Gay marriage in D.C. ctd.

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    His summary seems fair enough to me. And yes, people who are accusing the Church of holding the homeless etc to their position on gay rights are engaging in dishonest rhetoric.

    That the Church and opponents of SSM do the same or worse in the other direction does not make it right.Report

  2. Avatar Elizabeth
    Ignored
    says:

    More falsehoods. Can people please just read the DC Human Rights Act? This issue was covered well during the two day marriage hearing as well. It already is, and has been for a long time, illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or their marital status (which includes domestic partnership status).

    http://ohr.dc.gov/ohr/frames.asp?doc=/ohr/lib/ohr/pro_acts_of_discrimination.pdf

    The church aparently had no problem following the law when gays couldn’t get married. They are now trying to roll back gay rights so that married gays have less rights than domestically partnered ones.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to Elizabeth
      Ignored
      says:

      But where in that document does it require anyone to provide benefits to same-sex couples? Isn’t that the crux of this issue? The Church is saying that they would be forced to give benefits not just to gay people but to their spouses. Again, I’m not saying this is the right position, only that it is the Church’s position. Also – I see nothing regarding adoption in this document.Report

      • Avatar GrrrlRomeo in reply to E.D. Kain
        Ignored
        says:

        How many married gay people will be working for the Church? This appears to be an argument based on speculation and theory that a gay person might want to work for their oppressors.Report

        • Avatar Silus Grok in reply to GrrrlRomeo
          Ignored
          says:

          That “a gay person might want to work for their oppressors” … really? Their oppressors. Wow. That’s some heavy rhetoric. Wouldn’t “that a married gay person would want to work for folks who don’t support his marriage” suffice?Report

      • Avatar Elizabeth in reply to E.D. Kain
        Ignored
        says:

        Under definitions 17 it reads: “‘Marital status’ means the state of being married, in a domestic partnership, single, divorced, separated, or widowed and the usual conditions associated therewith, including pregnancy or parenthood.”

        That means if you provide benefits to married spouses, you must also provide them to domestic partners.

        It doesn’t mention adoption per se, but agencies that provide services to the public are considered places of public accommodation, which are broadly subject to the non-discrimination law.Report

    • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Elizabeth
      Ignored
      says:

      Perhaps, they aren’t trying to roll back anything. Perhaps, they’re just getting out of the secular service business. I’m ok with the latter.Report

  3. Avatar GrrrlRomeo
    Ignored
    says:

    The Catholic Church has been keeping it’s public and private funding, and public and private work, separate until now. Why is it saying it can no longer do that and follow the law in their public services? If it is now saying it can’t keep it’s public and private money separate, then they should not get tax exempt status because their private money is funding political campaigns.

    Churches are redefining how we think of companies and organizations that are both publicly and privately funded, and it’s going to come back and bite them.Report

  4. Avatar E.D. Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Elizabeth – here’s a more detailed reading of the D.C. Human Rights Law as it stands now [pdf].

    (b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to bar any religious or political organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious or political organization, from limiting employment, or admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or political persuasion as is calculated by the organization to promote the religious or political principles for which it is established or maintained.
    (c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede any federal rule, regulation or act.
    (d) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any religious organization, association, or society or non-profit organization which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society from limiting the sales, rental or occupancy of housing accommodations which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to members of the same religion or organization, or from giving preference to these persons, unless the entity restricts its membership on the basis of race, color, or national origin. This chapter does not prohibit a private club, not open to the public, which incident to its primary purpose, provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of these lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

    Report

  5. Avatar Dan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    “It is in fact the city council that is closing down these programs, not the archdiocese.”
    –This seems to me to be letting the church off the hook, morally. After all, there’s nothing stopping them from adopting a set of non-homophobic policies and embracing gay marriage. If they refuse to do that, well, let’s hope the door doesn’t hit them on the ass on the way out.

    You write as if their decision to oppose gay marriage was morally neutral or something reasonable people could disagree on, which I think explains the disconnect with the commenters here.Report

  6. Avatar Kyle
    Ignored
    says:

    At the end of the day what’s more important that the right people, who think (or more accurately say) the right things, help people or that the people who need help get help?

    I mean I’m young but stuff like this makes me feel old, like when did everything become my way or the highway?

    Maybe I’m just being cranky today but can’t we quit forcing life into conveniently flattering but false dichotomies? I just don’t think, at the end of the day, someone getting a warm meal or shelter particularly cares if they’re getting help from Acorn or the Catholic Church and given that charity work isn’t about us (knock on wood), why shouldn’t we leave well enough alone?Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    It is simply pointing out that it cannot refuses to observe these new requirements

    Fixed.Report

  8. Avatar Sam M
    Ignored
    says:

    “You write as if their decision to oppose gay marriage was morally neutral or something reasonable people could disagree on’

    And there you have it.Report

  9. Avatar Observer
    Ignored
    says:

    Again this tenditious conflation.

    A representative government represents all citizens. Societies evolve and, yes, devolve.

    Vatican City is welcome to define “citizen” as something else. Our government does not have that privilege.

    You’re telling me Catholicism, a belief system that has survived nearly two thousand years during the most wrenching changes in history, can’t deal with giving warmth and succor to someone based on who they love.

    That’s its privilege. But on its own tithe.

    This is NOT the same thing as abortion access in federally-facilitated health plans. Maybe in 110 acres that define the Vatican City. But not here.

    If they are short of money maybe they can peel off some off the gold gilt and gems they use to decorate Cathedrals in some of the poorest villages on the planet.Report

  10. Avatar Scott
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes the DC council will do what they want and I will laugh my rear end off when the Church shuts down the services they provide through city contracts and the City starts screaming about how bad things are as a result. As a No.Va native, the idea of the DC gov’t running anything competently makes me laugh.

    My pro-choice mother worked as a social worker for Catholic Charities for a time and was bound by their restrictions but thought they did a very good job otherwise.Report

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