Also.Also.Also: Further Developments

There were a few stories we started talking about last week that have continued to evolve — or in some cases devolve — over the past few days.

Let’s begin!

1. The Lesbian Communion Story

father guarnizo

We first wrote about Barbara Johnson’s mother’s funeral in February, telling you the story of how the priest, Father Guarnizo, denied Johnson communion because of her sexuality and furthermore walked out during Johnson’s eulogy and subsequently did not attend the burial. Guarnizo, who was meant to deliver the final blessings at the funeral, claimed that he had suddenly fallen ill and therefore couldn’t attend.

On March 12th, we told you that the preist had been suspended from his position for allegedly unrelated circumstances.

Today, new news from CNN via The New York Daily News — Father Guarnizo has made a statement and surprisingly enough, it contradicts Barbara’s story.

According to Barbara, Guarnizo knew Barbara’s partner was a lesbian because he asked her what her relation was to the deceased prior to the service, while she was helping prepare. Guarnizo says that’s not true:

“A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her ‘lover.’ Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to follow Ms. Johnson, her lover stood in our narrow sacristy physically blocking my pathway to the door. I politely asked her to move and she refused.”

This is an incredible adjustment to the original story, and an honestly hilarious one at that. I’m imagining it went like this:

Most people have logically assumed Guarnizo’s decision to dash out during Barbara’s eulogy and skip out on the funeral was not an unrelated event. According to Guarnizo, he totally for real definitely seriously had a really bad migraine:

“I did not and would not refuse to accompany Barbara Johnson and her mother to the cemetery because she is gay or lives with a woman. I did not in any way seek to dishonor her memory, and my homily at the funeral should have made that quite evident to all in the pews, including the Johnson family.”

Despite the fact that Guarnizo participates and leads anti-choice protests which are designed to invade the personal space and private health choices of female patients and attract media attention, he’s very annoyed that this particular matter is being “debated in public.”:

“I finally wish for the good of the Universal Church, the archdiocese, my parish and the peace of friends and strangers around the world, that the archdiocese would cease resolving what they call internal personnel matters of which they cannot speak, through the public media.”

I’m assuming he’s not yet formulated a theory behind why on earth anybody would make up Barbara Johnson’s story. Meanwhile, I haven’t changed my mind about being disgusted with him.

2. The Kony 2012 / Invisible Children Story

Last week we all hashed it out about whether or not Kony 2012 was worth our time/money/attention. Many people, including many Africans, have spoken out about their disillusionment with Invisible Children’s tactics and the Kony 2012 campaign in particular. We linked to a multitude of those voices in that post.

Apparently this whole skerfuffle was very stressful for Kony fillmmaker Jason Russell, who last week was captured by the ethical bastion of moral entertainment news news, TMZ, running around his neighborhood naked and swearing. (I’m not going to post that video here, if you really wanna see it, follow the link to Queerty.) The police were called by neighbors who reported seeing Russell masturbating on the street.

Due to some apparently suggestive hand gestures, this video has also amped up the dialogue around the belief/impression that Russell is a closeted gay man, as I assumed he was throughout the entire Kony 2012 video until he mentioned a wife. Speaking of that wife, Danica Russell told The LA Times that Russell, who was detained by the San Diego police for his actions, was suffering from “extreme dehydration and exhaustion.”

She added: “Because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal and Jason took them very hard… Jason has dedicated his adult life to this cause, leading to [the] KONY 2012 . We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it.” (That’s perplexing, considering that the entire point of the video — clearly stated at the video’s end — was to get millions of people around the world to see it.)

3. The Dharun Ravi Rutgers Webcam Spying Case

We told you on Friday about the verdict in the Dharun Ravi Rutgers Webcam Spying case, and today a juror named Kashad Leverett, from the case appeared on Fox 5’s Good Day New York. He recalled the deliberations as “intense,” and said everyone was “open-minded” and methodical about their decision.

Juror in spycam case talks with GDNY: MyFoxNY.com.

Meanwhile, for some reason people are interviewing an alternate juror who doesn’t agree with the verdict. O

 4. In conclusion, I think it’s clear that men are unable to handle their shit and women should take over the world.

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. Nailed it. Thanks for putting everything I want to see in once place :)

    That priest dude (whoever he is) totally watches the L word OMG.

  2. I for one am totally ok with Mel B taking over the world. Less scary than almost any Republican.

      • Yes! This. Also, Romney can be Trillionaire Spice, Ron Paul can be…I want to say ‘Old Spice’, but I feel like that’s completely unfair to lots of rad old people…so maybe Grouchy Spice? And Newt Gingrich can be whatever spice looks like a toad and/or Arrogant Spice.

  3. omggg i also thought that russell dude was gay until he mentioned his wife and i was like OH MY GAYDAR DONT LIE JASON, DONT EVEN.

