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LGBT Community Reacts to Catholic Rebuff of Francis House Center

Press Conference Called in Front of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center Tomorrow 1:00pm

March 8, 2012 – Earlier today news broke that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, earlier this year, decided that because the new Executive Director of Francis House Center, Reverend Faith Whitmore, supported LGBT marriage rights and the organization, Planned Parenthood, they would abruptly pull their yearly donation to the homeless organization.

While Rev. Whitmore was eloquent in an interview with the Sacramento Bee and News 10 of how she took the news when she received the letter from the Diocese, members of the LGBT community, the faith-based community and homeless rights advocates were quite upset.

Ken Pierce, President of the Board of Directors of Equality Action NOW, a Sacramento grassroots civil rights organization responded by saying, “I have worked with Francis House for three years now and have never asked their position on LGBT or civil rights before I decided to give my time and money to help the poor and homeless.”

“The LGBT community knows what the Catholic Church teaching is, I used to be a Catholic myself, but this in my opinion is a direct slap in the face to Sacramento homeless and poor families. It is they who will suffer if a program has to be cut back or cut out all-together because the Center cannot afford to keep it.”

The Executive Director of Equality Action NOW said, “Where is Catholic humanity – Francis House Center provides care to homeless people and families! When did the personal lives of program and executive directors need to be scrutinized? This is a worse fauz paux than the Komen fiasco. I am donating to Francis House Center!”

“My concern is this indicates a sad change in the relationship that exists between religious service organizations.” wrote Rev. Brian Baker, Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral of Sacramento and member of Californa Faith for Equality. “There was a time when groups would look past various doctrinal differences and find the common area where they could serve the community. Now it seems cooperation and partnership is the latest casualty in the fundamentalism driven culture war that is destroying our society.”

Leaders are calling for the LGBT community to please step up and show “how we all pitch in and support our homeless neighbors”. 

A special press conference has been called by the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center and Equality Action Now in front of the Center (1927 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95811) at 1:00pm. The public is invited to attend. A “plate” will be passed for donations to be directed to Francis House Center of Sacramento.

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