The Short List

NEWS: The Catholic Church Stirs Up Controversy Nationwide, Young Gays Run For Office (Old Heteros Too) And More!

Welcome to the Short List, where you’ll find all the news or entertainment tidbits worth digesting for the day.

On this lovely Friday here’s the breaking news you’ll need to spark discussions all weekend, from egregious Church goings-on to gays running for office.

*This weekend, LGBT groups are going to protest against Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, the way-out-of-touch priest who compared gays to the KKK. Wear a sweater, people—it’s cold! [LezGetReal]

*Remember those two terrible anti-gay bills that the Tennessee Legislature is considering? Here’s a  on-point piece by Michelangelo Signorile that takes down these hypocritical measures. The title is clutch: “Don’t Say Gay”—But “Sodomite,” “Pervert” Are Fine. [HuffPo]

*Archbishop John C. Nienstedt (right), Minnesota’s head-priestess-in-charge, has put a muzzle on any priests who might express reservations about the passage of an anti-gay-marriage amendment being put to voters in November. “There ought not be open dissension on this issue,” Nienstedt wrote in a private letter to state clergy. [TAI via Progressive Catholic Voice]

*Over in Connecticut, the Catholic Church is being more sneaky in its approach to homosexuality: It’s quietly started up Courage, a Vatican-endorsed program that helps clergy “form a spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love.” Platonic love, guys. Platonic. [CNN]

*Last church news item, and it’s a downer: Reverend Mark Bidwell, a gay church pastor from the Detroit suburbs, overdosed on methamphetamine in his home Tuesday. Sad sad sad. [Daily Tribune]

*But horray for young queers vying for public office! Tyler Johnson (at left), a 23-year-old fellow kicked out of his house at 16 for being gay, is running for a spot on the Toronto District School Board. [Advocate]

*Right now, Mitt Romney has a 94% chance of winning the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.  Ron Paul has a 6% chance and “fun” candidate Rick Santorum has a 0% chance. Knowing that, Rick’s already focusing on the South Carolina primary, though his odds there are crappy too. [Five Thirty Eight]

*And finally: Mormons, Jews, guys with pets—”The 8 Best Sexy Guy Calendars Of 2012″ has something for (almost) everyone. [Jezebel]

Images via Tyler Johnson, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Toby Hudson/Alfred Handel