The following comes from a February 23 10 News story by Michael Chen.
IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. – A local couple is sharing their story after what some are calling the first ever Catholic wedding of a transgender couple.
Every time the newlyweds look at the photos from their wedding on a beach in Imperial Beach, they get a rush of joy and faith.
“It was so exciting, “said 35-year-old Angel Adrian Estrada. “It seemed like a dream come true.”
After Estrada, a transgender man and lifelong Catholic, first proposed to Fina – also Catholic – the two found Dermot Rodgers, a consecrated bishop who agreed to perform the ceremony, even though it runs counter to church doctrine: people are viewed by their gender at birth.
Months before the wedding, Estrada’s certificates of baptism, communion and confirmation were recorded by Rodgers under Estrada’s new name and gender.
The Diocese of San Diego points out Rodgers voluntarily separated himself from the Franciscan order and lost his ability to function as a priest. Rodgers concedes he voluntarily separated from the order because he disagreed with teachers on divorce and other issues.
According to Rodgers’ points, longstanding religious tradition says he remains a priest.
Since he has not been ex-communicated, he contends the wedding was a Catholic one.
Rodgers points out another first that played out last month: Pope Francis reportedly had a private audience with a transgender man.
Estrada says he has no doubt he was married by the church.
“I hope it gives people hope and inspiration … that they can take a step forward as I did and be as happy as I am,” said Estrada.
Rodgers says he has since married one other transgender couple and plans to open a LGBT-inclusive parish in Allied Gardens.