''We would not place children with same-sex couples.... We would not provide employees with spousal [health care] benefits in terms of same sex unions.''
Edward Orzechowski, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of DC, speaking at the October 26 hearing on Washington, DC's same-sex marriage bill. Today, November 12, the Archdiocese threatened the Council to withdraw services to thousands of District residents over gay marriage. At the Council hearing, was answering questions from Councilmen Phil Mendelson and David Catania. As was discussed, Catholic Charities gets 75% of its money from public funds, and according to Washingtonian, Orzechowski has a paycheck of $268,000. As Catania stated, that's taxpayer dollars going to an organization that says it will not comply with public law. The Archdiocese of Washington and Catholic Charities are saying they must be allowed to break away from non-discrimination ordinances regarding employment and public services provided, yet still accept public dollars, and be able to call that religious freedom. (Washingtonian) (DC Council) (MetroWeekly YouTube)
''If the city requires this, we can't do it. The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that's really a problem.''
Susan Gibbs, of the Archdiocese of Washington, saying that the church, would no longer be able to help the homeless, adoption, and health care through Catholic Charities, because gay men and lesbians will likely have the right to marry in DC. Today's statement from the Archdiocese comes despite a huge change to the bill that would give Catholic and other religious organizations the right to decide whether to offer services to same-sex ceremonies or not. (Washington Post)
They don't represent, in my mind, an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure.... If they find living under our laws so oppressive that they can no longer take city resources, the city will have to find an alternative partner to step in to fill the shoes.''
David Catania responding to the threat from Catholic Charities that they will no longer provide services to needy persons in the District because they cannot comply with an upcoming same-sex marriage law. The proposed bill originally stated that religious organizations did not have to perform ceremonies, nor did they have to provide rentals or other services to couples when it is against the beliefs of their faith, with an exception in cases where those services or accommodations were regularly offered to the general public. The latter portion of that regulation was dropped, but Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese have made it clear that their opposition is to same-sex marriage -- which leads many to conclude that it really has nothing to do with the services they provide, or the benefits they'll be required to offer to married gay and lesbian couples. Catholic Charities received millions of dollars from District residents, and they stated publicly at an October 26 meeting that 75% of their operating expenses come from public funds. The President and CEO of Catholic Charities, Edward Orzechowski, personally receives a yearly compensation of $268,000 according to Washingtonian. (Washington Post)