It might not just be a matter of refusing government funds in the future which will cost the Diocese upwards of $9 Million but of the government revoking state licenses required for Catholic poor relief. This is the reward for all of those years in which Catholic Charitable organizations weren't very active in proselytism for the undoubted financial support of the Government; strings are attached to that money. Perhaps now is a good time to consider closing Jesuit and Catholic Colleges in the Nation's Capital and converting those properties to better use than they are now currently engaged? Now we're increasingly facing a wonderful situation where the Catholic Faith is illegal. Deo Gratias. We're just happy the Bishops are being intransigent about this.
Yesterday, the DC City Council passed the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" with a nearly unanimous 11-2 vote, completing the first of three steps necessary to enact the bill into law.
In response to the tremendous support of the bill and the very high probability that it will pass the second step, in about 30 days, and continue into the books, the Archdiocese of Washington as well as other Christian religious leaders are weighing their options.
Although the bill does exempt religious organizations from celebrating same-sex marriages it does not protect nor exempt them from recognizing it as employers or social service providers.
The diminished capacity or capability is not just a monetary thing, it is also related to the certifications and licenses archdiocesan agencies need in order to provide particular services such as homeless services, mental health services, foster care, etc. Should the law pass, the city would be required to revoke current certificates and licenses or withhold their renewal. Therefore preventing the archdiocese, Catholic Charities, and other religious organizations, individuals, and agencies from providing those services because of their legitimately-held religious beliefs.
The Archdiocese of Washington has partnered with the other religious leaders around the nation, the ACLU, and other public-interest legal firms to assert their concerns regarding the narrowing of religious freedoms as well as seeking a balance of interests so that religious organizations, their social services agencies, and individuals can function without violating their faith tenets on same-sex marriage.
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