Same-sex ‘marriage’ backers boo Bishop Morlino’s prayers at Madison rally

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Bishop Morlino speaks at the NOM marriage rally in Madison.

Bishop of Madison Robert Morlino prayed the Our Father and condemned unjust discrimination against homosexuals while speaking at a pro-marriage rally in Madison on Tuesday, only to have homosexual counter-demonstrators shout at and boo him.

The rally was part of the Summer for Marriage Tour 2010, sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

A video of the Madison event posted on YouTube shows the bishop asking the crowd to pray a second Hail Mary for “our fellow human beings who are gay and lesbian, admitting that as Catholics and as Christians there is no place among us for gay-bashing or gay bashers.”

“We want to pray that indeed the Lord will calm the hearts of our brothers and sisters with his love … and with his truth,” the bishop said, as the counter-demonstrators became increasingly audible.

According to Channel3000.com, about 30 people attended the pro-marriage rally, while the counter-demonstrators numbered about 300.

“We also want to pray for those who are gay and lesbian, that they may be kept safe from all harm and from all unjust discrimination,” the bishop continued.

As Bishop Morlino said this, counter-demonstrators with increasing loudness chanted “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, homophobia has got to go.”

They continued to chant as the bishop and rally attendees prayed the Our Father.

“God’s blessings on all who are here today, and I mean God’s blessings on all,” the bishop continued, as the counter-demonstrators began to yell “Take your hate out of state.”

Counter-demonstrators carried a large rainbow flag and signs, one of which read “Defend marriage against homophobic bigots.”

Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in an e-mail update for supporters that radical proponents of same-sex “marriage” had “reached a new low” with the action. He reported that the counter-demonstrators had screamed at and booed the bishop, decrying the action as “the face of intolerance.”

“Isn’t it something when people who so loudly demand tolerance from everybody else, show such intolerance for those who simply wish to pray to God for the preservation of His sacred institution?” he asked.

Katie Belanger, executive director of the homosexual advocacy group Fair Wisconsin, defended the loud chanting of the counter-demonstrators.

"It was really important that our voices were heard today," she told WMTV, later adding that the counter-demonstration “shows the passion that we have on our side.”

Brown stated that the purpose of the Tour is to rally support for marriage, but he claimed the reaction to it has helped Americans to see “how radical our opponents are.”

“These people who scream at our supporters, mock priests, taunt children and boo the Lord’s Prayer are the very same people who, with a straight face, promise that they would never force their values on us if America would only legalize gay marriage.”

Other incidents have taken place between pro-same-sex “marriage” protesters and attendees at rallies. In Albany, New York on July 17 protesters carried colored balloons and umbrellas. One group followed a mother who had moved to the back of the rally to nurse her baby. She later said she felt scared and intimidated by their behavior.

One counter-demonstrator was recorded on video threatening to kidnap a different rally participant’s child.

At a rally at the Providence, Rhode Island Capitol on July 18 counter-demonstrators entered into the crowd and shouted at attendees, surrounding one of the speakers. Capitol police had to call in the state highway patrol to restore order.

In 2006 Wisconsin voters passed a referendum defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. The margin of victory was 59.4 percent to 40.6 percent.

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