Saturday, November 21, 2009

D.C. officials push for compromise on Catholic Charities - WaPo

"Is there a way we can make this work?"

'blak, balk, blak' goes the Catholic Church.

D.C. officials push for compromise on Catholic Charities - washingtonpost.com:
"Some D.C. Council members and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton are reaching out to the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to see whether they can find a compromise so the Church will not end its social services contracts with the city if the council legalizes same-sex marriage.

After a week of heated rhetoric, District officials said Thursday that they see a way for Catholic Charities to continue operating programs with city money while assuring that the organization's gay and heterosexual employees would be treated equally if they got married.

'The rights of [gay] partners cannot be any different from similar situated couples, but with that said, if other jurisdictions have found a way to accommodate Catholic Charities, that would be very much be desired,' said Norton (D).

Norton, who said she was trying to make sure Congress does not intervene in the dispute, spoke briefly with Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl on Thursday.

Meanwhile, D.C. Council members David A. Catania (I-At Large) and Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) sent Wuerl a letter Wednesday urging that Catholic Charities embrace a policy similar to one in effect at Georgetown University.

They said that the Catholic university gives benefits to some same-sex couples even though the university does not officially recognize that the beneficiaries are of the same sex.

Susan Gibbs, a Church spokeswoman, said archdiocese officials were happy that city leaders were "finally responding," but she said she was not sure the proposal alleviates the Church's concerns."

The issue is not having to offer partnership benefits. If the city council EXEMPTED the church, they'd still balk. The issue is the church trying to use their power and influence for evil, not for the good of all. They're already exempted in ENDA, why don't they just not hire gay people?

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