Massachusetts Catholic church pulls art museum funding over LGBT marriage

By David Edwards
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 16:03 EDT
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Wedding at Worcester Art Museum (YouTube)
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A Catholic church in Massachusetts says it will no longer fund a local art museum after it responded to last week’s Supreme Court rulings in favor of same sex marriage by offering to host weddings for gay and lesbian couples.

Rev. Stephen M. Gemme, pastor of the St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough, told the Telegram & Gazette that the church could no longer fund the Worcester Art Museum because it had used social media to express a message of support for the LGBT community.

“We’re simply not going to support them institutionally as in the past,” Gemme explained. “We’re just following the lead of the diocese on that.”

A June 26 Facebook and Twitter posting from the museum had simply said, “Congrats LGBTQ Nation! The Worcester Art Museum is proud and happy to host your wedding!”

“The post was in an effort to join a national dialogue in a positive way,” Worcester Art Museum Director of Audience Engagement Adam Reed Rozan told the paper on Monday. “We welcome all guests to experience the joy of coming together with friends and family amidst 51 centuries of art. In this way, our museum becomes not only a repository of historical objects, but part of peoples’ personal narratives.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Worcester, however, insisted that no churches had been directed to pull support from any organizations.

“We don’t support gay marriage. But, we haven’t said divest yourself of any organization,” diocese Communications Director Raymond Delisle pointed out. “I think any individual group will make their decision based on their plans and relationships.”

Watch this video of a wedding at Worcester Art Museum, uploaded in 2012.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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