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US Catholic newspaper names gay marriage plaintiffs ‘persons of the year’

Joseph McCormick December 29, 2015
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A national US Catholic newspaper has named two men who were plaintiffs in a case which brought same-sex marriage to the country as ‘persons of the year’.

The National Catholic Reporter named Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon with the honour.

The couple were one of several dozen plaintiffs in the case which went to the US Supreme Court as Obergefell v Hodges.

In June, the Supreme Court made a sweeping ruling which legalised same-sex marriage across all 50 US states.

The paper wrote: “Bourke and DeLeon are emblematic of this major challenge facing the church today, because they force us to ask not how will we live out a hypothetical situation, but how will we live with Greg and Michael.

“They give flesh to an abstraction.”

“The answers the church is giving now are con­fused, uneven and often cruel,” the editorial added.

“Greg and Michael — and countless gay, lesbian and transgender Catholics — deserve better.”

The paper previously named Supreme Court justice John Roberts, who was in the minority which opposed same-sex marriage.

The couple travelled to marry in Niagra Falls, Canada, in order to provide legal protection for their children Bella and Isaiah.

They have now been together for 33 years.

Bourke said he and DeLeon are “surprised and deeply moved” to receive the honour.

“The Catholic Church has long created a climate of shame and exclusion for LGBT Catholics,” Bourke told The Huffington Post on Monday.

“This bold statement by the National Catholic Reporter could be an important step in changing policies and rhetoric in the Church about God’s LGBT people who seek only to be included and treated with the same dignity as anyone else.”

Related topics: US

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