The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
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.
Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.
"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."
No, Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese. The laws do not require you to be "secular". They rely you to be non-discriminatory (except when it come to performing gay marriage, and they allow you to be discriminatory). Now, if Susan Gibbs wants to stand up there and say that "religion" is synonymous with "discrimination", well… actually, I think she just did.
I'm no biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure that when Jesus healed lepers and fed the hungry, he didn't take a litmus test of those he was helping ("Are you gay? Do you eat shellfish on Friday?")
And actually, the issue here really is about public funds. The Catholic Church, which doesn't pay taxes, receives public funds — your tax dollars — to help with the charitable wing of their organization. But those public funds come with strings attached — one being that you can't discriminate against who you help. So yeah — they have to provide adoption services for gay couples. Sorry.