News (USA)

Trans Catholic forced to leave church after reverend’s anti-LGBTQ+ sermon

Rev. Timothy Gareau Photo: TikTok screenshot

A transgender person with a microphone was removed from an Ohio Catholic church during a Sunday service after they spoke against an anti-LGBTQ+ sermon delivered by a reverend earlier in the service.

On May 28, a trans person named Avery stood behind a lectern on the stage of St. Raphael Parish church after Rev. Timothy W. Gareau delivered a sermon criticizing the Los Angeles Dodgers for honoring the drag nun activist group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

“We are under attack,” Gareau said, claiming that the Sisters are “defaming the name of every Christian here on Earth.”

“It just burns a hole in my heart, angers me, and embitters me. And it should you,” he continued. “We should feel that sting and fight against it — not by boxing gloves. There’s other means, there’s other ways.”

“I don’t want to give these people a name. I don’t want to give them that much credit. But it’s happening. And it’s also being affirmed,” he added. “I want to cry. But we have the spirit. We have the spirit of the living God, who is upon us, who is with us, who is among us and within us.”

After a prayer that followed Gareau’s sermon, Avery went onstage to condemn the reverend’s comments.

“That was really painful to hear,” they said. “That was really hurtful.”

“Queer and trans people also carry the Holy Spirit,” they added, telling Gareau directly, “You baptized me.”

“I know you’re talking about the Sisters of Indulgence, and I understand that from the outside it looks like they are defaming the Catholic faith,” Avery continued. “There are queer children here. The spirit of God moves through all people.”

Before Avery could say another word, three men approached the lectern to remove them. Some audience members booed the speaker’s words as one man grabbed the microphone and said, “You need to go.”

“I will go,” the trans person said. Some applauded as they were escorted from the stage.

WEWS-TV noted that Avery and several congregants left the church after the reverend’s sermon and stood outside. A witness told the news station that an angry parishioner told Avery to “get the f**k off the property” before threatening to assault a congregant supporting Avery. The parishioner reportedly pushed another person and an off-duty police officer restrained the assaulter.

In a statement applauding the reverend, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland said his sermon was about the “growing acceptance of anti-Catholic bigotry in our society,” and added, “Those who disagree with the Church’s teachings are free to do so, but are not free to disrupt the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to express their opinion. Likewise, those who would seek to defend the Church should do so lovingly and without in any way threatening or committing violence.”

The church removed the video of the reverend’s sermon from its Facebook page. Still, footage of Gareau and Avery’s comments was placed on TikTok, where one video of the incident has garnered over 60,600 views as of Friday afternoon.


Ohio Catholic priest criticizes Los Angeles Dodgers and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Queer person challenges priest and is removed from church. #losangelesdodgers #sistersofperpetualindulgence #cleveland #straphael #ohio #lgbt

♬ original sound – Revmomo

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