Why is His Excellency Peter Joseph Jugis, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, able to
make a clear statement of faith with regard to basic bathroom etiquette,
but Reverend Michael Francis Burbidge, in the Diocese of Raleigh is not ?
This is the record of the descendants of Adam.
When Jesusfinished these words,
Some Pharisees approached him, and tested Him,saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply,
“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
The city's anti-discrimination ordinance previously exempted public bathrooms, showers "and similar facilities which are in their nature distinctly private."
Many local religious leaders, including Bishop Peter Jugis, called the proposal
a threat to public safety and decorum.
"God made men and women biologically different. As a society we must respect that difference, and continue to maintain separate public bathrooms for men and women for the sake of modesty and safety," Bishop Jugis said in a statement Feb. 22.
A North Carolina bishop has distanced himself from initial support offered by the state’s Catholic conference for an anti-LGBT law the legislature is considering. The bishop is now saying the law, which criminalizes public restroom use according to one’s gender identity rather than assigned sex at birth and bans local LGBT non-discrimination protections, raises concerns that should be remedied.
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh said legislators should rework problematic parts of the law, known as HB2, and he called for mutual respect and dialogue between opposing sides.
Burbidge said “another remedy to the unfortunate situation created by the Charlotte Ordinance and HB2 should be considered.”
The Charlotte Ordinance is an LGBT non-discrimination law passed in the state’s largest city.
The bishop suggested that a remedy should be guided by a respect for human dignity, the avoidance of bigotry, and a pursuit of the common good, among other factors. He told WRAL 5 that legislators could “come up with something better” that is not understood to be bigoted or misconstrued. His statement at a media luncheon continued:
“No person should feel as though they are unwelcome in our communities of faith. The priests of this Diocese, myself included, remain committed to speaking with anyone who has concerns about how we operate or what we believe. This applies regardless of one’s gender or gender identity. Building strong relationships is fundamental to healthy faith communities. All people are made in the image and likeness of God as man and woman, and we stand ready to continue accompanying all people in their faith walk.”
Burbidge, however, defended the diocese’s policies for “gender specific multi-stall bathrooms and said organizations’ decisions about their own operations “should be respected.” He closed with an appeal for civility in what has become a most contentious debate:
“My hope and call, is that before this issue takes another step in either direction, both sides will treat one another with decency, love, and mutual respect.”
These are Burbidge’s first public comments on HB2 since it was passed in April, although it should not be considered his first time weighing in on the matter. Catholic Voice North Carolina, the bishops’ public policy arm, asked Catholics to oppose the Charlotte LGBT protections ordinance to which HB2 was responding, and said the state law had “yielded a favorable outcome for religious liberty.”
Later, a spokesperson for the Raleigh diocese
then said that
“the Diocese does not have a position on HB2.”