PHILADELPHIA: Mayor Hopes To Raise LGBT Issues With Pope To “End Judgment”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

Mayor Nutter, if given the chance, plans to speak with Pope Francis during the papal visit to Philadelphia about barriers faced by the LGBT community in the United States and to ask the pope to “end judgment” of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Catholics. In a statement Friday, Nutter’s office summarized the message he hopes to deliver to the pope. The comments, addressed to “Your Holiness,” touch on a range of concerns in the LGBT community including alienation from the church, discrimination in housing and employment, and isolation of youth leading to depression and suicide. “We encourage ending the systematic and institutionalized discrimination against LGBT people through the message of love, hope, and acceptance,” the draft remarks from Nutter read. “For the many LGBT individuals who seek the Lord and have good will, we ask that you end judgment of these individuals by those within the church through teaching and pastoral practice currently in place.”

Here’s the draft of Nutter’s message:

“Your Holiness, in keeping with your pastoral approach to those living at the margins, especially the impoverished, immigrants and the incarcerated, we ask for you to include LGBT people in your message of love, kindness and inclusion. Throughout Philadelphia, the United States and across the globe, LGBT individuals face alienation from the Church, higher rates of discrimination in health care, housing, education and employment, and higher rates of poverty and violence. Within the LGBT communities, youth are in crisis. The rejection and isolation some experience leads to depression, substance abuse, homelessness and suicide. We encourage ending the systematic and institutionalized discrimination against LGBT people through the message of love, hope and acceptance. For the many LGBT individuals who seek the Lord and have good will, we ask that you end judgment of these individuals by those within the Church through teaching and pastoral practice currently in place.”