Loading
Catholics speak out against Colo. civil unions bill
By Kevin J. Jones
Colorado State Capitol. Credit: J. Stephen Conn (CC BY-NC 2.0).
Colorado State Capitol. Credit: J. Stephen Conn (CC BY-NC 2.0).

.- Those who testified against a Colorado civil unions bill last week included a Catholic man with same-sex attraction and a Colorado attorney general who was adopted through Catholic Charities.

State attorney general John Suthers told the Colorado House Judiciary Committee Feb. 28 that if the bill passes in its current form, “Catholic Charities and some other religiously affiliated social service agencies will no longer be in the adoption business in Colorado.”

Suthers, a Catholic and a Republican who testified against the bill in his capacity as a private citizen, was adopted through Catholic Charities as an infant.

The bill S.B. 11 would create civil unions for two people of any sex that would be legally equivalent to marriage under state law. Unlike previous versions of the bill, the present version has dropped a religious freedom provision ensuring that child placement agencies were not required to place children with same-sex or unmarried couples.

The legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 8-3. It now heads to the House Finance Committee before a final vote on the House floor.

Catholic Charities of Denver said it was grateful for Suthers' testimony and called for a religious freedom exemption so that the bill “does not threaten the vital work of many child placement agencies in Colorado.”

“Religious liberty is a civil rights issue,” the agency said March 1.

Catholic News Agency columnist Patrick Einheber, who writes on living as a chaste Catholic with same-sex attraction, read to the House committee a condensed version his Jan. 28 column “Same-sex attraction and the specter of inequality.”

“I felt it was important to testify about the major thing that separates marriage from same-sex relationships: the ability to create new members of society through a committed sexual relationship,” Einheber told CNA March 5.

He said he generally felt civil unions proponents’ testimony was “mostly emotional appeal and centered on what they wanted from society.”

“It ignored the fullness of what marriage provides back to society,” he said, explaining that the debate should focus on “why the government cares about marriage to begin with.”

Einheber said there is an “essential difference between equality of persons and the attempt to legislate equality of behaviors.”

Mark Rohlena, president of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, called for a “broad conscience protection” in his testimony before the committee.

“Sadly in places like Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., we have seen Catholic Charity organizations forced out of their adoption and foster care programs where they are trusted partners with the state when conscience objections are not protected,” he said.

Rep. Polly Lawrence, a Republican from Littleton, Colo., proposed to amend the bill to provide protections to religious child placement agencies. However, three other Republicans on the committee were not in the room and no other legislator seconded the proposal, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

Some religious individuals have backed the bill, including Rev. Mike Morran of the First Unitarian Society of Denver, who said the proposed law allows religious institutions to refuse ceremonies or access to facilities for same-sex couples, but it has no concessions for child placement agencies.

“They can discriminate, or they can accept public money, but they can’t do both,” he said, according to the Colorado Gazette reports.

However, the law applies to all institutions regardless of whether they take public money. In January Rohlena told CNA that Catholic Charities of Central Colorado does not receive state funds in “any significant degree.”

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver, a separate Colorado agency, has provided adoption and foster care services since 1927. It also does not accept state funding for adoption services, but it can contract with county governments to place children with the agency’s certified foster families.

Tags: Civil Unions


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: