Quest Chair Now Co-Chair of Global Network!

Last year in Rome at the foundation conference of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, our Quest chair Ruby Almeida was elected to the steering committee of the new body. It’s just been announced that the steering committee has named her as co-chair, alongside a German, Michael Brinkschroder. This is a an impressive achievement by our impressive chair. I am sure all of us in Quest will want to extend to her heartiest congratulations.

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The news was disclosed in an email from Benjamin Oh, the newly appointed secretary:

After months of working together and also having developed a clearer organizational structure and office bearers roles as tasked by our assembly gathered last October 2015 in Rome, the GNRC – Steering Committee (SC) finally held an open nomination and election last night to properly have those roles filled. The election was a very organic and colleagial process with very little fanfare as we were all quite focus on how to support each another in further developing our Global Network going forward, we are a community in action but also in prayer together.

Just a small snippet to what amount of work we have put in together so far:

We have had 6 SC committee meetings which were punctuated by 3 separate subcommittees meetings each time (i. Organizational Development, ii. Future Assembly & Funding, iii. Communications and Public Relations) in the lead up to most of the SC meetings; we have since issued 4 public statements including (a 4 page long response to Amoris Laetitia) and 2 newsletters in multiple languages, working across 7 global time zones in crazy hours of the days, beyond the countless house of informal meetings and group work across time and place. It is a miracle. It is obvious that we wouldn’t have been able to do this without each another from the Assembly, your affirmation, contributions, thoughts and prayers have been the thing that has kept it all going.

So here are outcome of the election of the Executive Team for the GNRC:

Co-Chairs: Ruby Almeida & Michael Brinkschroeder ; Secretary: Benjamin Oh ;Treasurer:Chris Vella ; Communications Executive: Fernando Gonzalez

Source: Quest Chair Now Co-Chair of Global Network! | Quest

Africa’s most and least homophobic countries | 76 CRIMES

Most tolerant countries

The Afrobarometer network, which conducts public opinion surveys in Africa, recently listed the continent’s most and least homophobic countries.

In these four African countries, the majority of residents say they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:

  • Cape Verde, 74%.
  • South Africa, 69%.
  • Mozambique, 56%.
  • Namibia, 55%.

Least tolerant countries

These five are the countries where the smallest percentage said they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:

  • Senegal, 3%.
  • Guinea, 4%.
  • Uganda, 5%.
  • Burkina Faso, 5%.
  • Niger, 5%.

Source: Africa’s most and least homophobic countries | 76 CRIMES

Priest Leads Opposition to Queensland’s “Gay Panic” Defense | Bondings 2.0

A Catholic priest in Australia has been leading efforts to eliminate the “gay panic” defense in his state.  The “gay panic” defense, which allows defendants to claim that a victim’s sexual advances motivated a criminal violence, is responsible for letting two men escape murder charges in a 2008 killing.

Fr. Paul Kelly launched an online petition in2012 to repeal the “gay panic” defense law, which is still allowed in the states of Queensland and South Australia. In that petition, which now has nearly 248,000 signatures, Kelly explained his powerful reason for being involved:

“I’m a Catholic Priest and 8 years ago a man called Wayne Ruks was bashed to death in my Brisbane churchyard. Unbelievably, his killer’s convictions were downgraded to manslaughter, using ‘gay panic’ as a defence. . .

“I’ve made it my mission to see this revolting law abolished – it belongs in the dark ages. I have no words to describe how offensive, harmful and dangerous it is that two of our governments uphold that a person can be panicked enough by gay people to justify murder.”

Source:  Bondings 2.0

Denmark will become first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness |  The Independent

Denmark is set to become the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness.

Government officials said classifying transgender people as mentally ill was “stigmatising” and they had “run out of patience” with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) work on the definition.

Being transgender is officially considered a mental or behavioural disorder by the WHO, although the organisation is currently assessing its guidance.

Changes by the WHO are characteristically slow, and the Danishgovernment will now aim to push ahead with the move on 1 January 2017.

Source:  The Independent

Strongly Catholic Philippines Elects Its First Transgender Lawmaker | Bondings 2.0

The heavily Catholic nation of the Philippines this week elected their first transgender person to the House of Representatives, while at the same time electing to the Senate a boxing star who made a vicious anti-gay comment during his campaign.

Geraldine Roman

The Tablet reported that the transgender woman won the congressional seat by a wide margin of votes:

“Liberal Party candidate Geraldine Roman, who has been living as a woman for more than two decades, trounced her closest rival in the congressional district of Bataan, winning 62 per cent of the unofficial vote.”

“If Jesus Christ was alive today, he would not approve of discrimination. I firmly believe that.”During the campaign, Roman, a Catholic, answered critics who said she should not be running for office.  She told the AFP:

Roman, who succeeds her mother as representative of their home district of Bataan, campaigned saying that her first loyalty was to the people of her district.  But she also did not downplay LGBT issues, making them an integral part of her platform. On the campaign trail, AFP reported:

 

See more at- Bondings 2.0

New Ways Ministry Thanks Sisters of Mercy and Mercy H.S. for Continuing Employment of Transgender Man  

New Ways Ministry congratulates and thanks the Sisters of Mercy and the administrators of Mercy H.S., San Francisco, for their Gospel-based decision to continue employment of one of their teachers who identifies as a transgender man. This decision stands as a beacon of hope in the midst of the terrible darkness of the recent trend of firing LGBT employees from Catholic institutions.

The decision was announced in a letter to parents of students, which, after describing the teacher’s situation, stated:“This afternoon, we informed students, faculty and staff about our resolve to support the dignity of each person—regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identification.”

 

We applaud, too, the courage of English Department chair and teacher Gabriel Stein-Bodenheimer for honoring his gender identity, as well to his commitment to educate students in the Mercy tradition. His personal example will be a most powerful lesson to all in the school’s community, especially because his decision involved a large degree of risk.

Source: Bondings 2.0

Transgender politician wins seat in Philippines parliament 

Geraldine Roman vows to campaign against restrictions stopping Filipinos from changing their name and gender after historic victory

Geraldine Roman has celebrated overcoming “bigotry, hatred and discrimination” after becoming the first transgender politician to win a congressional seat in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

After her victory in Monday’s election, Roman is being hailed by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as a source of hope in a country where Church influence means divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage are banned.

“The politics of bigotry, hatred and discrimination did not triumph. What triumphed was the politics of love, acceptance and respect,” Roman said after her victory for a seat in Congress representing the farming province of Bataan, just northwest of Manila.

Source: The Guardian