Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gay Marriage Conflict in D.C.

On Wednesday March 3rd, 2010, Washington D.C. joined the growing list of U.S. jurisdictions that recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court refused to hear a request to block it.  Chief Justice John Roberts was quoted as saying "as a matter of judicial policy, it has been the practice of the U.S. Supreme Court not to intervene in local matters."  D.C.'s 13 member "city" council voted 11 to 2 in favor of the Gay Marriage Act; the 2 lone dissenting votes were Marion Barry (D) and Yvette Alexander (D). Gay Marriage (as opposed to civil unions) is now legally recognized in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C.

Although reaction from the gay community has been one of jubilation, reaction from the rest of D.C. has been mixed with some in support and others expressing disappointment.  The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which receives $22 Million to provide services to the D.C. area, threatened to rescind its contracts with D.C. if the Act passed.  Now that the act has passed, the Catholic organization has ended its foster care program (transferring its operation over to the National Center for Children and Families) and has changed the policy of Catholic Charities with respect to employee benefits.  Starting now and going forward, Catholic Charities will no longer offer benefits to the spouses of any new employees (irrespective of sexual orientation) or any current employees who are not already signed up with a health care plan provided by the organization.

QUESTION: What do you think of the recent move by Catholic Charities? 
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