On Tuesday, Dec.1, council members in D.C. are expected to vote in favor of a bill that will legalize same-sex “marriage” in the nation's capital, a move that will potentially sever the partnership between the city and Catholic Charities.
Archbishop Donald Wuerl of the Washington D.C. Archdiocese stated in an interview last week that not only does the new bill change the definition of marriage but also prohibits Catholic Charities “from carrying out our social service ministry” if they do not accept the redefinition.
The bill, if approved today, will come up for a second vote of the full Council on Dec. 15. If it is voted in favor of a second time, as predicted, it will then go to supporter Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty for his signature.
On Nov. 17, Archbishop Wuerl stated that the same-sex “marriage” bill would cause the city itself to withhold contracts and licenses since Catholic Charities and other religious institutions cannot comply with city mandates to “recognize and promote” it.
The prelate clarified that even if contracts between the city and Catholic Charities end, “the archdiocese and Catholic Charities are committed to continuing to provide services in the District,” despite the fact that “the new requirements by the city for religious organizations to recognize same-sex marriages in their policies could restrict our ability to provide the same level of service that we do now.”
Catholic Charities currently assists 68,000 people in D.C. each year by means of shelter, food, medical and legal care, job training, immigration assistance and other services.