Catholic Church Threatens District of Columbia Over Gay Marriage Bill

Jodi Jacobson

According to the Washington Post, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC is threatening to withdraw all social services from the District of Columbia (DC) if the city does not change it's proposed same-sex marriage law.

According to the Washington Post, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC is threatening to withdraw all social services from the District of Columbia (DC) if the city does not change it’s proposed same-sex marriage law.

The Post reports that: 

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. 

The Church, according to reports is fearful that social service agencies it runds under contract with the District–using public funds–could be forced, among other things, to extend
employee benefits to same-sex married couples.

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In this situation, Church officials said
they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

The Post continues:

"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."

Several D.C. Council members said the Catholic Church is trying to
erode the city’s long-standing laws protecting gay men and lesbians
from discrimination.

The clash escalates the dispute over the same-sex marriage proposal
between the council and the archdiocese, which has generally stayed out
of city politics.

 

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