Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006 Page: 15 of 60
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Popular Catholic priest comes
out to Louisiana parish as gay
Priest of 18 years explains he felt compelled to practice
the same honesty he has always advised to his parishoners
THIBODAUX, Lousiana — Deciding he had
to practice the honesty he preached, a popular
priest has told his family, his bishop and the peo-
ple in his parish that he is gay.
The Rev. Jim Morrison said he had been work-
ing since October on the letter which he sent
early this month to 300 members of the congre-
gation at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
and 200 members of the student ministry at
Mcholls State University.
He mailed the letter and handed his bishop a
copy on Jan. 2, about a month after the Vatican
released a policy statement saying people with
"deep-seated" homosexual tendencies should be
kept out of the priesthood.
The following Saturday, the pews at his south-
ern Louisiana church were full, The Courier
newspaper in nearby Houma reported Sunday.
As pastor, Morrison told the congregation, "I
ask you constantly to trust me. I ask you come to
me with your life, all the blessings, all the strug-
"But it's not a one-way street," he said.
Morrison said he told his parents, four sisters
and two brothers before he mailed the letter.
"I wrestled with talking to my parents," he
said. But, he said, the family talks were "very
In the letter he said that for years, he had coun-
seled people struggling with their sexual orienta-
tion to be honest about it with people they love.
"I have come to realize that while I was
encouraging others to be honest, I was not putting
these words into practice in my own life,"
He said he wasn't looking for attention or
approval but trying to be more true to himself,
God and those he serves.
"I thought it took a lot of courage," Winnie
Faucheux of Thibodaux said after the Saturday
evening Mass. "I love him. I think he's a wonder-
ful person. I think the community's going to grow
from him being honest."
Morrison said he has kept his vows of celiba-
cy and is not in any romantic or sexual relation-
ship. Being celibate and gay is not against
Catholic doctrine, so he does not plan to resign,
Nor is he being asked to, said Louis Aguirre,
spokesman for the Diocese of Houma-
"He's not being asked to do anything but to
continue his ministry," Aguirre said.
Morrison, a priest for more than 18 years, has
been pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic
Church at Mcholls State University for more
Baptist preacher charged with
public lewdness resigns position
OKLAHOMA CITY — A Baptist preacher
who was arrested on public lewdness charges in
early January has resigned.
The Rev. Lonnie Latham, 59, formerly senior
pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church and an out-
spoken critic of the gay rights movement,
allegedly suggested having oral sex with an
undercover policeman. He was released from jail
on $500 bond on Jan. 4, the day after his arrest.
As he was leaving jail he said: "I was set up. I
was in the area pastoring to police."
After his arrest, Latham resigned from his
church, the board of directors of the Baptist
General Convention of Oklahoma and the execu-
tive committee of the Southern Baptist
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01.13.06 I da I las voice I 15
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006, newspaper, January 13, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238891/m1/15/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.