Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Peter J. Smith

11/13/2009 (5 years ago)

LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

Without an exemption the Church would be required to do such things as extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples, in violation of its core teachings.

Religious groups and churches, including the Catholic archdiocese and its affiliates, would also have to open up their services to homosexual couples, including: adoption and foster-care services, spousal benefits for 'married' same-sex couples, and church halls requested for non-marriage functions.

Religious groups and churches, including the Catholic archdiocese and its affiliates, would also have to open up their services to homosexual couples, including: adoption and foster-care services, spousal benefits for 'married' same-sex couples, and church halls requested for non-marriage functions.

Highlights

By Peter J. Smith

LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

11/13/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has said it will be forced to end its government contracts for social services in the nation's capital, if the D.C. Council does not broaden a religious exemption in a bill to legalize same-sex "marriage."

Without the exemption, says the archdiocese, the Church would be required to do such things as extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples, in violation of its core teachings.

The bill under consideration by the district council would legalize same-sex "marriage," but it has a narrow provision that states religious groups would not have to perform same-sex "marriages" or provide their facilities as venues for the novel nuptials.

An earlier version of the bill exempted religious groups from "the promotion of marriage that is in violation of the entity's religious beliefs." However the current legislation whittles down that exemption to just the "promotion of marriage through religious programs, counseling, courses, or retreats," making religious groups and individuals far more subject to persecution via anti-discrimination lawsuits for holding fast to their consciences.

The archdiocese has strongly objected to the legislation, insisting that in all other cases the legislation would put "religious organizations and individuals at risk for adhering to the teachings of their faith."

In areas not exempted by law, individuals and religious organizations will have to obey D.C. laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, which will then include "married" same-sex couples. This could mean that individuals - from wedding photographers to caterers - will face charges of unlawful discrimination if they refuse their services to same-sex couples for reasons of conscience.

Religious groups and churches, including the Catholic archdiocese and its affiliates, would also have to open up their services to homosexual couples, including: adoption and foster-care services, spousal benefits for "married" same-sex couples, and church halls requested for non-marriage functions.

Despite the archdiocese's having asked for a broader exemption, the D.C. Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary rejected on Tuesday any amendment to that effect.

That provoked the archdiocese to warn that the D.C. government's relationship with the Catholic Church's social services arm, Catholic Charities, which serves 68,000 city residents every year through 93 social programs carried out by 40 parishes, would be dramatically altered by the legislation if changes were not made.

"It is our concern that the committee's narrowing of the religious exemption language will cause the government to discontinue our long partnership with them and open up the agency to litigation and the use of resources to defend our religious beliefs rather than serve the poor," said Edward Orzechowski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.

The Archdiocese told the Washington Post on Wednesday that failing to broaden conscience protections for religious groups and individuals would force them to cancel its social services contracts with the city. That in turn would affect the tens of thousands of people seeking help with adoption, homeless shelters, and health services.

The Catholic Church in D.C. nevertheless would continue its social ministries that are not contracted with the D.C. government, and therefore would not fall under the district's regulations.

The Washington Post reports that D.C. council members are thus far unmoved. Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) derided the Archdiocese and its concerns as "somewhat childish." David A. Catania (I-At Large) also told the Post he would rather see the city's relationship with the Church ended before accommodating its demands on conscience protections.

A vote on the D.C. same-sex "marriage" bill is expected sometime in December.

An ecumenical pro-family coalition, Stand4Marriage Coalition D.C., led by Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church and fellow black pastors is lobbying, along with the Catholic archdiocese, to put an initiative banning same-sex "marriage" on the ballot for 2010.

---

LifeSiteNews.com is a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family. It was launched in September 1997. LifeSiteNews Daily News reports and information pages are used by numerous organizations and publications, educators, professionals and political, religious and life and family organization leaders and grassroots people across North America and internationally.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Expecting a big tax refund from the IRS? Then you don't want to read this... Watch

Image of Expecting a refund? You may be left waiting longer than you think.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're counting on a big IRS return to make a big purchase, you may be waiting a lot longer than anticipated this year. Budget cuts in the IRS mean that fewer returns will be audited and services will become increasingly difficult to obtain. Worst of all for many ... continue reading


Obama's right, he has issued fewer executive orders than his predecessors, BUT... Watch

Image of Obama signs a bill while on vacation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's in a name? President Obama has ruled more from his desk, without the consent of Congress, more than any other president, but liberals are right to point out that these are not "executive actions" and don't count against his tally compared to other presidents. ... continue reading


Federal judge warned: Don't interfere with Obama's plan for deportation amnesty Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reforms during a visit to Casa Azafran in Nashville,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In unusually strong language, the Obama administration warned a federal judge to stay out of the debate over President Obama's deportation amnesty. "Federal courts sit to decide cases and controversies, not to resolve disagreements about policy or politics," ... continue reading


Rick Santorum Seems Poised to Launch a 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum

By Keith A. Fournier

I don't think I've met a 'suit' yet. It's very much heart of America, average Americans who have found a place where they see someone who will stand up and fight for them. If the Republican Party has a future - and I sometimes question if it does - it's in middle ... continue reading


You should be outraged! While Obama distracted you with a government shutdown, look what Senate Democrats snuck into this bill! Watch

Image of The White House has just received unprecedented surveillance powers thanks to an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act for the 2015 fiscal year.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Overshadowed by the potential government shutdown and funding vote in the House, another bill was passed this week by Congress, one with much more sinister, and flagrantly un-American, goals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Congress passed a bill that gives a ... continue reading


What are they covering up? White House attempts to delay CIA torture probe Watch

Image of Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday reportedly called Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to tell her that the report's release should be delayed.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A Senate report, years in the making, which accuses the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA of using banned torture techniques while evading oversight may never be released, According to Bloomberg, there have been ongoing efforts by the White House efforts to ... continue reading


Landmark pregnancy discrimination case heard by Supreme Court Watch

Image of Depending on the high court's ruling, companies may be required to afford mothers-to-be the same

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A landmark case involving the rights of expectant mothers in the workplace was heard by the Supreme Court this week. Depending on the high court's ruling, companies may be required to afford mothers-to-be the same "reasonable accommodation" as they would ... continue reading


17 states REBEL against Obama, join lawsuit over immigration scandal Watch

Image of 17 states have banded together to sue Obama over his illegal action to refuse to enforce immigration reform, hoping the courts will block his attempts at providing amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seventeen states have allied together in order to sue President Obama's administration, citing the president's disregard for constitutional limits to presidential power, and refused to fulfill his obligation to enforce U.S. laws when he attempted to dismiss ... continue reading


A distinct euphemism: Health care reform was 'political miscalculation,' Schumer says Watch

Image of When the Democratic Party focused in exclusion to all else, on health care, he added,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One apt euphemism - which is essentially a nice term very a not-at-all-nice term, is the phrase, "Economical with the truth," i.e. lying. Senator Charles Schumer of New York, in summarizing the massive loss by democrats in elections earlier this month, said ... continue reading


The man behind the mess of Obamacare wants you to encourage abortion! Watch

Image of John Gruber, the man behind Obamacare, is an ardent supporter of abortion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), John Gruber, has made a fool of President Obama and the Democrats in his administration once again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gruber has been recorded numerous times admitting that the ACA was written and ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
1 Once the king had settled into his palace and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 16:25-27
25 And now to him who can make you strong in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 21st, 2014 Image

St. Peter Canisius
December 21: In 1565, the Vatican was looking for a secret agent. It was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter