Catholic priest and gay activist dies

A Roman Catholic priest's open attitude led him to help found various gay and lesbian organizations throughout his life.


Robert Carter, right, attends a gay pride march in the early 1980s. (courtesy of


Rev. Robert Carter, founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, died after being openly gay for 40 years.

A Roman Catholic Priest, Carter came out in 1970. When Dr. Howard J. Brown, a New York City health administrator, came out in 1973, Cater joined with him to form an organization later named the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The church did not discipline Father Carter for being gay. In 2005, though, a Vatican-issued document said “the church would not admit to a seminary or ordain those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’”

Carter also helped found Dignity USA in New York, a support group for gay Catholics.

“I refer to him as the heart of Dignity,” said Father McNeill, who helped Carter host the first Dignity USA meeting, in an interview with The New York Times. “I was doing all the writing, but he was on the front line, meeting with people, counseling people.”

To read more on this story, visit The New York Times.

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