White House invites LGBT Catholics to papal ceremony

The Washington Blade has learned the White House has invited a number of LGBT people to attend an event with President Obama and Pope Francis.Family Equality Council board member Frank Bua, Diverse Elders Coalition National Managing Coordinator Ben de Guzman and gay Garden Grove (Calif.) Mayor Bao Nguyen are expected to attend what the White House describes as an “arrival ceremony” that is scheduled to take place at the Executive Mansion on Sept. 23.Harry Knox, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, received an invitation for the event. Frank DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based group that ministers to LGBT Catholics, and Sister Jeannine Gramick, executive coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuns who has publicly supported marriage rights for same-sex couples and other LGBT-specific issues, are also expected to attend alongside Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera of the Human Rights Campaign.DeBernardo described the invitation to attend the event with Obama and Francis as “a great honor and thrill that has” left him “nervous, excited and humbled.”“The presence of a number of LGBT Catholics and advocates at the White House reception sends a strong message that LGBT people are a great concern of this administration,” DeBernardo told the Blade. “It also shows that the White House thinks Pope Francis is concerned about this community too.”

Source: White House invites LGBT Catholics to papal ceremony

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