First a little background: Washington state is currently in the midst of trying to gather 120,577 signatures to put Referendum 74, which would repeal recently enacted gay marriage equality legislation, on the November ballot. Roman Catholic Archbishop J. Peter Sartain directed churches in his juristiction to collect signatures for the Referendum (source Seattle Gay News). News comes today about two churches, St. James Cathedral and St. Joseph’s Parish, which will not be participating in the signature gathering. Father Ryan of St. James states in a letter to parishoners that participating in signature gather would “prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.” and St. Joseph’s homepage states “no petitioning will be permitted anywhere on the campus of St. Joseph.”
The brave action of these two parishes not to collect signatures to place the rights of a minority up to whims of the majority is very large step within a journey that ends on the right side of history. More and more people are realizing that religious freedom means the freedom to stand up in support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. I expect that more and more religous organizations will join us on the road to full equality as time goes on. See these two begin with that first step and knowing that there will be thousands more is another reason why it gets better.