LGBTQ+ societies targeted by religious leaflets

UCD LGBTQ+ society has recently received religious leaflets titled “Heaven Speaks Today: Gay and Lesbian Outreach”. The publication is produced by St. Michael’s World Apostolate Church in New York City, USA.A number of LGBTQ+ societies in other universities have also received the same leaflet, including Gay in Galway Society and Q Soc, based in Trinity College.The leaflet is produced by a church in New York but can be ordered online.The publication states that “it’s very important for every Catholic experiencing same-sex attractions to know that there is hope and that there is help… This condition is not genetically or biologically determined.”Auditor of UCD LGBTQ+ Society Philip Weldon described the leaflet as “blatantly homophobic.” He went on to say “I’m very disappointed that someone would choose a college society to obviously send that kind of material to.”The publication also contains quotes from ‘Jesus’ and ‘Our Lady,’ which are referenced as late as 1987. These include statements such as “AIDS was a plague, and is a plague, and shall continue to be a plague, as long as you will not change your course of destruction.”Weldon stated that “The content itself is completely… it’s crazy. And there’s no other two words about it, any decent person could say that.” He further explained that the address on the envelope had been handwritten and posted with an Irish stamp.Following contact with the church by Weldon he explained “they send people to Ireland to do missionary work and spread their message. I would say obviously that is a message of hatred that they’re spreading, they’re not missionaries in any say true sense of the word.”The society also questioned why that had been targeted, with their auditor saying “that person may have been UCD based, given that again its targeted, given that its geared towards a UCD student society… why us? Like we base all of our events, all of our ideas all of our policies, all of our actions are geared towards students and… the betterment of student engagement in UCD.”Weldon added: “while I respect the freedom of speech and whatnot, I would just be very mindful of the hurt that somebody can cause in exercising maybe not speech but hate.”The church had not responded to a request for comment from the University Observer at the time of going to print.