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Conscience Magazine

– Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, speaking after the Vatican’s ruling against blessing same-sex couples.

May 6, 2021

“LGBTQ people have many spiritual
gifts which can renew religious
institutions, if these groups would
just perform the simple and holy
acts of welcoming and listening.” 1

– Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, speaking after the Vatican’s ruling against blessing same-sex couples.


“I am a born and raised Catholic and still attend Mass when home in Arizona. However, in recent years, the church as a whole hasn’t aligned with my personal beliefs.” 2

–Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, Black lesbian journalist and owner of MFC3 Media, addressing the hierarchy’s reaffirmation to block blessing same-sex couples.


“ … less than half of the states in our country provide equal protection for me under the law. What happens if I want to attend college in a state that doesn’t protect me? Right now, I could be denied medical care or be evicted for simply being transgender in many states. How is that even right? How is that even American?” 3

-Stella Keating, 16-year-old trans teen and founding member of the GenderCool Project, speaking before the US. Senate about the Equality Act.


“There are some people who say we need to compromise. But I don’t know how to compromise on existing. I’m asking to go to a hospital that already provides the health care I need and provide me the same care that they would provide any other patient.” 4

–Jesse Hammons, a transgender man, on the importance of passing the Equality Act in the U.S. Senate. Following the cancellation of his gender-affirming hysterectomy by a Catholic subsidiary, Hammons is suing University of Maryland Medical System.


“You’re talking to a Black man who has seen separate and not equal. I was born in the belt buckle of the Bible Belt, and I’m still a Christian to this day .… But I don’t think we can deal away people’s human rights.” 5

–Kylar Broadus, transgender attorney, recalling his segregated childhood as he addresses the vote on the Equality Act in the U.S. Senate.


“What I hope is that this will be seen also in the field, in the dioceses, in the parishes. I hope this act will encourage other bishops, priests, religious authorities, and that all this will include women more and more.” 6 

–Sister Nathalie Becquart on her historic appointment as the first woman undersecretary in the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops office.


“God is not a man. And while Jesus Christ was (and is) a man and invites us to call God the Father, that does not mean that God is male or that God is only masculine.” 7

–Fr. James Martin, writing in the Jesuit magazine America on International Women’s Day, an article that spurred accusations of blasphemy, apostacy and heresy by conservative Catholics.


“The Catholic Church will bless your cow, your cow shed, your trampoline … muck spreader, septic tank, local Nazi, child rapist, toenail clippers, the Teletubbies, toast, rock, tap water, bubble tea, lint roller, wig, Piers Morgan … but not a gay couple.” 8

–Dr. Panti Bliss, author and actor, on the church’s recent refusal to bless same-sex couples.


1 thedailybeast.com, “LGBTQ Catholics Feel Conflicted and Abandoned After Vatican Condemns Gay Marriage,” March 19, 2021 2 thedailybeast.com, “LGBTQ Catholics Feel Conflicted and Abandoned After Vatican Condemns Gay Marriage,” March 19, 2021 3 thedailybeasat.com, “The Senate Equality Act Hearing Showed Why America So Needs the Equality Act,” March 18, 2021 4 The Washington Post, “Equality Act is creating a historic face-off between religious exemptions and LGBTQ rights,” March 16, 2021 5 The Washington Post, “Equality Act is creating a historic face-off between religious exemptions and LGBTQ rights,” March 16, 2021 6 The Associated Press, “Nun named to voting position at Vatican praises ‘brave’ pope,” February 10, 2021 7 The Christian Post, “Catholic priest James Martin stands by retweet of post calling God ‘Her,’” March 12, 2021 8 hotpress.com, “Panti Bliss, Elton John and more react to Vatican’s statement that priests cannot bless same-sex marriages,” March 15, 2021