The Gay Marriage Dilemma of the Catholic Church

In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, an opinion piece titled Washington, Gay Marriage and the Catholic Church, reminded me of some of the warning signs I have seen in the nationwide drive for gay marriage across this country.

The  opinion piece focuses on the the problems that the  Catholic Archdiosece of Washington D.C,. is likely to encounter once the Washington District Council legalizes gay marriage in March this year.

While  other states including Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut, have provided an exemption to religious organizations from requiring them to recognize gay marriage, there is no indication that the District Council is likely to follow suit.  This may result, tellingly, in the Diocese being forced to surrender many of the programs it currently administers to the poor and indigent.

That is because the District outsources many of its social services to Catholic Charities, which runs the charitable services of the archdiocese. These charities provide a variety of services—including shelters for the homeless and food for the hungry—to about 124,000 needy residents in the region (which also includes a portion of Maryland).  For this work, Catholic Charities receives approximately $20 million in contracts, grants and licenses from the city.

If same-sex marriages are legalized, the church will find itself in violation of the new law if it continues its city-sponsored social services programs, because city contractors are required to abide by all of the District’s laws. There are provisions in the bill requiring the church to acknowledge gay marriage by offering employment benefits to same-sex couples and by placing children with gay adoptive couples.   If the Church doesn’t comply, then it is in violation of the District mandate and it will be out of the social service business.

A big blow to the Church, perhaps,  but an even bigger blow to the District which doesn’t necessarily want to pick up the slack.

I provided in my piece, Tyranny of the Minority, ( December, 2008)  an opinion  that the drive for gay marriage had become far more an assault on traditional religion than a quest for civil rights ( as it is so earnestly characterized by the left) and this was on full display in the way the defeated campaign in California, following the passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008, singled out financial  supporters of  California’s Yes on 8 campaign and sought to destroy them (and even doing so in the case of Richard Raddon, former Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival)

But the way they protested against the Mormon Church, only a few hundred yards from my own home in Westwood, with vulgar attacks on Mormon practices and characterizations of  its practitioners as virtual representatives of the Ku Klux Klan, made me shudder at the way these ‘apostles of equality’ will one day view all religious practice – as pure bigotry which deserves to be outlawed.

The  current dilemma of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. only exemplifies the kind of murky waters into which religious institutions will soon be wading as  the campaign for gay marriage gains  momentum.  It would be a deep shame indeed, if the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., in the interests of political expediency, chooses to compromise its own values and integrity.   But that is indeed what I believe will happen and it is a portent of things to come, as  religious institutions, unable to contend with the power of the gay lobby’s efforts to remake our social structure, may buckle under and surrender.


One Response to The Gay Marriage Dilemma of the Catholic Church

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