A controversial nun whose anti-gay comments at a North Carolina Catholic high school caused a firestorm of outrage won't be returning to the area to deliver a planned speech next month, the Diocese of Charlotte announced today.
Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican nun from Nashville, Tennessee, caused an uproar when she told students in a mandatory assembly at Charlotte Catholic High School that masturbation, pornography, and having divorced parents can turn a person gay. The complete and utter lack of any scientific basis whatsoever for any of those claims apparently did not deter the good Sister one bit.
North Carolina-based LGBT news source QNotes reports one student's account of the assembly:
"Then she started talking about how gays [sic] people are gay because they have an absent father figure, and therefore they have not received the masculinity they should have from their father. Also a guy could be gay if he masterbates [sic] and so he thinks he is being turned on by other guys. And then she gave an example of one of her gay 'friends' who said he used to go to a shed with his friends and watch porn and that's why he was gay... Then she talked about the statistic where gay men have had either over 500 or 1000 sexual partners and after that I got up and went to the bathroom because I should not have had to been subject to that extremely offensive talk."
Newsflash, sister: if masturbation made guys gay, there wouldn't be a single straight man alive.
Gay students felt victimized, and some teachers reportedly left in tears.
Kids, alumni, and parents -- who were never notified about the assembly before it was held -- swung into action: they started a Change.org petition demanded an apology from the school, signing an open letter to Sr. Laurel and the school's chaplain, and initiated a letter-writing campaign that targeted diocesan officials, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and even Pope Francis.
Today, Sr. Laurel's religious order in Nashville decided to cancel her planned address to a diocesan youth conference next month, the Observer reports. "They felt like this just wasn't a good time for the sister to speak again in the diocese," diocesan spokesman David Hains said.
This evening, diocesan officials will meet with Charlotte Catholic High parents to discuss Sr. Laurel's lecture and hear their concerns, to "basically kind of air this whole thing out," Hains said. The bishop will not attend, and the event is closed to the media.
Sr. Laurel -- who also managed to denigrate women and cite an abusive Australian couple as an example of why gays make bad parents during her lecture -- apparently has quite the history of virulently extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric. QNotes's Matt Comer reports:
She has partnered with the Ruth Institute to present lectures and conferences opposing same-sex marriage. The Ruth Institute was formerly funded by the National Organization for Marriage, a group which has pushed anti-LGBT constitutional amendments nationwide and whose founder has compared gays to pedophiles.
In one lecture posted online, Laurel claims that more young women are engaging in oral sex and says, "This is not a normal sexual act. It's something that's imported from the homosexual culture. It's not part of the natural love between man and woman."
In another lecture, Laurel speaks at length about the Folsom Street Fair, a San Francisco fetish event. In another video, she says that androgyny is a tool of Satan and that "devil-worshipers" have three goals: to continue abortions, to destroy traditional marriage and destroy the distinction between male and female.
Why this deranged, lying, sex-obsessed wingnut is allowed anywhere near kids is entirely beyond my comprehension.