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DC archdiocese ends foster-care rather than serve gay couples

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Initial post: Feb 17, 2010 6:28:04 PM PST
February 17, 11:11 AM | LA Atheism Examiner | Hugh Kramer

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC has ended a foster-care program it has run for 80 years rather than work with same-sex couples. The problem began in November when the DC city council began debating legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages. Catholic Charities, which receives $20 million in support from the city, threatened to drop out of the program rather than license same-sex couples. The council signed the legislation in December and it is due to go into effect in just a few days. No special church exemption from anti-discrimination laws was provided so the Church carried through on its threat. Other tax-payer funded social services provided by the archdiocese may also be affected.

Quoted in the Washington Post, Edward Orzechowski, president and chief executive of Catholic Charities, the archdiocese's social service arm, said, "Now we're in a position where we need to scrutinize everything. From our point of view, it's important that we don't in any way compromise our religious teaching."

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, urged the city council to not cave in to the archdiocese's threats.

"If `faith-based' charities cannot or will not obey civil rights laws, they ought not benefit from public funds," he said (according to AU's blog).

"I am amazed that church officials would threaten to stop helping the disadvantaged because they are being asked to treat all citizens of the District fairly," he continued. "They seem to have lost all perspective. How strong is their commitment to helping the poor if they're willing to take this hard-line stance?"

"If Catholic Charities drops its participation in publicly funded social services," Lynn concluded, "I am confident that other charities would be happy to pick up the slack."

And indeed, the city had no problem finding another charity to pick up the slack. As of February 1, the entire foster-care program - 43 children, 35 families and seven staff members, will be transferred to the National Center for Children and Families.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 8:09:54 PM PST
Budgie says:
Excellent news.

Catholics like to beat their chests about their Catholic Charities being so noble. Now it has been shown that a secular charity can quickly do what they do without the religious condemnations and judgments.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 2:05:31 PM PST
A. Chapman says:

They did the same thing in England. I'm very pleased to hear that the situation was solved in DC without caving in to the religious terrorists. :D

Author of Pagan: An MPRD Novel

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 10:46:06 AM PST
James Walsh says:
Have they acquiesced in the whole "free the slaves" thing yet?

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 5:54:38 AM PST
WildOat says:
Leave it to a christian to have a trade for babies for profit. The whole lot of them should be hung up by their thumbs and spat on. This phoney baloney benevolence gets under my nails. Maybe the priesthood wanted to keep the young for their own little private parties.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 7:30:37 PM PST
WildOat says:
DC Archdiocese on the lamb after baby trading doesn't show profit in economical downturn!

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 5:18:22 PM PST
If some diocese rather than another gets out of foster care, that is probably good, no matter what their reasons. Good riddance.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2010 9:08:08 PM PST
brunumb says:
"'s important that we don't in any way compromise our religious teaching."

Now there's irony for you.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 11:16:36 PM PST
angel.white says:
Uh, I don't agree with the more hatred oriented posts here. But, honestly, this is a little surprising for me. I had great hopes for the Catholic Church after watching "For the Bible Tells Me So" (a wonderful, and surprisingly uplifting film, that is also respectful towards people of faith, despite it's name) which featured Gene Robinson, an openly gay Catholic Bishop. Their position in this article doesn't seem congruent. But, I suppose, it's one of those paths you have to keep walking across, before it stops trying to grow back over.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 11:30:36 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 9, 2011 9:26:09 AM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Atheist forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Feb 17, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 17, 2010

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