The local LGBT Catholic organization Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) has issued separate press releases supporting the rights of women in the Catholic Church while criticizing a San Francisco archbishop of homophobia.
In one statement, RSM reaffirmed its support of women: "Considering how the Church has treated women throughout history, the Rainbow Sash Movement would have hoped that today's bishops would make a special effort to listen [to] concerns of women.
"Currently there is an attempt on the part of conservative bishops in the Catholic Church working with conservative Republicans to undermine women's health when it comes to reproductive choice. The bishops' leadership is unhappy about a new national policy that includes birth control under preventive health care: a designation that requires new health plans to cover it in full, without the co-payments and deductibles that keep many women from using it effectively. This policy, which was adopted last summer, and goes into effect next August, in our opinion is a long time in coming."
In another release, RSM said it "is saddened by the lack of moral courage on the part of Archbishop Niederauer of San Francisco."
At least three gay and lesbian clergy members were disinvited from participating in Advent services at the Castro's Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, according to LGBTQ Nation. The Reverends Jane Spahr and Roland Stringfellow, as well as retired Episcopal Bishop Otis Charles, were asked not to participate. George Wesolek, spokesman for the archdiocese, confirmed that Niederauer made the decision.
RSM said, "By bowing to homophobia the Archbishop speaks volumes about his character. However, the courage and faith of both the priests and lay people of Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco to stand opposed to homophobia in the Church remains a wonderful example of what can be done in shinning the light of the Gospels on hypocrisy."