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Local GLBT Community Protests Visiting Catholic Priest's Refusal to Hold Funeral Parade for Local Gay Man Who Owned Popular Popef*ckers.com Porn Site

Bishop Brom Quickly Apologizes, Agrees to Provide Free Advertising for Site in Diocesan Newspaper, All Parish Bulletins

Diocese: Visiting Priest "Not Familiar with Local Practice."

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[Pictured: proposed ad for Popef*ckers.com to be placed in parish bulletins]

A San Diego man’s Catholic funeral parade was moved from India Street in Little Italy to the grounds of Holy Cross cemetery this week after a priest objected because the man was gay. "At least the dead don't complain," explained Bishop Robert Brom in a moment of unusual candor.

Tuesday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said in a statement that the funeral parade for 75-year-old Barry DiSangiovese — who owned Popef*ckers.com, a popular website for Catholic-themed gay porn — “may take place.” The statement, from Chancellor Rodrigo Valdivia, said the person objecting to the initial funeral arrangements was “some yokel from out of town who wasn't exactly hip to the concept of irony” and who was “not familiar with local practice.”

The refusal to hold a parade in Little Italy prompted a small group of gay Catholics to gather outside the church Monday night to sing the score from "Jesus Christ Superstar" and leave a note for the diocese seeking a clear policy on funeral parades, including the maximum acceptable number of nun impersonators, sanctioned methods of self-flagellation, and civil air pollution regulations on incense.

Among those six or eight people were Nicole Murray Ramirez, a member of the San Diego Human Relations Commission, and Tom Kirkman, former president of Dignity/San Diego, the local chapter of a national advocacy group for gay Catholics.

“I met [DiSangiovese] several months ago,” Ramirez said. “To be real honest, he was everything a Christian should be. He was very giving, he loved Jesus, and he loved pictures of men in cassocks making sweet, sweet love to one another. He had many, many friends who felt the same way. A lot of business people in any community don’t give back; they kind of just run with the money. But even if I couldn't pay my monthly membership fee for the site, he could never say no.”

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