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Gay church gets
the boot by New Orleans Catholics

Gay church gets
the boot by New Orleans Catholics

A church that serves gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members has been kicked out of its temporary home by the Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans because the church supports same-sex marriage. The Metropolitan Community Church of Greater New Orleans had a 12-month lease within the Project Lazarus complex, a facility owned by the archdiocese that provides hospice services to AIDS patients, many of whom are gay. But after three months the archdiocese terminated the lease. "We believe that homosexuality is one of the sexualities created by God, which is in contradiction to Roman Catholic teachings that say homosexuality is bad," the Reverend Dexter Brecht, the church's leader, said.

The archdiocese's spokesman confirmed that doctrinal differences with the Metropolitan Community Church triggered the eviction. "This particular group blesses gay unions, which we do not support," said the Reverend William Maestri. After learning of the church's teachings, the archdiocese had to act, Maestri said. Continuing the lease might have created the impression that the Catholic Church is either indifferent to or in support of the teachings of that church, Maestri said.

Project Lazarus serves people with AIDS and does not reject gay men and lesbians, Maestri said, adding that the Catholic Church ministers to gays through various support groups. However, Brecht said the decision is "another blatant example of the homophobic policies present in the archdiocese of New Orleans." Brecht said the lease allows the archdiocese to terminate the agreement on 90 days' notice and that the church is looking for a permanent home. (AP)

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