Sunday, March 7, 2010

D.C. Catholic Archbishop Punishes All Spouses for Same-Sex Marriage

     The Catholic church continues it's total war method for attacking gay rights.  If dysfunctional Mother church doesn't get her way, she follows the example of her Old Testament god and cuts everyone off.  Burn it all to the ground and blame the gays!  If there are gays in the pews, deny everyone at Mass communion.  If homosexuals have legal rights to marry, then quit providing social services to the needy.  It's what Jesus would want. 

     Now, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.,  and Archbishop Wuerl have taken the war on gay rights to a new level.  Rather than provide a gay employees' civil spouses with medical benefits, ultra-straight Wuerl is cutting off benefits to all spouses who work for Catholic Charities in the nations capital.  So much for the church being a champion of healthcare reform. 

     Employees at Catholic Charities were told Monday that the social services organization is changing its health coverage to avoid offering benefits to same-sex partners of its workers -- the latest fallout from a bitter debate between District officials trying to legalize same-sex marriage and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington
     Starting Tuesday, Catholic Charities will not offer benefits to spouses of new employees or to spouses of current employees who are not already enrolled in the plan. A letter describing the change in health benefits was e-mailed to employees Monday, two days before same-sex marriage will become legal in the District.
     The employees, who already work for reduced not-for-profit wages, are not pleased.  Here, The Post reports some of their reactions:
     Tim Sawina, who was until last year one of the group's highest-ranking executives, called the elimination of spousal health benefits "devastating" and "wrong" in a letter Wednesday to the governing boards of the social service organization..."Some, including the archbishop, have argued that by providing health care to a gay or lesbian spouse we are somehow legitimizing gay marriage," said Sawina, a former priest. "Providing health care to a gay or lesbian partner -- a basic human right, according to Church teaching -- is an end in itself and no more legitimizes that marriage than giving communion to a divorced person legitimizes divorce, or giving food or shelter to an alcoholic legitimizes alcoholism."
    Many Catholic Charities employees did not return calls or declined to talk, citing worries of being fired.
    "People are really upset," one employee said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job. "You don't do this kind of job for the money. You're not getting paid a lot to start with. You're working in pretty rough areas, doing pretty tough work for the needy. If recruiting was hard before, it's going to be even worse now."
    One employee provided by Catholic Charities this week agreed to be named. Michelle Mendez, staff attorney for immigrant legal services, also described dismay about the spousal benefit reduction but said she remained committed to the organization's work and mission.
    Gibbs said that the archdiocese is not surprised that workers expressed discouragement but blamed it in part on media coverage of the issue.
    "Part of the problem is that they're coming in hearing this stuff every day -- not all of it accurate -- about the organization they work at," she said. "It's been a tough few months for all of us. It was a hard decision but one that allows us to continue the important work we're doing."
     When will the people in the pews stand up to these injustices?  Sure, it's legal for the church to discriminate, thanks to the separation of church and state (which the church has violated time and again by funding crusades against the civil rights of women, blacks, and now LGBT persons), but to all you Catholics out there: is it moral?  Is it just?  Is it right? 

     Your "savior" is definitely weeping the falling tears.