Here’s a delightful article from the Washington Post:
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.
“If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”
Actually the city is saying that if you receive public money you can not discriminate against homosexuals. But I appreciate the clear implication that religion and anti-gay animus go hand in hand.
How charming that the Washington Archdiocese believes discrimination towards homosexuals is a higher calling than helping the poor. Sounds like they really have their priorites in the proper order.
Happily, it seems the city council is not impressed with the threats:
The church’s influence seems limited. In separate interviews Wednesday, council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) referred to the church as “somewhat childish.” Another council member, David A. Catania (I-At Large), said he would rather end the city’s relationship with the church than give in to its demands.
“They don’t represent, in my mind, an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure,” said Catania, the sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill and the chairman of the Health Committee.
Kudos to Cheh and Catania.
In other news, the Mormon chuch is showing signs of developing a conscience on at least some gay rights issues:
The Mormon church for the first time has announced its support of gay rights legislation, an endorsement that helped gain unanimous approval for Salt Lake city laws banning discrimination against gays in housing and employment.
The Utah-based church’s support ahead of Tuesday night’s vote came despite its steadfast opposition to gay marriage, reflected in the high-profile role it played last year in California’s Proposition 8 ballot measure that barred such unions.
“The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage,” Michael Otterson, the director of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said.
It’s nice that the Mormons managed to come down on the right side of this issue. But given their history, I’d say they have a lot of nerve complaining about violence to the institution of marriage.