On this date in Germany more than 100 Roman Catholic parishes offered blessings to gay couples in defiance of chirch teaching and their own bishops. The call for nationwide blessins came in response to a decree issued by the Vatican on March 15, 2021, reinforcing the church’s prohibition of priests asking for god’s benevolence for gay couples, stating that god “does not and cannot bless sin.”

A group of sixteen priests and volunteers organized a petition that within days collected more than 2,000 signatures. Encouraged by the response, they decided to take their action one step further and declare May 10 — chosen because of its association with Noah, who in the Bible is recognized by god with a rainbow symbol that has been adopted by the LGBTQ community — as a day to hold blessing ceremonies for any and all couples, but especially those in same-sex unions.

“In view of the refusal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to bless homosexual partnerships, we raise our voices and say: We will continue to accompany people who enter into a binding partnership in the future and bless their relationship,” the group said in a statement. “We will not refuse a blessing ceremony.”