Catholics for Equality to U.S. Bishops: "Pro-Equality American Catholics Know What We See!"
Catholics for Equality to U.S. Bishops:
Group Applauds Recent polling on Pro-Equality American Catholic Support;
WASHINGTON - Catholics for Equality, a national organization of Catholics who put their faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families, is voicing concern over an orchestrated effort by conservative leaders within our church to frame the growing supermajority of pro-equality Catholics in America as "confused." The group also expressed concerns over parish funds being used by our bishops to fuel anti-gay political campaigns across the country and calls for greater financial transparency.
"Two polls reaffirming vast Catholic support for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity does not suggest 'confusion' on an issue," remarked Catholics for Equality Executive Director Phil Attey. "These polls show that pro-equality American Catholics are clear in our beliefs. Our eyes are wide open and we know what we see!"
Catholics for Equality applauds two recent polls that show vast and rapidly growing American Catholic support for LGBT equal rights. A March 18, 2011 poll, released by ABC News and the Washington Post showed that 63% of American Catholics support same-gender civil marriage. A March 22, 2011 poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed 71% of Americans support same-gender civil marriage, and 73% support legislation to end LGBT-related workplace discrimination.
"Vatican officials, U.S. bishops and paid lobbyists for state Catholic Conferences are all frustrated that American Catholics are not blindly following the heavy handed dictates from Rome, telling us not to support the wellbeing our LGBT family, parish and community members. And now that they've realized they've lost that battle, they're trying to frame our conviction as confusion. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to see who's confused here."
Another issue American Catholics are not confused about is that bishops are channeling vast amounts of money into anti-equality political campaigns and that these financial reports are not making it into our parish bulletins. While Catholic parishes and schools continue to close due to lack of funding, in 2009, Catholic bishops nationwide sent over a half-million dollars in funds from parish collection plates to strip same-gender couples in Maine their right to civil marriage.
Catholics for Equality believes this is just the tip of the iceberg to the behind-the-scenes fundraising U.S. bishops are orchestrating for anti-gay political groups and candidates.
Last year, Archbishop Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis spent over a million dollars (from an "unnamed donor") to support the Republican candidate for governor who opposed civil marriage equality in their state. Catholics in Minnesota protested the Archbishop's political involvement, not only in the public square and in the media, but ultimately at the ballot box.
"Catholics deserve to know where our money is going and what our bishops are doing behind closed doors," says Attey. "We're well aware of the strong ties between our bishops and 'suspected hate groups' like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) but our bishops and these groups are being tight lipped when it comes to their political coordination and financial relationship. They owe it to us, Catholics in the pews, to be transparent about those efforts and relationships, especially when it comes to our money."
The National Organization for Marriage is a multi-million dollar political campaign, currently under investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center for continued use of misinformation, with the intention to demonize an oppressed segment of society. The SPLC ruling on NOM as an official hate group is expected to come out later this Spring.
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.