The same homosexual couple who appeared as victorious plaintiffs in the United States Supreme Court lawsuit that legalized same-sex “marriage” across America is now pressuring a Catholic cemetery against its will to display a pro-homosexual design on their headstone — one that sends an unbiblical message that directly opposes Catholic beliefs.
Greg Bourke, one of the plaintiffs who filed the same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, with his homosexual partner, is claiming that the Catholic cemetery’s rejection of his headstone is a civil rights issue of discrimination.
“It’s pretty clear when you read the letter that this is a clear case of LGBT discrimination,” Bourke argued, according to LifeSiteNews.
The homosexual activist, along with his partner, Michael De Leon, alleged that by refusing to accept their tombstone, the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, is guilty of unlawful discrimination. They publicly announced their allegation Wednesday during a press conference staged outside the St. Michael Cemetery, according to a report by the NBC-affiliate WAVE-3 local television station.
While addressing the media — using the backdrop of the church — Bourke claimed that the city’s archdiocese has been getting away with the unlawful treatment of him and his partner — as members of the LGBT community. He contended that the clergy was able to use extreme prejudice against them by acting under the veil of religious protection, which Bourke said allowed them to circumvent anti-discrimination laws in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
“We wanted to see if there might be any kind of a legal challenge that we can make,” Bourke told the media. “Honestly, there are legal protection laws — there’s an exclusion in the fairness ordinance that protects religious organizations — so that they have a license to discriminate.”
Promoting deviant behavior?
Imagery and symbolism displayed on the tombstone in question reportedly attempts to make an overt effort to promote the homosexual lifestyle — in contradiction to Christian teachings.
“Bourke and De Leon’s proposed headstone design blatantly revels in the Obergefell decision redefining marriage, sporting an image of the Supreme Court building beneath a pair of intertwined wedding rings between their two last names,” LifeSiteNews’ Lisa Bourne explained. “Below the image of the high court building, their first names and middle initials, along with space for their respective dates of death are divided by a cross.”
In the couple’s initial attempt to draw attention to the matter, a response letter from Catholic Cemeteries for the Louisville Archdiocese Executive Director Javier Rajardo was reprinted in The Advocate — a homosexual publication. The letter informed the homosexual couple that the designs on their grave marker stood in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and as a result, the message it conveyed was not deemed appropriate to be displayed in a Catholic cemetery that honored its beliefs.
“Having reviewed your proposed gravestone inscription, please note we can approve your shared stone with both your names and dates of birth, and, of course, the religious symbol of the cross,” Rajardo replied to the men via his letter. “Inscriptions on grave markers are permitted so long as they do not conflict with any teachings of the Church. Your proposed markings are not in keeping with this requirement.”
At the “Freedom to Bury” press conference last week, Bourke informed the press that he and his partner were assured that new guidelines were going to be created for the memorials of same-sex couples. But when LifeSiteNews contacted Archdiocese of Louisville Chief Communication Officer Cecelia Hart Price for comment, she explained that a lengthy approval process for all grave makers — that dates back many years — has been put in place by the cemetery’s office.
Honoring God’s Word — not the LGBT agenda
Making its stance on the tombstone marker very clear, the Archdiocese of Louisville stressed that its mission is to honor the Gospel — not political agendas.
“A Catholic cemetery is a place that serves the faithful and witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ and the hope we share in the resurrection,” the archdiocese expressed in a statement prepared for LifeSiteNews. “This ministry of the sacred rite of burial is offered to the Catholic community and all of God’s people. To this end, it is a place where the signs and symbols of our Catholic faith are displayed with pride and reverence.”
It was also noted that the inappropriate and unbiblical imagery presented on the marker was the sole reason for its rejection.
“As with all markers in Catholic Cemeteries, determination as to the appropriateness of inscriptions or symbols is the judgment of the Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries in consultation with the proper Church authority,” the statement continued. “In this case, the judgment was made that the depiction presented was not in keeping with Church teaching about marriage. Mr. Bourke and Mr. De Leon are welcome to present another headstone design for approval.”
Pushing the LGBT agenda full force
As longstanding attendees of Louisville’s Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, both Bourke and his partner, De Leon, were named by the dissenting Leftist publication, the National Catholic Reporter, as “2015 Persons of the Year.” This designation was given to reward the homosexual couple for their crucial part in redefining marriage — to no longer be the union of one man and one woman. The publication went on to extol the couple for “their faithful public witness as gay Catholics” — pointing to their landmark Supreme Court case that undermined natural marriage in America.
LGBT activists have rallied behind the homosexual couple to push their agenda in the name of tolerance and so-called “civil rights.”
“Denial of the headstone design celebrating homosexual ‘marriage’; garnered pushback from LGBT activists, with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) calling it a ‘narrow and hurtful decision by the Archdiocese,’” LifeSiteNews’ Bourne reports. “The Advocate piece said the men were ‘accustomed to discrimination within the Catholic Church,’ citing Bourke having been asked to resign as a Boy Scout troop leader at his parish in 2012 after announcing his sexual orientation. Despite the Boy Scouts of America lifting its restriction on openly gay adult leaders last year, religiously affiliated troops can continue to choose leaders in accord with their beliefs, and the Our Lady of Lourdes troop denied his application to rejoin.”
When Bourke was informed that he could not serve as a leader on the Catholic Church’s troop, he professed that he would make his qualm with the clergy public by complaining to Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz about his grievance.
“Clearly, we have to draw attention to the Archdiocese — and specifically Archbishop Joseph Kurtz — for making this decision, which was really unnecessary, and, I think, quite mean-spirited,” the LGBT activist insisted.
Soon afterwards, Bourke sought backing for his condemnation of Kurtz by creating a petition on Change.org, where he maligned him for holding to the Catholic Church’s teaching that those with same-sex attractions must abstain from sexual relations (with people of the same sex).
Not backing down
In a show of support for the Louisville Archdiocese, the Catholic League commended its perseverance in not caving in to the homosexual agenda’s bullying tactics. The nonprofit organization lifted up the archdiocese for standing by its cemetery policy and defending the morals held dear by the Catholic Church.
“The First Amendment ensures the free exercise of religion, and if that means anything, it means the right of religious institutions to determine their own strictures,” proclaimed Catholic League President Bill Donohue. “That would include the right to deny those who seek to politicize Catholic graveyards.”
The Catholic leader then attempted to expose the LGBT activists’ true intentions behind their insistent challenges to biblical policies enforced by the Catholic Church.
“These men are not interested in tolerance —a they want to impose their secular views on the Catholic Church,” Donohue concluded. “Hopefully, this contrived exercise in victimhood will open the eyes of those Americans who fail to distinguish between ordinary gays and militant gay activists. It is the latter, along with their heterosexual allies, who are seeking to sexually engineer our society — not even bathrooms and showers are off-limits — practicing intolerance in the name of ‘rights.’”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.