Catholic Church Threatens D.C. Over Gay Rights

November 12, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Apparently Catholic charity has its limits. The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. issued a threat to the City Council on Wednesday saying, it would stop helping residents under its social service programs, unless a proposed same-sex marriage law is changed to its liking. The church wants to feel free to discriminate against gays while receiving public funds and the D.C. Council is having none of it. One council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the judiciary committee said, bluntly we “will not legislate based on threats.”

The bitter public dispute was triggered after the council voted down an amendment to the same-sex marriage bill, which would have allowed individuals to deny wedding services, such as wedding cakes and hall rentals based on their religious beliefs.

The archdiocese then issued a statement from spokesperson Susan Gibbs saying, “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.” Gibbs went on to accuse the council of ignoring religious freedom and demanded that an individual religious exemption be included in the law, as well as other changes.

The archdiocese contends the same-sex marriage law would force them to give same-sex couples medical benefits, allow same-sex couples to adopt and rent a church hall to lesbian couples.

Under the new law, religious organizations would not be required to perform same-sex weddings or rent hall space for ceremonies, but they would have to continue to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and women.

Catholic Charities serves about 68,000 people in the city, managing city-owned homeless shelters, offering health care to the poor and providing adoption services. From 2006 through 2008, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, including an additional several hundred thousand dollars this year, according to council member David A. Catania (I-At Large).

The archdiocese responded that it kicks in about $10 million in charitable donations to the city for those services, which the church will no longer donate, if it ceases its charitable work with the city.

Washington D.C. Council members are not about to be bullied into allowing Catholic Charities to subvert its long-standing anti-discrimination laws against gays.

Council member Catania is ready to call Catholic Charities on its threat saying, if the organization insists on discriminating against gay residents they can leave.

“If they find living under our laws so oppressive that they can no longer take city resources, the city will have to find an alternative partner to step in to fill the shoes,” said Catania.

See the Washington Post for more.


11 Responses to “Catholic Church Threatens D.C. Over Gay Rights”

  1. icarus on November 12th, 2009 9:56 pm

    The Catholic church thinks homosexual activities should only occur between priests and under aged boys.

  2. Stacey on November 12th, 2009 10:36 pm

    Cut Them Off! Someone somewhere has to say enough is enough. The vatican could cure so many problems in the world if they stuck to their vows of poverty and chastity, instead they are greedy, sucking money from the very parishioners that do without in order to fit into the mold that the very rich and very comfortable rulers of their church force on them in order to get into heaven. Here’s a clue, when you get there you are stripped to nothing and all your life is laid bare. I’m counting on my God to tell me He loves me because I loved his children and did my best to cause them no pain in spite of what others considered a sin. I doubt I would be judged well if I convinced people they needed to give me their money and do without while I had heat, food, clothing, gold plated dinner plates, and a comfy bed to lay in every night while claiming a vow of poverty. Go DC! Show them what real Americans want in our lives!

  3. NateBarton on November 12th, 2009 10:38 pm

    Tax dollars should NOT go to religious organizations that DISCRIMINATE against some Americans.

    Give the $8.2 million in city contracts to other organizations to provide services for managing city-owned homeless shelters, offering health care to the poor and providing adoption services.

  4. Old Man Dotes on November 13th, 2009 1:19 am

    Hey, they are allowed to discriminate. And I am allowed to say they are a for-profit political organization, not entitled to the tax=free status they currently have, and the Catholic “church” owes the US Government a few decades in back taxes. Oh, and they aren’t a legitimate charity, so tax dollars MUST not go to them, and anyone who gives them money is not entitled to a charitable write-off.

    You can’t have it both ways, Bishop. Either you’re a religious organization, in which case keep your fat mouth shut about politics, or your;e a PAC, in which case statrt paying taxes like the rest of us.

  5. About catholic, archdiocese, washington, dc, gay marriage law, church, same-sex marriage | Find me About on November 13th, 2009 4:11 am

    […] (ChattahBox)—Apparently Catholic charity has its limits. The CatholicArchdiocese of Washington, DC issued a threat to the City Council on Wednesday saying, it would stop helping residents under its social service programs, unless a proposed same-sex …Read Original Story: Catholic Church Threatens DC Over Gay Rights – ChattahBox […]

  6. Crole on November 13th, 2009 7:22 pm

    Talk about being Christian. I’ve been a life-long Catholic and this turns my stomach. The church has turned to bullying from the pulpit. DISCRIMINATION IS WRONG. He without sin caste the first stone. The church would rather hurt tens of thousands of people by pulling out of D.C. If Jesus was here today I wonder if he would let these people suffer.

  7. Jason on November 13th, 2009 11:12 pm

    First of all non of you know what you are talking about. The Catholic Church is the largest charity network in the world. the whole point of the Catholic Church is to help those who are less fortunate. The reason that parishiners tithe besides the fact that the Bible tells us we should is that a lot of that money goes back into the community through the different organization run by the Church. If it weren’t for the Church there would be a lot more homeless and hungry people in the world. The Catholic Church does not hate gays. The Chuch beleives that they should be treated with dignity just as anyone else should. But where in the constitution does it say you have a right to be married? Whether you are homosexual or heterosexual that right is not gaurunteed. Marriage began as a religious institution. Not a legal one. And by the way I love how liberals are supposedly all about tolerance and accepting people and then yet they turn around and discriminate against those who beleive differently then them. Want to talk about hypocisy? Well there ya go. And to the last person who responded who claims to be Catholic. The Church threatens to do that only because it will continue to help the poor without working with the city therefore not having to follow city laws. The Church will always stand for the poor, the only difference is that it will be doing so without the help of the city. The ends do not justify the means. The Catholic Church could continue in working with the city to help the poor but if it does so by saying that gay marriage is ok that is denying a Truth. That it is not ok and that it is not of God. The Church cannot allow one ‘evil’ so that it can continue to work against another. Also “Go DC! Show them what real Americans want in our lives!” That would be a false statement. In multiple states same sex marriage has been voted down by the people. The American people do not want it or else it wouldnt have been voted down so many times. Again the Church does not hate gays, but we cannot morrally support it. Yes they should be treated with equal dignity but homosexuality is not natural and not of God therefore Gay marriage is not ok.

  8. Stacey on November 15th, 2009 12:57 pm

    Jason, I’m in a state that just had the vote. It was spurred on by visious, nasty, fear mongering lies. The propaganda that the archdiocese paid for was disgusting, and proven to be lies, but they had already forced their lies and beliefs down the ignorant’s throats, so no amount of legal proof would make them see the truth. This isn’t an issue that should even be put to the vote. No issue involving a minority should be put to the vote of the majority. Just because you believe your views of God are right does not mean everyone should have to fall in line with you. Keep your beliefs, you have a right to them, you don’t have a right to force other people to agree with you via lies and ignorance. For your information, here’s a little truth: to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
    Catholic Church > FAIL.

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