The Catholic pro-equality coalition, Equally Blessed, has a report showing that the Knights of Columbus has become largely a conservative (and anti-gay) political group rather than the charitable organization that most Catholics think it is, one that benignly serves pancake breakfasts on a Sunday morning after Mass.
According to the report, which is based primarily on the Knights’ filings with the Internal Revenue Service, the organization donated $6.25 million to anti-marriage equality efforts between 2005-2012, with most of the money directed toward ballot measures aimed at banning marriage equality in 12 states.
...Since 2009, the Knights has assessed each of its 1.8 million members a $2 annual fee to support its Culture of Life initiative, which includes its campaign against marriage equality, the report notes. Many Catholics who support the Knights’ charitable initiatives in their parish or diocese are largely unaware of the organization’s involvement in “culture war” issues both inside and outside the church.
...According to the report, the Knights has accrued significant influence within the Roman Catholic Church thanks to large contributions to the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It uses that influence, the report states, to advance a conservative political and theological agenda, sometimes at the expense of other U. S. Catholics.