Catholics for Equality and Catholics for Marriage Equality Issue Statement in Response to Massachusetts' Bishops' Statement "On Electing Our Civic Leaders: Hope for Better Tomorrow"
BOSTON - Catholics for Equality and Catholics for Marriage Equality, two national Catholic organizations for LGBT equality, today issued the following statement in response to the Massachusetts' Bishops' directive to Catholics on considerations for electing civic officials.
Catholics for Equality and Catholics for Marriage Equality urge Massachusetts Catholics to heed their bishop's call to vote on Election Day. Local leaders of both groups, however, deplore the bishops' agenda to undo six years of freedom to participate in civil marriage for Massachusetts's same-sex couples and their families. "In an era when as many as 50% of marriages fail in divorce, it is unconscionable that anyone would oppose loving couples seeking to deepen their commitment to one another much less leaders of a church founded on the inclusive love of Jesus for all humanity," stated Constance Cervone.
Cervone who co-facilitated Roman Catholics for the Freedom to Marry in Massachusetts, now known as Catholics for Marriage Equality, describes the bishops' statement as "an opportunity by the bishops to continue to devalue the over 13,000 couples who have married in Massachusetts. The bishops deny the love that these couples give to each other, their children and their communities. It is a matter of basic fairness that these couples' marriages, and the security their commitments provide their children, retain the same respect, as do the marriages of their straight relatives and neighbors.
Charles Martel, a Boston therapist and co-founder of Catholics for Equality says, "Voting should never be used to determine the fundamental freedoms of any group. All legal marriages should be free from political interference. Yet the bishops of Massachusetts want us to elect politicians who would deny the freedom to marry confirmed by this state's voters." Martel notes, "the bishops attacks on our families are especially appalling given the recent events of anti-gay bullying and youth suicides and the role bias and hatred has played.
Massachusetts was the first New England state to enact marriage equality. Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire have followed. Catholics and other Massachusetts voters have overwhelmingly supported marriage equality since it became law by re-electing the members of the legislature who supported it. Polls show that 59% of Rhode Island voters (including 57% of Catholics in that state) also favor same-sex marriage. Martel is not surprised by this support of Catholic laity. "We faithful Catholics honor family in all its forms and know that God is an inclusive God of love desiring full health and happiness for all families regardless of sexual orientation or identity."
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.