Monday, October 17, 2011

Catholic Church is overstepping its bounds against marriage equality in Minnesota

Minneosta Archbishop John Nienstedt

The Catholic Church in Minnesota is continuing a dangerous precedent:

Archbishop John Nienstedt sent a letter to every priest in the state at the start of October urging them to put every Catholic church in Minnesota to work passing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“It is imperative that we marshal our resources to educate the faithful about the Church’s teachings on these matters, and to vigorously organize and support a grass roots effort to get out the vote to support the passage of the amendment,” the letter read. It went out on Oct. 4 to every priest in the state.

The archbishop said it wants priests in every parish to identify a “church captain” in order to create an “ad hoc committee” in every church in the state. The “church captain” is a component of the Schubert Flint strategy used in 2008′s divisive Proposition 8 battle in California.

The strategy mirrors a similar one used by conservative Christians in California to pass Proposition 8 and end marriage rights for same-sex couples.

 . . .  According to Nienstedt’s letter, the church captains will be organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic church, which will in turn report to the Minnesota for Marriage coalition for statewide efforts. Minnesota for Marriage is made up of the Minnesota Family Council, MCC and the National Organization for Marriage.

“A major issues will be placed before the State of Minnesota in the November 2012 election. a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Nienstedt wrote. “The sanctity of marriage and vital role of the family is at stake. It is a firmly-held teaching of our church that a marriage is a union of a husband and a wife, and that they together are the ones suited to be a father and a mother.”

First of all, I wonder if this is legal for a tax-exempt organization to take such a role in the political process?

Court to NOM - Give up the names!

According to NOM Exposed, the National Organization for Marriage got smacked down by the courts today:

We just referenced Doe v Reed last month in our memo on the campaign finance shenanigans of the National Organization for Marriage. NOM, you’ll recall, justifies hiding its donors (and thus files endless lawsuits to keep those donors secret) due to, they claim, harassment and intimidation (and worse) from LGBT advocates.  Such harassment and vandalism has gotten so bad, apparently, that tenet #4 on NOM’s presidential marriage pledge has called for “investigations” of LGBT Americans who, supposedly, are responsible for such vandalism.

Well, today, a federal judge, a George W. Bush appointee, has ruled against NOM’s phony argument.  According to the Seattle Times, the judge said  “Protect Marriage [an off-shoot of NOM] failed to show any ‘serious and widespread threats, harassment, or reprisals against the signers of R-71, or even that such activity would be reasonably likely to occur upon the publication of their names and contact information.’”
More from the paper:

A federal judge on Monday issued a ruling that publicly releases the names of 137,500 people who two years ago signed Referendum 71 petitions to bring the state’s domestic-partnership law to a vote.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle of Tacoma ends a legal fight between the Secretary of State’s Office and the religious conservative group Protect Marriage Washington.
The group had argued in court that petitions bearing the names of the signers should be sealed to protect them from harassment, while the state maintained that the petitions need to remain public.

The article said that the group will appeal the ruling, which continues to bring up the simple question - just what is NOM trying to hide?

Related post:

NOM trying to sidestep Minnesota disclosure laws

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'Top 25 celebrity coming out stories' and other Monday midday news briefs

25 Celebrity Coming Out Stories That Shocked The World - To be honest, a few of these coming out stories weren't shocking. I mean George Michael? Come on. One observation though. For all of the criticism about the Black church and homosexuality, this list actually mimics the Black church - i.e. black women stepping up in leadership roles in regards to vital issues (even though it is only one black woman on this list) while unfortunately black men are absent.

Linda Harvey denounces 'unwashed mob', continues to throw mud at same - In the world of the religious right, a teacher who attacks an lgbt display at her school while using some of the nastiest language to put down the gay community is a victim and any comment expressing disapproval of gays - no matter how ugly and venomous - is perfectly okay whereas it would NOT be okay if the comment had to do with race or religion. Okay.

Oregon May Seek To Overturn Anti-Gay Marriage Ban On 2012 Ballot - Things just got interesting in Oregon.

Pennsylvania Professor Humiliates Lesbian in Class, Calls Her 'Disgusting, Unnatural, and Abnormal' - A future "victim" of the so-called gay agenda. Whatever happened to the "good old days" when you can verbally attack gay students without reprisal, huh? The next thing you know, you won't be able to use the "n" word to describe black students.

Santorum Claims Herman Cain Is Too Pro-Gay, Compares His Fight Against Marriage Equality To Lincoln Fighting Slavery - And then Santorum whines about gays attacking him.

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Catholic Charities wants state to sanction its discrimination

The Catholic Charities of Illinois are trying to have it both ways:

Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) on Wednesday filed legislation that would amend the state's civil union law to allow Catholic Charities to continue to license foster and adoptive parents without serving same-sex couples.

McCarter's proposal, SB2495, would amend the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, signed into law in January, to allow faith-based agencies like Catholic Charities to decline to provide foster care and adoption services to applicants who "would constitute a violation of the organization's sincerely held religious beliefs" and refer them to other agencies.

The new legislation is the latest development in the ongoing saga between Catholic Charities agencies and the state Department of Children and Family Services who, earlier this year, canceled $30.6 million worth of contracts with Charities because they claimed the agencies were not providing services for the state in a way consistent with its non-discrimination law.

Supporters of the Catholic Charities - the National Organization for Marriage included - will have folks fooled that this is an issue of personal religious beliefs. They seem to always conveniently forget the monetary aspect.

They want to have things both ways - i.e. thinking the Catholic Charities should have a right to state monies even as it discriminates against taxpayers who supplies that money.

To me, the choice is simple - if you don't want to abide by the rules which come with the money, then don't take the money.

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