Former Student of Pope Francis' Speaks Out – Jessica Gresko (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, October 4, 2015).
Pope "Not Afraid to Have a Gay Friend," Says Former Student – Trudy Ring (The Advocate, October 5, 2015).
Pope’s Gay Friend Speaks Out – Lou Chibbaro Jr. (The Washington Blade, October 7, 2015).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• DignityUSA Responds to News of Meeting Between Pope Francis and Kim Davis
• Pope Francis in the U.S.