Since New York has passed Gay Marriage legislation will Catholic Charites state wide adoption/foster care programs be able to discriminate against Gay Couples, and will they be able to discriminate in partner benefits? Will New York’s Conference of Catholic Bishops take a page from the Illinois Conference of Catholic Bishops at least in employee benefits?
The Illinois Hospital Association issued a memo in mid May requesting its members to change their HR policies in regards to employee benefits. Asking that their policies be amended from a employee and spouse too a employee plus one, because they feared law suits down the road. While this seemed to be supported by the Bishops the issue of adoption/foster care was another matter. The Illinois Civil Unions Bill had change the landscape.
The Bishops of the Dicoeses of Joliet, Peoria, and Rockford put the brakes on their state funded adoption services rather than serve potential Gay parents. Than Catholic Charites took legal action against the state in an attempt to maintain their right to discriminate against gay couples. We are awaiting a verdict on that issue.
It is difficult to know what will happen in New York. We know there were many carve outs demanded by both Republican and Democratic State Senators on the bill that finally passed. Will these carve outs allow for the Catholic Charities to continue to discriminate against gay couples, or will the legislation be about Gay Marriage Equality with the tools to enforce? As we get closer to the end of July we should begin to hear some rumblings one way or the other.
If the bill has no enforcement apparatus, than it will be more about PR than substance, only time will tell. I always get uncomfortable when all the politicians are slapping themselves on the back for passing legislation that is suppose to be about equality while at the same time making back room deals that are appeasing the opposition. Lets see if the legislation has any enforcement teeth the proof will be in the pudding.
Rainbow Sash Movement