The Catholic campaign of spiritual bullying against LGBT people continues...
Dominic Sheahan-Stahl, an actor in New York City, was invited by his alma mater to be the keynote speaker at next month's commencement exercises. The event carries added significance because his youngest brother is graduating -- the last member of three generations of Dominic's family to attend Sacred Heart Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
But yesterday, Sheahan-Stahl's mother called him in tears to tell him that he was no longer allowed to speak at graduation. The reason? The school found out that Dominic is gay and engaged to be married, and a gay, soon-to-be-married man could not take a public role in an event where the local bishop would also be appearing. Dominic never hid his sexual orientation; his "mistake" was that he posted his engagement photos (including the one above) on Facebook. Nobody from Sacred Heart Academy even bothered to inform Dominic of the decision; instead, they left it up to his mother to break the news to him. His brother in Michigan was so hurt and upset that he could not listen to the phone conversation and had to leave the room.
Sheahan-Stahl posted a video on YouTube this morning (check it out after the break) to tell his side of the story and speak out about the injustice of the whole situation. In it, he holds up a copy of his speech and notes that the text makes absolutely no mention of his sexual orientation or his plans to marry his fiancée. The message he would have delivered to the Sacred Heart Academy class of 2012, though, was one of courage: "If you can't face fear of people. . . not liking what it is [you] have to say, then you're not going to make a difference in life." I would submit that by publicly standing up to the spiritual bullying he's receiving from the Catholic Church and refusing to be silenced, Sheahan-Stahl is conveying that message even more powerfully than a speech would have been able to achieve.