Sara Smolenski, LGBT judge, Catholic Church, Holy Communion
St. Stephen Catholic Church in Michigan denied Holy Communion to LGBT state district court Judge Sara Smolenski. Smolenski, 62, is married to a woman and is the chief judge of Michigan's 63rd District Court. (Photo credit: wideonet/Shutterstock.com)

Sara Smolenski, LGBT Judge, Denied Holy Communion by Michigan Church

St. Stephen Catholic Church in Michigan denied Holy Communion to Judge Sara Smolenski, the chief judge of Michigan’s 63rd District Court, because she is married to a woman.

Rev. Scott Nolan, the priest at the church located in Grand Rapids, Mich., called Smolenski, 62, on Nov. 23 and asked her not to attend communion, CNN reported, despite that she was baptized at the church, attended the church’s school for first through eighth grades and her parents were married in the church decades ago.

“This is not about me against the priest, and it’s not really me against the church,” Smolenski told CNN. “This feels like selective discrimination. Why choose gay people, and why now?”

Related Article: LGBT YouTubers Suing for Ad Discrimination

Smolenski said that Nolan called her and said it was good to see her and her wife at church on Sunday but “because you and Linda are married in the state of Michigan, I’d like you to respect the church and not come to communion.”

Six days before the phone call, Smolenski had received communion from Nolan.

Smolenski and her wife are not the only ones the church has denied communion to. Earlier this year, Nolan denied another LGBT couple communion “publicly” during Mass, Smolenski said.

In response to the negative publicity around Nolan’s denial, the priest told CNN affiliate WOOD that the Catholic faith tells him who should receive Holy Communion and who shouldn’t and that denials happen regularly.

“Some of that criteria are just around what’s happening in that person’s life and what do they believe and what are they doing and what are they not doing,” Nolan told WOOD.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids issued a statement in support of Nolan’s decision not to give LGBT couples communion.

“Inclusion and acceptance have been a hallmark of Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Grand Rapids throughout the diocese’s history,” the statement said. “They remain so. They presume, however, a respect on the part of individuals for the teachings and practice of the wider Catholic community. No community of faith can sustain the public contradiction of its beliefs by its own members. This is especially so on matters as central to Catholic life as marriage, which the Church has always held, and continues to hold, as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman.”

However, in November the pope condemned speech that discriminates against people’s homosexual orientation.

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…