Catholic charity group cancels gay singer’s Asheville performance

A North Carolina singer’s invitation to perform at a Catholic charity gala in Asheville was revoked after the organizing group learned of her same-sex marriage.

Kat Williams had performed twice at the Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte’s annual Gala For Hope, which supports impoverished families in the region.

But after the diocese’s Bishop Peter Jugis saw a 2013 magazine article in which she states that she and her wife had been married for seven years, the organization told her it would no longer need her services for Saturday’s gala in Asheville, according to a post she wrote on Facebook.

“Marriage can only be between one man and one woman,” diocesan spokesman David Hains told local media. “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.”

The organization apologized for the confusion and said it was not a personal matter. They are exercising their right to represent their faith, Hains said.

“I’m hurt and saddened!” Williams, an Asheville resident who performs at numerous nonprofit events in western North Carolina, wrote on Facebook. “My entire career is gratefully connected to important causes or charities that I wholeheartedly believe in. This is the first time I’ve been fired from a performance solely based on who I chose to love.”

Williams said she is still receiving a check for her canceled performance, according to WLOS-TV, but some of her supporters are boycotting the gala and have stopped donating to the organization.

She has asked fans to respond with forgiveness and grace, and invited the bishop to visit her church.