Connection between USCCB and gay rights activist sparks controversy
Mary Kay Henry
Mary Kay Henry

.- Conservative blogs were buzzing on Friday with the discovery that a member of the USCCB's Subcommittee on Catholic Health Care is an active homosexual and gay rights activist. However, though Mary Kay Henry's bio states that she is a labor adviser to the U.S. bishops, the USCCB communications director told CNA “she is not a consultant.”

Henry, the international executive vice president for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was recently named one of the nation's "Top 25 Women in Healthcare" for 2009 by Modern Healthcare.  Her biography at the SEIU website explains that “Her faith and values as a practicing Roman Catholic led her to pursue union organizing as a vocation.”

“Mary Kay is also active in the fight for immigration reform and gay and lesbian rights. She is a founding member of SEIU's gay and lesbian Lavender Caucus,” her description continues.

According to SEIU, “The Lavender Caucus is the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/ Transgender (L/G/B/T) Caucus of the Service Employees International Union whose purpose is to facilitate open and respectful communication between the L/G/B/T community and the labor movement.”

The last line of Henry's SEIU bio reads, “She and her partner, Paula Macchello, have been together for 20 years.”

Henry is listed on the USCCB website as a member of the Subcommittee on Justice, Peace, and Human Development who helped produce the working paper, “A Fair and Just Workplace: Principles and Practices for Catholic Health Care.”

ModernHealthCare.com also mentions that Henry is a labor adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Health Care & Work Subcommittee.

However, in an email asking to confirm Henry’s advisory role at the USCCB, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the conference media director simply told CNA, “She is not a consultant.”

CNA spoke with another woman in the Justice, Peace and Human Development office at the USCCB who said a press release on the topic would be available on Friday afternoon. 

But by Friday night, no press release had been posted on the USCCB’s website.

Similarly, a call from CNA to Henry was not returned.

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