GLAAD Issues LGBTQ Guide for Papal Visit

In preparation for the upcoming massive Papal visit to Philadelphia, GLAAD has issued a 28-page guide titled The Papal Visit: A Journalist’s Guide to Reporting on Pope Francis and the LGBT Community. Yes, the free book is meant for writers, but there are plenty of interesting and informative pieces of information in the guide that any LGBTQ person or ally may find interesting.

For example, surveys in the guide indicate that 76% of Catholics “agree that same-sex relationships should be accepted by society” and that 73% of Catholics “favor laws that would protect same-sex couples against job discrimination.” Most interesting, 56% of Catholics “believe sexual orientation is something a person is born with; 25% believe sexual orientation is due to factors such as upbringing or environment and 12% of Catholics say sexual orientation is due to both factors.”

GLAAD makes it clear that “statements from the hierarchy are out of step with Catholics. Coverage…should make note of the Vatican policies and statements that have had a negative impact on LGBT Catholics whenever possible.” Also interesting given recent news here in Philly over the termination of Margie Winters, the openly gay teacher at Waldron Mercy Academy, the guide says that writers should “tell stories of people being fired for being LGBT or accepting. Make note of the employment conditions that are placed on employees at Catholic institutions.”

GLADD provides a series of suggested questions that anyone can ask Catholic officials that they believe will get “to the core of the hierarchy’s talking points to address the reality of LGBT people” in the Catholic Church:

  • “If a young person were questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, do you think they would feel safe opening up to you or others in the Church?”
  • “What gifts do LGBT people bring to the Roman Catholic Church?”
  • “What do you think the Roman Catholic Church has learned from LGBT people?”
  • “What impact do you think that Pope Francis’ words, both positive and negative, have on LGBT people?”

You can read the full guide here.