Protests surround use of LGBTQ positive photo by Catholic Church

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Saturday afternoon, people gathered across the street from St. Paul Catholic Church to protest the church’s use of an image of Mary with a rainbow flag around her shoulders. We asked a protest organizer to speak with us and he did not want to give his name.

“The rainbow flag obviously implies something and to drape her with that rainbow flag is blasphemy,” he says.

The protesters say they are with the TFP organization, which is the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. The group says they came out to make reparations for the sins of the church, namely blasphemy. Protesters say they encourage all people to attend a Catholic church, but they wish for the image of Mary with the rainbow flag to be taken down.

The protesters stood on the corner of West Short Street and Algonquin Street for an hour and a half reciting Hail Marys and the Lord’s Prayer while holding signs encouraging drivers to “honk to end blasphemy”.

“It’s a public sin so we pray publicly for reparation,” says the protest organizer.

Dr. Melinda Moore, a member of the Diocese of Lexington LGBT Outreach and member of the Board of Fortunate Families, says St. Paul’s LGBTQ+ outreach program is designed to help members of that community feel less alone and to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ+ youth.

“We know that LGBTQ youth who feel rejected by their families are something like 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who are not rejected by their families,” says Moore. “So actually what the church is doing is not only trying to bring people in and minister to the needs of people who are suffering in the community but also prevent that loss of life through marginalization.”

Moore says she thinks Saturday’s protest will open the conversation up for this topic. She says the protesters are not following the teachings of the catechism which has an outright prohibition against discrimination.

“I think we have to ask the question, what would Jesus do?” says Moore. “And He asked us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and to minister the needs of people who are suffering.”

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