Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Religious Institute to D.C. Catholic Charities: These are NOT Family Values

Marriage equality begins in Washington, D.C. this morning.

Today is the first day that same sex couples can be married legally in the District of Columbia. It's one more step towards marriage equality for all.

Not everyone is celebrating in D.C. The D.C. office of Catholic Charities is protesting the decision with two actions that are to my mind religious hypocrisy. They've told the DC government that they will stop their foster care and adoption services rather than have to comply with government law, and this week, they announced that they would stop providing benefits to any new employee's spouse rather than have to cover a gay or lesbian's spouse.

So because they oppose the rights of same sex couples to marry, they are closing services for children without families and denying health benefits to the partners of their employees. This from an organization with a commitment to families and children. Their mission says that "we bring help for today and hope for the future to the most vulnerable among us."

Unless I guess that includes the LGBT community, who don't apparently according to these recent actions, deserve the same rights as everyone else.

What kind of family values are these?? What kind of religious values are these?

To read the statement I released to the press yesterday, go to

And if you live in D.C. and/or are Catholic, why not write Catholic Charities and tell them what you think about their decisions. Their address is 924 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.


Desmond Ravenstone said...

Hmm... When Jesus said to care for the poor and suffering, he didn't list any conditions.

Jon said...

How is it that the Catholic Church has any business preaching against homosexuals when it so blatantly and fervently hidden and protected, even encouraged pedophiles. thousands of Children have bee abused, raped, harmed. This has gone on for centuries, unchecked by the Church.

The Catholic Church has no business in my bedroom. It needs to concentrate on getting it's act cleaned up! This sin against children is the greatest sin of all, IMO.

Andy Armitage said...

Well said, Debra. What kind of family values indeed? As a gay man, I came from a family; I belong to a family (we in our household of three guys, one a couple and me not!) and we see it as a family because we've known each other for more than 25 years (yes, they've been together for that long, which gives the lie to the idea that gay relationships don't work – and, before anyone says one instance doesn't prove anything, let me add that there are many such relationships, and there are those that clearly don't work among heterosexuals).

My Oxford English Dictionary give the etymology of "family" as "Middle English: from Old French familier, from Latin familiaris, from familia 'household servants, family'". So, you see, it has nothing to do with blood relationships, but close relationships. (I guess the idea of regarding servants as part of the family has gone now. Our servants certainly aren't: we keep them in the basement.)

I always get the idea that religionists who object to same-sex marriage are trying to pull the wool over our eyes when they say it's a "threat" to marriage. How is it a threat? Do gays want to destroy marriage, or just add themselves to it? The latter, I believe.

There's a debate here in the UK at the moment about whether religious premises should be allowed to be used for same-sex ceremonies. We still have only civil partnerships here, and can't officially call it marriage, though many do and say to hell with what the churches say. But hitherto, civil marriages of both kinds can't have religious trappings. Quite why, I don't know, but that is enshrined in law, not just an objection from churches. However, that restriction looks about to end – but, oh my, what a controversy that is causing, with right-wing Christians claiming it's the end for marriage, and that priests will be forced to marry same-sex couples on pain of litigation (they won't).

It's bigotry, plain and simple, and I'd dearly love to debate with one of these people – a debate based on rationalism, logic, fact, not ideas about what a god is alleged to have told a lawgiving "prophet" in Leviticus – just what is "wrong" with a marriage of two women or two men. Most people with half a brain cell would wipe the floor with them.