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.
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
One of These Boys . . .
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).