  4. “Hi, I’m Dawn Debo, and this is my lover Cindy”

    You guys are the best.

    Also, is it just me, or does Father Guarnizo look like what would happen if Snape auditioned for the Matrix?

    As an aside, the interview with the juror is interesting and slightly horrifying to me. I suspect jurors speaking to the media here is officially not cool. Even making the name of a juror publicly known is officially not cool. Cultural differences, I guess.

    • The interview with the juror shocked me too. I vaguely remember something from a law class a few years ago about interviewing jury members being illegal where I live.

      • Just profile stalked you – we’re on different sides of the ditch, but it makes sense that our legal systems work similarly ;)

  5. 4. In conclusion, I think it’s clear that men are unable to handle their shit and women should take over the world.

    CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

    (in elementary school, my girl scout troop started saying “a-woman” at the end of the girl scout pledge. even as 7 year olds, we were fighting the patriarchy. has anyone had the new girl scout cookies? savannah smiles? holy mother of god, those things are delicious. i’m serious, go buy a box if you haven’t already. you will be supporting tiny feminists!)

    • A-WOMAN to Savannah Smiles! They are soooooooooooooo unbelievably delicious. Who am I kidding, I luv all of the cookies. Bought 10 boxes this year. About to buy a few more to ensure my supply lasts until next season.

      • As a frequent commenter, former Girl Scout and sister to an actual GS Gold Award recipient (a girl scout award, not a gay thing, unfortunately)….I am going to require a detailed description of the Savannah Smile… I have no idea what this…

        • It’s a crescent shaped lemon cookie covered w/ powdreed sugar..Pretty cranking..And only 140 calories per 5 cookies! Sidenote: I got kicked out of the GS after a week and a half because I got caught smoking cigarettes with Julie Letsun behind our troop leaders garage..I was only there because Julie said we could “practice smoking and kissing”..Never did get to “practice kissing” part..But I got good at it anyway

    • Thank you for sharing a-woman! This is going to make me the coolest thing at my church, ever. I must share now. Also, where can I buy these cookies, immediately…

      Pretext: I go to very cool church (we actually are changing the name of “church” to “spiritual center” because sometimes churches can be jerks and we aren’t). The other day, the (lady) pastor gave a talk on names of God and how we need to recognize how lacking it is to assume God is only male (or even gendered.)

      i just realized that this sounds like I’m in a cult. I promise its not…promise.

  6. 3. As a Rutgers alum, I’m actually really invested in the Ravi case and seeing what they give him as his sentence. He’s an idiotic jerk but I hope he doesn’t get 10 years. I’m torn & there are so many feelings over the little details. It’s like you want justice for Tyler but giving Ravi the max won’t change the bigger picture. It’s not tit for tat and done. The energy needs to be focused on prevention and changing our culture. However, I am glad it’s being followed and getting exposure unlike countless other silent stories. Except for this crap focus on alternate jurors. Why?

    I was a senior when it happened and not out yet (still not completely out) and it actually inspired me to come out to close friends. If nothing else, the story is step toward awareness.

    • 3. As a Rutgers alum, I’m actually ralley invested in the Ravi case and seeing what they give him as his sentence. He’s an idiotic jerk but I hope he doesn’t get 10 years. I’m torn & there are so many feelings over the little details. It’s like you want justice for Tyler but giving Ravi the max won’t change the bigger picture. It’s not tit for tat and done. The energy needs to be focused on prevention and changing our culture. However, I am glad it’s being followed and getting exposure unlike countless other silent stories. Except for this crap focus on alternate jurors. Why?I was a senior when it happened and not out yet (still not completely out) and it actually inspired me to come out to close friends. If nothing else, the story is step toward awareness. 2

  7. Wish there was a way to hear is homily but all I´ve been able to do is read the church´s weekly bulletin with their response to LGBTQ life.

    I find it extremely…extremely hard to believe Fr. Gaurnizo’s version of events & his reasons. Yes, it is possible that a severe migrane or an acute illness can prevent you from continuing your work/serivce. However, anybody that has ever attended a Catholic mass, funeral, wedding, baptismal, heck even a quinceñera knows that there is always an opportunity to politely excuse yourself. He could have quietly pulled aside Ms. Johnson or anybody that represented the family & inform them that he has unfortunately fallen ill & will give a blessing for one of the deacons or a church staff member to continue on his behalf.

    So now what I am wondering is…To whom did he excuse himself and how? All I´ve heard was he walked out.

    • Yeah, this. And if his argument is that it was so severe that he couldn’t excuse himself (it does get that bad for some people), I find it surprising that no one else noticed any symptoms, that he was able to organise an “acceptable representative” but didn’t explain to them that he had a migraine, or even that he was able to walk out unassisted.

      Basically, I smell bullshit.

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