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Wednesday, January 16 2013

Catholics Call on Stephen Colbert to Reenter the Republican Primary

News Release


Stephen Colbert

Catholics Call on Stephen Colbert
to Reenter the Republican Primary


Group, Representing the Views of Over 75 Million American Catholics,
Says Colbert is the only GOP Contender who Represents
Comprehensive Catholic Social Justice Teaching


Sign The Online Petition!


WASHINGTON - Catholics for Equality, the country's largest national political organization of Catholics who put their faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families, representing the views of over 75 million American Catholics, today called on comedian and late night television host Stephen Colbert to reignite his presidential campaign and reenter the 2012 Republican national primary. The group says Colbert is the only Republican Catholic contender who reflects comprehensive Catholic social justice teaching.

"Catholics across the country call on our Catholic brother, former presidential candidate Stephen Colbert to return to the Republican national primary," said Catholics for Equality Executive Director Phil Attey. "Stephen Colbert, more than any other Catholic Republican candidate, reflects our belief in social justice and the primacy of conscience and because of this, is the only Republican candidate American Catholics could vote for with a clear conscience."

The Catholic group believes that Stephen Colbert's high profile campaign offers American Catholics an opportunity to make important points about how Catholic social justice teaching, including legal equality for LGBT citizens, is being addressed in the Republican primary.

The group charges that neither Republican Catholic candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich represent comprehensive social justice teaching nor the fundamental calling of American Catholics to remain faithful to our church while interacting in a rich and pluralistic society. Gingrich's history of adultery, divorce, and ethics violations disqualifies him as a leader and role model for American Catholicism. And as a supernumerary in the fringe and secretive conservative Catholic Opus Dei order, Santorum's inability to serve the U.S. Constitution over the will of the Vatican is problematic for American Catholics, who until the election of President John F. Kennedy were ostracized from political life for that very reason. Further, neither candidate honors the Catholic tradition of caring for the poor, the sick, and the oppressed.

Attey added, "It's embarrassing and disgraceful to watch politicians remain silent while crowds at Republican debates cheer allowing the uninsured sick to die at the doorsteps of our hospitals -- or boo an active duty soldier, putting his life on the line Afghanistan, just because he happens to be gay. It's especially disgraceful when two of these politicians claim to represent our Catholic community. They should be standing up for the sick, the poor and the oppressed. This is what our faith teaches us. This is what our faith calls us to do."

In contrast, Stephen Colbert, a staunch and vocal Roman Catholic, consistently speaks out for the rights of the uninsured, the poor, immigrants, women and minorities -- including his LGBT brothers and sisters. Like the supporters of Catholics for Equality, he does this not in spite of his faith, but because of it.

Stephen Colbert has also made the same evolution on marriage equality as have the overwhelming majority of American Catholics, including Catholic leaders like Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington and Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland.

"Catholics are smart enough to understand that we can remain faithful to our church in regard to religious or sacramental marriage, but as American citizens, we must treat all adult couples fairly in regard to legal or civil marriage, says Attey. "This is why when explained correctly, 71% of Catholics support civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples -- the kind you get from the justice of the peace."

Catholics for Equality encourages all American Catholics to sign the online petition, calling on Stephen Colbert to reenter the Republican race and to campaign in their state. The group also encourages Catholics to challenge candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on their opposition to fair and equal legal treatment of LGBT Americans.




Catholics for Equality empowers pro-equality Catholics to put our faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families.

Catholics for Equality was founded in 2010 to support, educate, and mobilize Catholics in the advancement of freedom and equality at the federal, state, and local levels for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender family, parish and community members.

Catholics for Equality © 2010 • Catholics for Equality Foundation © 2010
PO Box 34765 • Washington, DC • 20043-4765 • tele: 202.657.6097