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.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Obama's use of social media points to cozy relationship between White House, Silicon Valley Watch

Image of Recognized as the first American president of the social media age, Obama has already established a standard for how politicians connect with a digitally savvy electorate.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama was swept to victory in an age of tweets, Facebook, texting and social media. While this has gotten the vote out to younger members of the electorate, there are concerns that the instant gratification of the electronic age is trivializing ... continue reading


President Obama's domestic policies under heavy legal scrutiny Watch

Image of Many of President Obama's social policies may not stand up to scrutiny in a court of law.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President, Barack Obama will be leaving office in January of 2017. When we consider his legacy he leaves to the nation, we must take into account that many of his domestic policies - such as those on same-sex marriage, Obamacare and immigration ... continue reading


Obama radically reformed an important American system -- and you didn't even realize it! Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama's constantly "reforms" areas of our legislation and laws, the traditional patent law has taken a hit. Although most Americans know very little and don't care very much about patent laws, the effect these changes will have on innovative America can ... continue reading


Democrats break ranks with Obama over secret trade bill Watch

Image of Senator Elizabeth, the Senior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, is leading a bill which would force President Obama to be transparent in regards to his secret trade bill which only Congressional members may review.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's secretive trade bill is coming under fire from some unlikely sources, namely Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Elizabeth Warren (MA), who are both leading the charge for immediate consideration of a bill that would require the contents of ... continue reading


ISIS, IRAN, OBAMACARE: President Obama's legacy - very slim indeed! Watch

Image of A very nonplussed looking president, indeed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama will be out of office shortly. How will historians judge him? Not too well, according to New York Post columnist John Podhoretz. "After the failure of the Arab Spring, the collapse of Libya, the failure to act on his ... continue reading


CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE? Hillary Clinton had 'Leadership, Ownership, Stewardship' of Libyan policy 'from start to finish' Watch

Image of State Department Director of Policy and Planning Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama at the U.S.-ASEAN meeting in Cambodia on Nov. 20, 2012.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to one of her top aides, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish." That claim came in an email written by one of Clinton's top aides. The message was forwarded ... continue reading


All for naught? FBI admits that Patriot Act didn't lead to cracking major terrorist cases Watch

Image of Opponents, with the inspector general conclude that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act's records-snooping provisions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation bold new powers - but now the FBI admits that the Patriot Act didn't help them crack any major terrorism cases. The Justice Department's Inspector general Michael E. Horowitz now says there are issues that keep key ... continue reading


Karl Rove's American Crossroads no longer as powerful as it once was Watch

Image of American Crossroads began by Karl Rove and other powerful Republicans were at one time a most powerful force in American politics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American Crossroads, created by Karl Rove and other powerful Republicans, was at one time a most powerful force in American politics. There is evidence, however, that this is changing. The American political landscape is changing, and the group is seeing the ... continue reading


Disappointing Congress: Both the right and the left ladle out heavy disapproval for Congress Watch

Image of Republicans at 36 percent are about as likely as Democrats at 38 percent or independents at 38 percent to say Congress is accomplishing less than they expected.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even republicans have very little good to say about the republican-led Congress. Just 23 percent of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall's campaign. The vast majority, at 65 percent say they are not. LOS ... continue reading


ENROLLMENT ZERO: No one signs up for Obamacare in Hawaii - NO ONE Watch

Image of Suppose they gave universal health care - and no one came?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Suppose they gave universal health care - and no one came? That appears to be the case in Hawaii, where Hawaii's Obamacare Exchange enrolled a grand total of ZERO - simply no one, people during its special enrollment period. While Hawaii's enrollment was a ... 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, Sirach 36:5-6, 10-17
5 Send new portents, do fresh wonders, win glory for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
8 Do not count against us the guilt of former ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2015 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have said that ... 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