On September 23, 2016, at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in New York City, the official LGBT ministry of the parish (Out at St Paul) will commemorate the Obergefell vs. Hodges Supreme Court decision with two featured “guests:” Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, the Director of Latina/o and Catholic Initiatives for the Human Rights Campaign, and Margie Winters, a Catholic school teacher who was fired after it was discovered that she is married to another woman.

Lisbeth Melendez Rivera works for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a far-left “gay” advocacy group which calls for changes in Catholic doctrine regarding homosexuality:

From an HRC brochure titled “Coming Home: To Catholicism and to Self” –

According to DeBernardo, church laity have already adopted a relationship-centric morality, largely in response to questions of birth control. “Most Catholics,” he explains, “are heterosexual, married and practicing contraception, which is banned by the Catholic Church. You’re not supposed to have a sexual act that is not open to new life, but 98 percent of Catholic Americans don’t accept that ruling.” The notion that same-sex activity is wrong simply because it can’t be procreative has thus become a non-issue for most Catholics. “That, more than gay liberation or anything else,” DeBernardo says, “has changed the Catholic mentality toward one that accepts LGBTQ relationships.”

Sister Jeannine, too, looks for change to generate among the Catholic faithful. “Historically, the Christian church has changed how it views sexuality but only officially after the change first occurred at the bottom, among the people. As a community, when we listen to each other’s stories, and feel for each other, we’ll experience a change of attitude.”

As FitzGerald explains, “For 20 years, you’ve heard really repressive statements. Now, all of a sudden, you’re hearing that the church should be ‘a big tent,’ you’re hearing ‘Who am I to judge?’” FitzGerald is quick to note that the pope’s increasingly inclusive language doesn’t change church doctrine. However, he’s just as quick to note that the pope’s welcoming attitude presents a significant new opportunity. “People are more likely to be open, more likely to tell their stories, and we know that the sharing of experiences is what leads to authentic change.”

Rivera has also been outspoken about her opposition to the Church’s teachings with regards to homosexuality, as well as marriage; after the publication of the 2014 preliminary report to the Synod on the Family, which included some affirmative language about homosexuality, Rivera said:
“…the Vatican has heard the voices of Catholics around the world who see their faith as something that can include LGBT people, and honor their lives and relationships.”

She added:
“While this isn’t by any means a full acceptance of LGBT equality within the church, it’s a huge step toward making LGBT Catholics feel welcomed in their communities of faith, rather than approaching them with judgment.”

Once that language was eventually dropped from the final report, Rivera commented:
“Once more, members of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church have erred on the side of hypocrisy and fear…”

In 2015, she was part of a group, The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, comprised of LGBT Catholics lobbying the Vatican during the Synod; afterwards, she wrote about her experiences at the event:
“Changes in the Roman Catholic Church doctrine are few and far between (sometimes centuries go by) and unfortunately U.S. representatives in Rome squandered away an opportunity to have our voices heard. As per usual they have opted instead to carry their own message of exclusion and judgment into the upcoming Synod which can have tragic consequences.”

She concluded:
“We were in Rome to tell all that we don’t need ‘fixing,’ and that our salvation is not dependent on their prayers…”

The “Rainbow Catholics” meeting in Rome also included an official from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

When Pope Francis visited the US in 2015, Rivera said:
“We’re looking for dialogue that leads to the full inclusion of our people in the Church.”

In her critique of the Philadelphia World Meeting of Families, posted to the HRC web-site, Rivera quoted a mother of a Catholic transgender boy:
“I do not wish to see any child, young person, or person at all, committing suicide, or living without hope simply because the church rejects them for being humanly different…God is love and ALL of their creating is perfect.”

According to Rivera’s LinkedIn page:
“Lisbeth has served in a wide range of roles across movements including NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Senior Organizer for the March for Women’s Lives and Freedom to Marry’s Mobilization Coordinator…Today Lisbeth lives in Washington, DC alongside her life-partner.”

St. Paul the Apostle (for more information about this parish and it’s LGBT outreach – click link below) is also where the highly dissident documentary “Owning Our Faith” was filmed; in it, several active homosexuals stress the need for change in the Church concerning prohibitions against homosexual activity as well as “gay” marriage; with one “gay” man stating:
“If we leave it, if we abandon the Church then it’s never going to change. So we have to continue living here, being an example and encouraging other people to be that example because that’s what’s going to change the Church.”

Link to HRC brochure for Catholics: