Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend issued a statement opposing the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to the city human rights ordinance, reported the Tribune.
The bishop said his concern was that the ordinance “appears to be more about validating in law homosexual lifestyles and behaviors than it is about addressing unjust discrimination.”
Bishop D'Arcy said the main reason for his opposition is that sexual orientation and gender identity go beyond "self-identity" and include behaviors, expression and appearance.
In other communities these types of changes in the law have led to wider efforts to promote homosexuality, he noted. Citizens with "principled objections" are often labeled as prejudiced or homophobic, he said.
"Without question, everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. Everyone should enjoy the same basic human rights," the bishop wrote. “At the same time, we must be very cautious lest we validate in law lifestyles and behaviors to which many of our citizens are deeply in conscience opposed.”
The bishop said he deplores any type of violent action or hateful speech aimed at homosexual persons. “Such activity is morally wrong,” he wrote.