ANTI-GAY CHURCH OFFICIALS PROMOTE EVIL By Shelley Ettinger New York The rise in violence a

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ANTI-GAY CHURCH OFFICIALS PROMOTE EVIL By Shelley Ettinger New York The rise in violence against gays, lesbians and transgendered people is continuing. According to the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, there has been a 10-percent increase in anti-gay attacks here in the last year. Activists say the religious right, including the Catholic Church hierarchy, is partly to blame. Brendan Fay, a well-known Irish gay activist, was stabbed in the back as he walked home in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 23. His attacker yelled an anti-gay slur as he stabbed Fay. Fay suffered a punctured lung. He was hospitalized in serious condition. The incident came less than two weeks after Pope John Paul II's visit to the United States. President Clinton met with the pope and praised him as a messenger of peace. John Paul has repeatedly condemned the lesbian and gay community. He has said gays bring anti-gay violence upon themselves. And he has blamed AIDS on "sinners." Fay's stabbing also coincided with the release of a new "pastoral letter" on homosexuality issued by Bishop Thomas Daily. In the letter, Daily tells the 1.6 million Catholics of Brooklyn and Queens that same-sex "desires and acts" are "gravely evil and immoral." And he brands legislation barring anti-gay discrimination as "itself immoral and an injustice to the natural rights of all men and women." Daily's letter also criticizes anti-gay violence. But Fay and representatives of the Anti-Violence Project say that's just for the record. In reality, they say, Daily, the pope and New York's John Cardinal O'Connor all encourage gay bashing. Anti-Violence Project Executive Director Matt Foreman called Daily's letter "a hypocrisy that fuels violence and discrimination against lesbians and gay men. " So his group staged a protest inside St. James Cathedral, Daily's church in Brooklyn, Aug. 29. Gay and lesbian protesters outnumbered parishioners in the mostly empty cathedral. As the bishop read his Sunday homily, they stood up in the pews, turned their backs on him and displayed signs and t-shirts with protest slogans. One gay man's t-shirt read, "Calling me evil promotes violence against me." Another's read, "Brendan Fay has a knife in his back." Fay has played a prominent role in the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization's struggle to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The Brooklyn archdiocese fired him from his teaching job at a Catholic girls' school two years ago after his picture appeared in a newspaper article about the parade. -30- (Copyright Workers World Service: Permission to reprint granted if source is cited. For more information contact Workers World, 55 West 17 St., New York, NY 10011; via e-mail: + Join Us! Support The NY Transfer News Collective + + We deliver uncensored information to your mailbox! + + Modem:718-448-2358 Fax:718-448-3423 E-mail: + * Origin: SOL, home of ANEWS * 802-626-4103 v32bis * Venceremos! (1:325/806)


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