Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Let’s Honor Love, Commitment and “Til Death Do Us Part”

by HRC staff May 17, 2016

“Til death do us part” are some of the most sacred words in marriage vows - the commitment to love and honor another through the good and the bad of a full life.  And so it is no surprise that some of the most personal and poignant decisions that we make with and for our loved ones is how we honor each other in death - through funeral services, rituals and personal choice such as a headstone.

Greg Bourke and Michael De Leon are lifelong Roman Catholics. They married in Can­ada in 2004 they courageously  challenged Kentucky’s marriage ban and served as plaintiffs in the historic Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. Additionally, they have been together for over 30 years, raising wonderful children and building an amazing community.

While they successfully won at the Supreme Court in June, they now face another battle. After purchasing a joint burial plot in St. Michael Cemetery in Kentucky, the Archdiocese of Louisville that runs the cemetery denied their headstone design, which included their names, interlocking wedding bands (symbolizing their love and the marriage they so hard fought for), a cross (a symbol of their faith) and an image of the Supreme Court (where they finally acquires the right to validate their love to government and society).

After months of waiting, the letter sent to Bourke and De Leon from the Archdiocese cited the depictions of the Supreme Court building and the use of wedding rings as “not in keeping” with any teachings of the Church.

“The epitaph, those last words on tomb stones, are sacred and personal statements about our lives, faith, accomplishments for ourselves and our loved ones,” said Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Director of Catholic and Latino Initiatives. “The denial of those words, images, and symbols honors neither love nor faith nor tradition. There is so much room in Pope Francis’ call for mercy and acceptance and in a diverse Catholic community that values its LGBTQ brothers and sisters grace and generosity - instead of the narrow and hurtful decision by the Archdiocese. These two good men of faith deserve better.”

Bourke and De Leonl have lived fulfilling lives, fighting for equality while giving back to their community. The National Catholic Reporter honored them as persons of the year for 2015. Several years ago, Bourke was removed from his position in a Boy Scout troop, but after the lifting the ban on LGBTQ people, his re-application in 2015 was rejected based on a guidance from Archbishop Kurtz, who called the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality “a tragic error.”

Bourke and De Leon plan a "freedom to bury" press conference on Wednesday, May 18 to respond to the archdiocese's decision.

To learn more about HRC’s Catholic Initiative, go to

HRC staff
HRC staff


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Think

Terry Miller Is A Leather Daddy, Joe Jonas Is Soaking Wet & Keegan Allen Is Naked On Set

by matthew tharrett October 22, 2016

This week, Shepard Smith finally talked about his sexuality while King Cobra‘s Garrett Clayton refused to discuss his own, the only gay presidential candidate revealed he’s “broke as shit,” and Ivanka Trump’s interest in “mulatto cock” surfaced. Stars! They’re just like us! Here’s what happened on Instagram: Greg Louganis went diving from a cliff. Matt [...]

Continue Reading →

Do These Films And Television Shows Give Gay Men A Bad Name?

by Derek de Koff October 22, 2016

Reddit has been hosting a semi-squabblefest which finds the community bickering ad infinitum about what films and television shows are markedly bad for the gays. It begins, as such semi-squabblefests often do, with a seemingly benign question presented by a certain ShawnSparkles: “Any shows or movies that you feel give gay men a ‘bad name?'” Unsurprisingly, [...]

Continue Reading →

Well. So Here’s Every Sex Scene In “King Cobra.” (And There’s Plenty.)

by Derek de Koff October 22, 2016

Well, that didn’t take long. Related: Shht! “King Cobra” Star Garrett Clayton Wants To Keep His Sexuality Private, Okay? The PIs over at Fleshbot have painstakingly collected every nude sex scene in King Cobra, and there’s a good amount of them, too. In case you’re just waking up from a porn-induced coma, the film stars Garrett Clayton as [...]

Continue Reading →