The Knights of Columbus was dissapointed to learn that 16 of its members, who hold political office in the Massachusetts Legislature, voted against the same-sex marriage amendment in June.
The June 14 vote, which decided whether same-sex marriage would be put on the 2008 ballot, got only 45 votes — five votes shy of the 50-vote requirement.
"It is certainly embarrassing to the order and to every Knight out there who is firm in his support of traditional marriage and the right to life," Pat Korten, vice-president for communications for the Knights, told LifeSiteNews.com.
The 16 Knights who voted to defeat the marriage amendment include: Speaker of the House Sal Dimasi; House Majority Leader John Rogers; Reps. Garrett Bradley, Bob Deleo, Stephen Di Natale, Chris Donelan, Christopher Fallon, Kevin Honan, Charles Murphy, Angelo Puppolo, Bob Spellane, Bob Nyman, and Paul McMurtry; Senators Tom McGee, Michael Knapik, and Michael Morrissey.
Among these, seven are rated "pro-choice" by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts' Advocacy Fund: Dimasi, Bradley, Donelan, Honan, Murphy, Spellane, and McGee.
The Knights of Columbus had led the statewide drive to collect 170,000 petitions in support of the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Furthermore, 500 Knights delegates at the state convention had unanimously approved a resolution demanding that the Legislature allow a ballot for citizens to decide the fate of same-sex marriage.
Korten says the Knights can only employ fraternal correction and prayer in this case.
A Knights member must be 18 and a practicing Catholic “who is recognized as such by the local Church where he goes or the ordinary of the diocese," said Korten.
It is up to the diocese or the Church hierarchy to decide whether these lawmakers are no longer Catholic, Korten told LifeSiteNews.com. "We as laymen do not presume to decide whether other laymen are Catholics or not," he said.