Archdiocese rejects gay couple's proposed tombstone design at St - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Archdiocese rejects gay couple's proposed tombstone design at St. Michael Cemetery

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They won the freedom to marry, now they're fighting for what they call the freedom to bury.

Greg Bourke and Michael De Leon were plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case legalizing same-sex marriage. Now, the two are battling the Archdiocese of Louisville over their memorial headstone at St. Michael Cemetery.

The Archdiocese rejected the couple's design, which included interlocking wedding bands and an image of the Supreme Court.

"I am not a theologian but I have listened to a lifetime of scripture, and I can tell you Jesus called all of his followers to be welcoming people," Bourke told reporters. "I have to tell you, from my perspective, it feels like a deliberate retaliation against our family. I just have to ask does anyone, 'Think that's what Jesus would do?'"

In a statement, the Archdiocese says a judgment was made that the headstone design was not in keeping with Church teaching about marriage. It says Bourke and De Leon are welcome to present another headstone design for approval.

"Having reviewed your proposed gravestone inscription please note we can approve your shared stone with both your names and dates of birth and of course the religious symbol of the cross," wrote Javier Fajardo, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries, the Archdiocese of Louisville, in a letter to the couple. "However, we cannot approve the depiction of the Supreme Court building and the use of wedding rings. Inscriptions on grave markers are permitted so long as they do not conflict with any teachings of the Church. Your proposed markings are not in keeping with this requirement."

Here is a copy of the letter:

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