Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Same-Sex Couple's Newest Battle Is With Catholic Cemetery

NewNowNext and Advocate reported yesterday that Greg Bourke and Michael De Leon, a same-sex couple who were among the plaintiffs in one of the same-sex marriage cases decided by the Supreme Court along with Obergefell v. Hodges, are now at odds with a Catholic cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. The couple, who have been together for 34 years and members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish for 28 years purchased a joint burial plot in Saint Michael Cemetery. However the cemetery has refused to approve the headstone design which the couple submitted.  It features their names, interlocking wedding bands, a cross and a depiction of the U.S. Supreme Court building.  A letter from the cemetery informed the couple that it could not approve depictions of wedding rings and the Supreme Court on the headstone because this conflicts with teachings of the Church. In 2015, National Catholic Reporter named Bourke and De Leon "persons of the year" for "their historic roles as plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges and for their faithful public witness as gay Catholics."