When Bishop Thomas Tobin posted a homophobic tweet encouraging Catholics to ignore Pride month and claiming gay pride is somehow harmful to children, the LGBTQ community responded. And they didn’t hold back.
“A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June,” Tobin wrote. “They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful to children.”
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A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.
— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) June 1, 2019
Tobin’s tweet went viral and was ratioed quickly — in other words, meaning his remarks were so offensive that the number of comments outnumbered “likes” and retweets, writes David Badash for The New Civil Rights Movement.
Twitter was flooded with replies from queer and trans people and lots of allies, including celebrities, BuzzFeed News reports.
“This is pure ignorance & bigotry,” tweeted actress Mia Farrow. “Ignore this hate-filled hypocrite. His mind set leads only to suffering. He brings to mind those priests who molested my brothers. Of course we should embrace our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and children. Jesus spoke of love.”
This is pure ignorance & bigotry. Ignore this hate-filled hypocrite. His mind set leads only to suffering. He brings to mind those priests who molested my brothers. Of COURSE we should embrace our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and children. Jesus spoke of love ❤️
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 2, 2019
She also made another important point.
“Kids are in far more danger in a Catholic church than at a Gay Pride gathering.”
Kids are in far more danger at a catholic church than at a gay pride gathering.
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 2, 2019
And Farrow isn’t wrong. Especially in Tobin’s case. He served as auxiliary bishop of Pittsburg, one of six Pennsylvania dioceses, where a Grand Jury found the Catholic church tried to hide decades of sexual abuse perpetrated by more than 300 priests, Joe.My.God. reports. Tobin tried to back out of this last August by saying “he became aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported to the diocese,” but this wasn’t under his jurisdiction. So in other words, he was okay with knowing this and letting abuse slip under the wire.
But gay people are contrary to “Catholic morals” and are “harmful for children.”
And other Twitter users (including actress Patricia Arquette) agreed.
Investigate the paedophiles in your ranks who use their power to predate on the innocent. Send your countless riches, stored in vaults and crypts and offshore accounts, to those who starve and live in penury.
Then come and tell me how to life my life.
— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) June 1, 2019
Shame on you. LGBT kids are thrown out on the streets and abandoned because of poisonous thinking like yours.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) June 2, 2019
But here’s a man you’ll get behind:
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”https://t.co/P7qSzFvrDZ
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) June 2, 2019
“A scathing grand jury report last year said the Catholic Church covered up decades of sexual abuse of some 1,000 victims by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania, where Tobin was formerly posted.”https://t.co/C3MAx5IYsT
— Alex Morash (@AlexMorash) June 2, 2019
Jorge Elorza, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, where Tobin is based, tweeted his support for the LGBTQ community, noting everyone is welcome to celebrate Pride Month.
“We stand with and support our LGBTQIA+ community here this June and every day in our capital city,” he wrote.
A reminder that Providence is a place where all people are welcome to celebrate Pride this month. We stand with and support our LGBTQIA+ community here this June and every day in our capital city. https://t.co/azexMprNMO
— Jorge Elorza (@Jorge_Elorza) June 2, 2019
The backlash to Tobin’s tweet was swift and a rally was held outside the largest Catholic church in the city. And Tobin issued an apology that really wasn’t an apology.
“It was not my intention” to offend, he wrote in a statement. “But my obligation before God…is to teach the faith.”
Joe Lazzerini, president of Rhode Island Pride, said Tobin’s tweet was outrageous.
“He said LGBTQIA people are harmful to children, and frankly, hearing that from a [leader] of the Catholic church is frankly flabbergasting.”
But it’s not just that, Lazzerini added. The bishop’s comments obliterate Catholic LGBTQ people and their allies.
“Regardless of how he personally feels, regardless of what the supposed teachings of the Catholic church are, I don’t think the bishop represents Rhode Island Catholics.”
Let’s hope Lazzerini is right because to think anything else is disgusting. People like Tobin need to check themselves out in the mirror.
Featured image courtesy of the video above