Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Marriage Equality in DC

passes by 11-2.

Expect the Catholic Church to withdraw from charitable actions. Of course, they don't have to, but why let the facts interfere with moral blackmail:

Churches are permitted to “opt out” of ERISA. If they do so, they are subject to local law. I do not know whether Catholic Charities of D.C. has opted out, but if it has, it can opt right back in. That’s what Catholic Charities of Maine did. ....Private employers can choose whether to grant employee benefits to same-sex couples. That’s the law, and it means that Catholic Charities has no basis for demanding a special religious exemption.

Given the ease with which Catholic Charities can achieve its stated goals — maintaining its city contracts and extending benefits only to different-sex spouses — I have to wonder why it insists that there is an irreconcilable conflict. Two explanations seem plausible. The church may want the most prominent platform possible for both opposing same-sex marriage and urging an overbroad religious exemption; it gets this by threatening to cut social services. Alternatively, Catholic Charities might be planning to cut its programs anyway because they cost the archdiocese so much money, in which case the same-sex marriage bill provides a convenient scapegoat.....

Now it’s time for widespread acknowledgment that marriage equality in the District creates no justification for Catholic Charities to sever its contractual relationship with the city. Just look at Portland.

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