John M. Becker

Bishops Threaten to De-Fund Immigration Groups Over Marriage

Filed By John M. Becker | June 11, 2013 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, Illinois, illinois marriage equality, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB

mitre.jpegIf I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: whether it's threatening to yank support from federal immigration legislation that includes same-sex couples, withholding funds from a California homeless shelter because its director supports marriage equality, ending adoption services altogether when Massachusetts told agencies they couldn't reject qualified same-sex parents while continuing to receive public money, or ending the practice of offering insurance benefits to employees' spouses after Washington, D.C. passed equal marriage legislation, the leaders of the Catholic Church will stop at literally nothing to hurt LGBT people, couples, and families.

The latest example of this comes from Illinois, where the Catholic Campaign for Human Development -- the official domestic anti-poverty arm of the U.S. Catholic Bishops -- is threatening to cut off funds to several local groups that serve the state's poor. Why? Because they're members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which recently endorsed marriage equality.

ThinkProgress's Zack Ford reports:

Groups local to Illinois who support the state's Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights have all been warned that their funding could be in danger because the Coalition spoke out in favor of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Though the position represented a majority of the Coalition's members, the Catholic-funded groups didn't sign on to the statement in advance.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the bishops' anti-poverty arm, has threatened all the groups that they must leave the Coalition or lose their future funding. Among those that could be impacted are Catholic Charities, Latino Union, Resurrection Project, United African Organization, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, ARISE Chicago, Chicago Workers Collaborative, Interfaith Leadership Project, and Most Blessed Trinity. A meeting later this week will determine if some minds can be changed or if a compromise can be found.

For all its flaws, the Catholic Church is a longtime advocate for immigration rights and a staunch proponent of a fairer immigration system. But its actions in Illinois prove once again that the Catholic Church cares far more about marginalizing, degrading, and excluding LGBT people than it does about actually serving the poor, the marginalized, and the excluded. Worse, that church is willing to actively hurt the immigrants and the poor, just so they can momentarily prolong marriage discrimination and stick it to the gays and lesbians one more time.

The malicious, hateful anti-gay bigotry of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church truly knows no limit. What an abominable disgrace.

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Unless you support marriage equality, that is.


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