Internet Campaign Gathers Info. On Closeted Gay Priests In D.C. Area | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Internet Campaign Gathers Info. On Closeted Gay Priests In D.C. Area

Play associated audio
Phil Attey, the man behind the Churchouting.org campaign.
Jonathan Wilson
Phil Attey, the man behind the Churchouting.org campaign.

By Jonathan Wilson

A D.C. resident has started an internet campaign to gather information about closeted gay priests in the area, and says his goal isn't to harm their careers, but to save the church.

The campaign is called ChurchOuting.org and includes a website, a Twitter feed, and a Facebook page that already has more than 1,000 followers.

Phil Attey, the social media expert and gay activist who started the campaign, says despite the provocative name, Church Outing is not a place to indiscriminately 'out' gay priests.

Instead, he's hoping it's a way to put pressure on those priests to stand up to their bosses. "If they just band together, they could break the cycle of spiritual abuse," says Attey, "regardless of what the pope says, regardless of what the archbishops say."

Attey says he's using his social media background to gather first-hand accounts of clergy who, for example, are out socially, but preach against homosexuality from the pulpit.

He says he'll use the same standards as reputable news organizations to make sure the stories are accurate. But even those sympathetic to Attey's point of view worry about the tactics.

Marianne Duddy-Burke is executive director of Dignity USA, the nation's largest Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual and transgendered Catholic organization. Duddy-Burke says the threat of outing someone whose livelihood may be at stake rubs her the wrong way. "We're focusing on men, who may already feel caught by the system, and who are probably already struggling," says Duddy-Burke.

The Archdiocese of Washington D.C. did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

NPR

College Life Doesn't Have To Mean Crummy Cuisine, Says Dorm Room Chef

Sick of dining hall pizza, public health student Emily Hu taught herself how to cook — even with no oven. Now she's hoping to inspire her peers to pick up cooking skills and healthier eating habits.
NPR

College Life Doesn't Have To Mean Crummy Cuisine, Says Dorm Room Chef

Sick of dining hall pizza, public health student Emily Hu taught herself how to cook — even with no oven. Now she's hoping to inspire her peers to pick up cooking skills and healthier eating habits.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

The Infinite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.