Christian hate group targets gay top executive at Catholic charity to raise money
Catholic Relief Service VP Rick Estridge

A newly-formed right wing organization has set its sights of getting an executive of a large Catholic charity organization fired because he's an openly gay man married to his partner, reports The Advocate.


The Lepanto Institute, which like the Catholic League headed by Bill Donohue appears to have only one employee, claims that  Catholic Relief Services makes a mockery of the church by continuing to employ Vice President for Overseas Finance Rick Estridge.

“It is increasingly difficult to take CRS seriously as a Catholic organization,” Lepanto Institute president Michael Hichborn said in a press release.

Estridge has been married to his partner for two years and has frequently expressed support for same-sex marriage on his Facebook page.

To date, CRS has taken no action of the employment of Estridge, while noting that the organization does not have a policy regarding the employment of openly LGBT people or on nondiscrimination.

On his own Facebook page, Hichborn has expressed his distaste for gay marriage, posting a picture of a plunger in a toilet and comparing it to same-sex marriage, writing, "A shaft in a sewer is a pretty apt analogy of sodomy."

A review of  "The Lepanto Institute for the Restoration of All Things in Christ" website indicates that Hichborn may be the only employee, similar to Bill Donohue's Catholic League, once described by comedian Kathy Griffin as "One guy with a fax machine."

The institute, named after the  Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where the Christians defeated the Ottoman Turks, is currently applying for 501 (c)(3), tax exempt status, and is holding a fundraiser that has raised $4,535 so far.