Sister Jeannine Gramick to Join Immigration Equality in Washington, D.C.
By Steve Ralls on 09/27/2010 @ 11:34 AM
Immigration Equality is proud to announce two very special guests for our upcoming Washington, D.C. reception – hosted by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams – on Thursday, October 21st.
This year’s headline speaker is Sister Jeannine Gramick (pictured), a Roman Catholic nun and Executive Co-Director of the National Coalition of American Nuns. For more than 30 years, Sister Gramick has worked for justice and peace for sexual minorities, including co-founding New Ways Ministries. She has also served on the national boards of the National Assembly of Women Religious, the Religious Network of Equality for Women and the Women's Ordination Conference, and her work was the centerpiece of a critically acclaimed documentary film, In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick's Journey of Faith, by the Peabody and Emmy award-winning director, Barbara Rick. In 2006, she was named a 2006 Laureate of the International Mother Teresa Awards for her role as a human rights activist.
In June, Sister Gramick told reporter Sarah Posner that she strenuously disagrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position against equality for LGBT binational families. “I’m a lifelong Catholic,” Gramick said. “I spend my life hopefully working for justice so that people can look and see there are Catholic people who at least try to be just and try to follow the Gospel. But frankly the US bishops continually embarrass me. They are an embarrassment to the Catholic Church at this point, particularly with the stand they are taking.”
Gramick, who has ministered to gays and lesbians since 1971, was investigated by the Vatican in the 1990s and ordered to stop ministering to the LGBT community. She ignored the Vatican’s order.
Sister Gramick will be joined in Washington by Immigration Equality client Roi Whaley, who is currently separated from his Filipino partner, Aurelio Tolentino, as he also battles Stage III lung cancer. Whaley turned to Immigration Equality for help after Aurelio was forced to leave the United States and Whaley was left to battle his illness without his partner. The couple, who were recently profiled in The Advocate, are working with Immigration Equality attorneys to appeal for humanitarian parole for Tolentino, which would allow him to temporarily return to the United States and be by his partner’s bedside.
Immigration Equality’s D.C. reception will take place at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store in Washington, D.C. – at 1526 14th Street, N.W. – from 6-8pm on October 21st. The event is open to the public. More details will be posted soon in the events section of our website.