The gist of the story is that DC passed an ordinance recognizing same sex marriage and requiring anyone with a contract with the District "... to provide equal spousal benefits to employees regardless of a spouse’s gender". Of course, DC Catholic Charities had such contracts, which made life easier for everyone. Standing on principals, DC Catholic Charities cut benefits to all employees.
The author of the post, Bryan Cones, is managing editor of U.S. Catholic, out of Chicago. Mr Cones recommends the solution of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
That city’s board of supervisors began requiring groups with city contracts to provide equal benefits in 1997. Rather than take the easy way out, then-Archbishop William Levada expanded employee benefits, allowing employees to cover any other legally domiciled adult member of a household—a sibling, parent, or domestic partner.That is a solution. But what if some area changes the law to allow multiple partners?
Absurd, you say. Of course it is.
However, given that our Chief Justice here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Margaret Marshall, blew the call on Goodridge vs Department of Public Health, I would not be surprised at anything. And, given the rising number of Muslims in the United States, why would there not eventually be an outcry from that minority for such equity?
Where I think Chief Justice Marshall missed the boat is in not pointing out that state recognition of marriage was a violation of the separation of church and state. In my humble and non-law school graduate opinion, Ms Marshall should have said that the state is interested in the contracts people make and tying themselves to others is a contract, to be registered with the state. Marriage is something that happens in a religious context. If she was going to accept that marriage was in the realm of the state she should have left it with the Great and General Court. She did, in fact, leave it to the Great and General Court to regulate all other aspects of marriage, having taken same-sex marriage out of their hands. She apparently believed they were not to be trusted with such a decision.
That and her sociological analysis in the decision left a lot to be desired.
But, back to the issue at hand, I think I have to go with Mr Cones on this. It seems to me that Archbishop Donald Wuerl and The DC Archdiocese missed the mark on this one.
Regards — Cliff