Friday, November 13, 2009

Church Uses 68,000 Lives as Bargaining Chips

By now most of you have heard about DC's Catholic Archdiocese threatening to pull funding from homeless services in DC for fear of being forced to "extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples" under the DC marriage bill. (They are allowed to deny marriages.)

The Church, through the non-profit Catholic Charities, serves 68,000 people in the District and supplements DC funding for programs with $10 million. Jos of Feministing pointed out that "[the Church's] willingness to use the lives and health of 68,000 people in need as pawns in their fight for the right to discriminate is unconscionable. D.C. needs more social services, not less."

Personally, I'm not surprised. The leadership in the Catholic Church never had much of a pro-LGBT stance (I'm not denying that Catholics can have one though). I can't help but wonder how queer homeless youth are being impacted by this. LGBT homeless youth suffer disproportionally in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. The Catholic Charities don't offer this group of people any services (I called and asked).

Regardless, the point that the Church shouldn't use 68,000 lives as bargaining chips still stands.

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