FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholics, Non-Catholics, Gays and Straight Allies Rally at the Cathedral Basilica Sunday November 29th, 11:30am to 1:30pm
SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI – November 20, 2009 – Less than two weeks ago, Tim Townsend of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke a story on how newly appointed St. Louis Archbishop Carlson used local diocese money to fund an anti-gay marriage ballot measure in Maine. (See Post-Dispatch article, "Carlson tapped archdiocesan fund to fight gay marriage in Maine.")
The article exposed how St. Louis Catholic dollars were used to pay for a ballot measure called, "Question 1," that asked only Maine voters if they should veto the rights of same-sex couples to legally marry in (again) only Maine. Unlike last year’s Proposition 8 referendum in California, the right to marry was already granted to same-sex couples by Maine legislature and signed into law by Maine’s Governor John Baldacci. Question 1 was a people’s vote to “take-away” rights already granted. Many Catholics want to know why Archbishop Carlson financially backed a Maine people’s vote that had no effect on Missouri legislation. In 2004 Missouri Voters overwhelmingly passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Archbishop Carlson, including 45 Catholic Bishops across the United States together sent $180,000 to the Maine’s “YES ON 1 Campaign,” that organized the people’s veto of Governor Baldacci. The Catholic leadership donated this large sum of money during the current economic hardship, high unemployment and while families are struggling to meet their basic needs. This year alone, the St. Louis Archdiocese eliminated 6% of its administrative and educational office jobs and four positions at Catholic Charities. On Sunday November 29 11:30am, St. Louis Catholics and non-Catholics; gays and straight allies will unite in front of the Cathedral Basilica, 4431 Lindell Boulevard, to demonstrate the better uses for $10,000.
Last November over 1400 St. Louisans stood on the steps of the Historic St. Louis Old Court House to show solidarity to all those affected in California after the passing of Proposition 8. On Sunday November 29th from 11:30am to 1:30pm; in front of the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, we are asking St. Louis to stand for equality. We gather again in solidarity for those not only discriminated against in Maine by Archbishop Carlson; but we rally in support for religious tolerance and diversity in the Catholic Church.
“No longer will we tolerate the religious funding of hate,” declares Show Me No Hate founder Ed Reggi. “The Archbishop showed no mercy for the poor, sick and homeless in St. Louis. The $10,000 Carlson wired to Maine could of helped the empty food pantries and local toy drives this Christmas season. We want to send a clear message of religious tolerance. And if that doesn’t work, we are asking every St. Louis Catholic to earmark their donations going forward. Tell the Archbishop you want your money to stay in your parish, to help St. Louis or at the very least to help Catholic Charities within the Metro East – not Maine,” says Reggi.
The rally on Sunday November 29th, 11:30am to 1:30pm is co-sponsored by the Catholic Action Network, Catholics for Marriage Equality, Holy Families Committee and Show Me No Hate.
Show Me No Hate is a coalition of Missourians seeking full Marriage Equality. Professional comedian, and actor, Ed Reggi started the grassroots organization a year ago after Proposition 8 narrowly passed in California. Show Me No Hate has successfully organized dozens of peaceful rallies. Reggi made national news with his first rally in front of the Historic Old Court House last November and his group recently chartered two coach buses to Iowa where 32 Missouri same-sex couples were legally married.