Greg Bourke and Michael De Leon, two longtime members of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Kentucky, saw their proposed headstone nixed by a Catholic cemetery.
The couple’s proposed marker bore an image of the Supreme Court, in honor of last year’s Obergefell decision established marriage equality nationwide. The men — together for 34 years, proud parents, and former plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Kentucky's marriage equality ban — were informed that Louisville's St. Michael Cemetery rejected the imagery of the court, reports NewNowNext.
“Having reviewed your proposed gravestone inscription please note we can approve your shared stone with both your names and dates of birth and of course the religious symbol of the cross,” read a letter from Javier Rajardo, executive director of Catholic Cemeteries for the Louisvlle archdiocese. “Inscriptions on grave markers are permitted so long as they do not conflict with any teachings of the Church. Your proposed markings are not in keeping with this requirement.”
Bourke and Rajardo were planning a press conference on Wednesday — called the “Freedom to Bury” announcement — in protest of the cemetery’s actions.
Not only are Bourke and De Leon devoted Catholics, they were named persons of the year in 2015 by the National Catholic Reporter. Still, they’re accustomed to discrimination within the Catholic Church — Bourke was removed from his position from a local Boy Scout troop last year. The troop, affiliated with his church, refused to allow him to rejoin even after the national organization voted to end its ban on openly LGBT leaders last year.