A local singer was invited and then uninvited to perform at a gala because of her sexuality. Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte is hosting Gala For Hope this Saturday in Asheville. This year’s event would’ve been the third time Kat Williams performed at that gala, which raises money to fight poverty and support local families. However, Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte says it learned of her same-sex relationship nearly two weeks ago and no longer wants her services at the Gala For Hope. “Marriage can only be between one man and one woman,” David Hains, who is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte’s director of communications, said. “Because Ms. Williams chooses to be in a relationship that’s different from that, it really makes it inappropriate for her to perform for us.”
But there seems to be more to the story. The local diocesan paper has this account:
A musician scheduled to perform at an upcoming Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte fundraiser in Asheville will not be appearing after organizers learned of her same-sex “marriage.” Kat Williams, an Emmy Award-nominated jazz and blues singer and Asheville resident, was booked by Catholic Charities to perform at its March 12 “Gala for Hope.” The annual event at the Crowne Plaza Resort raised approximately $90,000 last year for Catholic Charities’ ministry to the poor in western North Carolina, including the Asheville Catholic Charities office. But when Diocese of Charlotte officials learned that Williams is in a same-sex union, which is in direct opposition to Catholic teaching, her performance contract was withdrawn March 1 by Catholic Charities’ executive director, Dr. Gerard Carter. In response, Williams took to social media March 5 to protest being “fired…for being gay.” Carter directed media inquiries to diocesan Director of Communication David Hains, who said, “Ms. Williams’ status as a performer at a Catholic event is incompatible with her same-sex union. We simply cannot have a featured performer at an event of ours who is in open opposition to Church teaching.” Catholic Charities’ mission statement and core values state, in part: “We are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church as expressed in Sacred Scripture and Catholic tradition.” The “Gala for Hope” fundraiser is underwritten by a number of corporate and individual sponsors, as well as St. Lawrence Basilica and St. Eugene Church in Asheville, and draws hundreds of attendees each year. It provides funds for Catholic Charities’ Asheville food and clothing pantries, financial help to needy families and the elderly, counseling services, and legal immigration assistance. Hains said the decision to rescind Williams’ performance contract came after diocesan officials were made aware of a 2013 article in the Asheville publication “Verve Magazine,” in which Williams noted she had a “wife of seven years.” In withdrawing the offer to perform at the gala, the Charlotte diocese apologized for the confusion and paid Williams her agreed-upon fee of $3,500, Hains said.