I’m an atheist too, but I have many fully accepting and affirming Christian friends. I’m expecting a visit next week as a matter of fact from an Ann Arbor based minister who put his career on the line by preaching radical acceptance of LGBTQ people.
What makes the Catholic Church interesting in the United States is how supportive ordinary Catholics tend to be of LGBTQ people, in contrast to Catholic bishops and other hierarchy. Of note in this article is that of three schools in the Indianapolis archdiocese, two refused to dismiss gay employees, although one school eventually gave in after facing the possibility of ceasing to exist.
The Church is changing from within, and people like Dominic who keep the pressure on the hierarchy are doing a lot of good for a lot of kids. Because whether we like it or not (and believe me, I don’t like it) tons of LGBTQ kids get sent to Catholics schools by their clueless parents. The kids usually have no say in the matter, and they’re forced to endure a lot of homophobic nonsense.
Or are they?
As a fairly popular writer and LGBTQ advocate, I hear from a lot young people. Many of them tell me how they feel welcome and included in their Catholic schools, because Catholics are changing. Teachers in Catholic schools aren’t nearly as likely as they used to be to condemn or stigmatize gay, bi, or trans students. Many Catholic schools even have GSA (gender and sexual alliance) clubs to welcome LGBTQ students.
To be sure, that’s not true in every Catholic school, but given data provided by Pew and PRRI, homophobia among American Catholics pretty much mirrors the rest of American society, meaning levels are quite low except among very conservative people.
Lots of Catholics are liberal and progressive like Dominic and like the leadership of Brebeuf and Cathedral. So, in my advocacy, I encourage those progressive Catholics to take strong action to work for change, even including withholding monetary support from the Church until senior leaders stop promoting bigotry.
I applaud Dominic for fighting for change where it really counts, down in the trenches where kids are getting hurt.