WaPo's discordant editorial on the Catholic Church and marriage equality
You might not realize, given the fury between Catholic Charities and the D.C. Council, that the Catholic Church is not trying to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District. Rather, the battle is over the impact that the legislation could have on the vital services it provides.
Catholic Charities is concerned that the current draft would force it to choose between upholding its religious beliefs and complying with the District's human rights law in order to maintain city contracts. The clash raises tough questions. But they strike us as solvable, if council members shelve the self-righteousness and look for solutions.
The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment of 2009 would legalize same-sex marriage in the District. It would not require any religious organizations to carry out such marriages. But the church worries that it would have to offer health benefits to same-sex spouses of employees and facilitate adoptions by same-sex couples, both of which it says would violate its religious beliefs.
The editorialist is right: I do not realize any such thing. Archbishop Wuerl issued a statement strongly endorsing the proposed ballot initiative to define marriage in the District as between one man and one woman. If that is not opposition to same-sex marriage, there isn't any. I have submitted a response to the Post; we will see if they run it.
Update: GLAA President Mitch Wood points to the following video of a panel of witnesses representing the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington who testified on Oct. 26th on the proposed marriage equality bill. Diocesan Director of Communications Susan Gibbs states, "We do oppose the redefinition of marriage and we are opposed to this bill."