For those who hadn’t heard, last year DC passed a measure legalizing gay marriage. It’s scheduled to take effect tomorrow. This was a bit of a nail-biter, since Congress had threatened to repeal the law. But thankfully, the federal legislature is so dysfunctional that two and a half months weren’t enough to follow through on their threats.
Naturally, this ruffled a few feathers among homophobes (or, as I like to call them, bigots) like Catholic Charities, which I gather is a separately-incorporated of Caritas, which in turn is a branch of the Catholic church (CatholiCo, Inc.). From their rather vague “About us” page, I gather they do various charitable work like joining people who have money with people who need money, eliminating poverty, and promoting diversity, by which they mean they don’t discriminate on the basis of skin color, which is the only type of diversity among humans.
At any rate, Catholic Charities DC, or the bishop-in-command, figured that if teh gays were allowed to get married, they’d be considered equal to people, and that just wouldn’t do. So they threatened to be colossal dicks and pull out altogether.
The story today is that they decided to be merely huge dicks about this. They’ll continue their operations in DC. But they’re cancelling benefits for spouses. Not just gay spouses, but everyone (except current employees, who will be grandfathered in).
Once again, a religious institution digs in its heels and has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
One final note: throughout this whole affair, Catholic Charities and people speaking on its behalf have justified their stance by using phrases like “faithful to the church’s teaching” and “values”. This reminds me of nothing so much as the 19th-century euphemism “our peculiar institution”, used in the south to refer to slavery, back when they got an inkling in the back of their minds that maybe what they were doing was wrong.
I take this as a positive sign. We’ve already progressed enough as a society that people can no longer admit in polite society that they’re racists. It may be that we’re now moving into a phase where people have to use linguistic doilies to cover up their homophobia as well.