For Immediate Release
Contact Jim Naughton, 202.288.5125
CATHOLIC COALITION CELEBRATES HISTORIC NIGHT FOR MARRIAGE
Equally Blessed asks Bishops to Abandon Misguided Approach to LGBT Issues
Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Catholic groups that work on behalf of equality for
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the church and the wider society
released this statement on yesterday’s election.
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 7—Like millions of other faithful Catholics, we
watched with mounting excitement last night as election returns poured in from the
four states in which marriage equality was on the ballot. By this morning we knew
that Catholic voters and politicians had helped, in the words of the great abolitionist
Theodore Parker, to bend the arc of history toward justice.
In Maine, Maryland and Washington, faithful Catholics ignored the high-pressure
tactics of their bishops and helped make marriage equality a reality. In Minnesota
their votes were indispensible in defeating an amendment that would have made
marriage equality unconstitutional.
We congratulate Vice President Joe Biden, a faithful Catholic whose support for
marriage equality helped persuade President Barack Obama to embrace our cause.
We thank Governors Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Christine Gregoire of
Washington, both Catholics, for leading the movement toward marriage equality in
their states. We are also grateful to the many Catholic legislators who risked their
political careers and the opprobrium of their bishops to vote as their consciences
dictated on this important issue.
Mostly, however, we want to share in a moment of prayerful joy with all the Catholic
lay people who considered the teachings of their church, the promptings of their
hearts and the leadings of the Holy Spirit and then helped make history.
We hope that the rising Catholic tide of support for marriage equality will one day
carry along our bishops as well. Their intransigence in refusing even to speak with
groups that represent gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their
families is becoming increasingly untenable. Their penchant for threatening
Catholics who follow their own consciences in the voting booth is both theologically
suspect and obviously ineffective. The millions of dollars that the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus spent attempting to
crush the hopes of LGBT Catholics and their families could have been better spent to
achieve more Christian ends. And their ongoing relationship with the National
Organization for Marriage, even after its deliberate attempts to divide the electorate
on racial grounds, is a scandal for which they have yet to answer.
Despite loud and frequent warnings from their bishops, Catholics voted yesterday
for President Barack Obama, and their votes were critical in passing marriage
equality into law. The results of the election point to a crisis of credibility. Catholics
are tired of watching their church’s leaders ride into the cultural wars in the ranks
of the political right. It is time the bishops begin working with the People of God to
heal the wounds in the Body of Christ.
Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society.
Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 115 years
working on behalf of LGBT people and their families: Call To Action, DignityUSA,
Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.
For Immediate Release