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Gay Group Forced to Leave Church


A church support group for parents of gays and lesbians was asked to abandon its regular meeting place when church officials discovered the group scheduled a gay man to speak at an upcoming meeting about life with his partner.

Always Our Children met monthly at St. Pius X Parish in Billings, Mont., until they scheduled an engagement with sportswriter and author Bill Konigsberg. Konigsberg was scheduled to speak this week, but the church cancelled the engagement and evicted the group one week prior to the event, the Billings Gazette reported.

"We were told we could not have it there because of the mention of Chuck being Bill's partner, and that it promoted and condoned same-sex marriage," group spokeswoman Debbie Schenk said.

The group was notified of the cancellation in an e-mail, from Bishop Michael Warfel, the head of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, and was a result of an article in the Billings Gazette, previewing the talk.

"I received a number of inquiries from Catholics who were confused about the presentation and who was sponsoring it," Warfel said, noting public confusion regarding whether the diocese supported the event.

"And there was some question about a conflict with Catholic teaching on homosexuality," Warfel said. "So I asked that it be moved to another site in order to eliminate confusion."

The event was intended to be an open forum for people who wanted to know more about the group, in addition to those who have questions, concerns and fears about the LGBT lifestyle.

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