A priest at a Catholic church in northwestern Minnesota admits he would not confirm a 17-year-old member of his parish because of his stance on gay marriage, The Forum reports.
"We just simply couldn’t do it no matter what, given what was out there," Rev. Gary LaMoine of Assumption Church in Barnesville said. "He could be confirmed, but he’d have to change his mind about some things, and I don’t know if Lennon is going to do that."
Lennon Cihak says he was denied the Catholic rite of passage after posting a photo on Facebook of an altered campaign sign that read: "Vote No! Equal Marriage Rights!" The message refers to opposition against the Minnesota marriage amendment that was defeated on Nov. 6.
Photo: The Forum / Dave Wallis
It turns out Cihak is not the only one at odds with the church's stance on same-sex marriage, according to the report.
"A couple candidates chose not to enter into full communion with the Catholic community because of their disagreement with the teaching of the Church concerning marriage," LaMoine said in a letter to parishioners.
Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and well-known commentator on Catholic issues, tells KFGO the situation is tragic.
"The fact that someone feels pushed away from the church is just sad for me," Martin said. "This is one of the saddest stories I've read in the past year or so because it's affecting a young person who, by all accounts, sounds like a good guy."
Reaction to the incident has been widespread. Hundreds of messages of encouragement filled a Facebook group page called "I support Lennon Cihak."