This week read about Lisa Middletown becoming the first transgender mayor in California, and James Martin, a priest in Michigan, saying that gay people are not allowed the sacrament.

First Trans Mayor in California

On Dec. 9, Lisa Middleton was sworn in as mayor of Palm Springs, California, making her the first transgender mayor in the state and only the third in the nation. Stu Rasmussen became the first transgender mayor in the U.S. in 2008 when he was elected in Silverton, Oregon.

Middleton had won a spot in City Council in 2017, the Desert Sun reported, and was reelected in 2020. Before she was elected, Middleton served on the Palm Springs Planning Commission and was the interim executive director of the Desert LGBTQ Center.

In October, Middleton announced that she is running for a seat in the state Senate.

When she was being sworn in, Middleton commented on trans people throughout history such as Martha P. Johnson in the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and how politicians have blocked resources and opportunities for trans people.

"For every elected official blocking doorways, there are others opening doors and across the country, there are places like Palm Springs where the welcome mat is out," she said. "I am so thankful for my hometown."

Catholic Diocese Says Gay People Are Not Allowed the Sacrament


Photo via the Catholic Diocese of Marquette, Facebook.

A priest for the Catholic Diocese of Marquette in Michigan shared a statement on social media saying that LGBT people are not able to be baptized or receive communion unless they “repent.”

NBC reported that James Martin, the priest who issued the statement, instructed other church leaders to "persons with same-sex attraction" and "persons with gender dysphoria" and "lead them step‐by‐step closer to Jesus Christ in a manner that is consistent with the Church’s teaching."

The executive director of DignityUSA, which advocates for LGBT rights in the Catholic Church, Marianne Duddy-Burke expressed concern over the statement and said this shows a trend amongst dioceses that are "making statements that look like they're trying to be helpful to gay, queer and transgender people but that are really doing harm.”

The statement said that in order to get baptized and take the sacrament, LGBT people could “repent,” not engage in same-sex relationships, and not deviate from the sex assigned to them at birth.

Duddy-Burke said that this most recent statement was the "most egregious" ever issued by a diocese. “[It] goes much further than any diocese has gone before."