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Internet Campaign Pressures Local Gay Priests to Come Out

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By Jonathan Wilson

A D.C. resident has started a controversial internet campaign to gather information about closeted gay priests in the D.C. area.

According to its creator, social media expert and gay activist Phil Attey, the goal of ChurchOuting.org is to gather first-hand accounts of closeted gay clergy in the hopes that those priests will come out on their own and help change the church's stance on homosexuality.

"The only way to do that is to demand and force a level of transparency within the clergy on the issue of homosexuality," Attey says.

Attey says outing priests will be a case by case decision, depending on the circumstances, and how much he thinks the news will help change minds.

Marianne Duddy-Burke with the gay catholic organization Dignity USA says that while Attey's motives are good, outing gay priests is a troubling tactic.

"It's an inherently violent act in situations where it's pretty clear that somebody would lose their livelihood," Duddy-Burke says.

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

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