The following comes from a Jan. 13 release from the Cardinal Newman Society.

Linda Ronstadt, a self-described “recovering Catholic” who supports abortion rights, same-sex marriage and fetal stem cell research, will discuss her life and political activism among other topics at an event on the campus of Santa Clara University, according to the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce.

Ronstadt, who no longer sings publicly due to Parkinson’s disease, will be discussing her book Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.

Citing her disease just last year, Ronstadt spoke in interviews about the need for fetal stem cell research, according to National Right to Life News.

“The most promising treatment is fetal stem cell, which is also a great treatment for diabetes, MS, all kinds of things. And of course, the Christian right will not allow that research,” she reportedly told Associated Press. “It’s a terrible thing that they’re blocking that research because it could help so many people. It could save lives. … But they won’t get out of the way.”

In 2004 she told the Union-Tribune about her strong animus toward many Christians.  “It’s a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian,” she said.  “It can cloud my enjoyment.  I’d rather not know.”

Ronstadt, who called herself “a recovering Catholic” and “a spiritual atheist,” also publicly supports same-sex marriage.

It’s an important bridge to gap.  I was a witness at the same-sex marriage of my good friend Marcela Davison Aviles [CEO of the Mexican Heritage Corporation] and I’ll never forget the hurt in her voice when Prop 8 [California’s anti-gay-marriage initiative] passed.  It makes you feel bad when you’re disliked, it hurts your feelings in a terrible, terrible way.

I know that one of the reasons it turned out the way it did was because a lot more Hispanics came out to vote that year, because they wanted to vote for Obama.  But how can you have a full and authentic expression of who you are if you have to live that way and hide it?  As long as you have to pretend, it’s like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and who wants to live that way?

The Santa Clara University event will take place on January 24th at the campus Mayer Theatre.

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