On January 30, D.C. Superior Court Judge Mildred M. Edwards convicted three Catholic homosexual activists for unlawful entry and then refused to sentence them. Her decision not to sentence them was based on her expressed sympathy for the activists.
The three were arrested on November 12 for an illegal protest they held in a D.C. hotel. They were protesting a decision made by a priest not to give them Holy Communion the day before at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The priest denied them Communion because he was aware that they belonged to Soulforce, a group that condemns the Church’s teachings on sexuality and seeks to legitimize sodomy.
Judge Edwards told the activists that by denying them Communion, the priest had committed “tremendous violence” against them. The judge, who claims to be Catholic, asked the protesters to forgive the Catholic Church and closed her remarks by saying, “Go in peace.” Her comments were defended by Chief Judge Rufus King III on free speech grounds.
Catholic League president William Donohue offered the following remarks today:
“This is not the first time that Mildred Edwards has acted as an outlaw judge. Previously, she has dropped charges against students for deliberately knocking over headstones in a Catholic cemetery, and has acquitted death penalty protesters for deliberately demonstrating on the steps of the Supreme Court. Now she’s at it again.
“It must also be noted that the activists deliberately sought to receive Communion as an act of protest. Such behavior represents a serious abuse of power on the part of the laity that must be resisted.
“It would be interesting to know how Edwards would react if her critics staged an illegal protest in her own chambers and then had a judge dismiss the charges after lecturing her about her judicial incompetence and theological ignorance.”