Washington State Catholic Bishops Support Discrimination

Washington State is on the verge of becoming the next State to pass Gay Marriage. The Rainbow Sash Movement had hoped that the 4 Catholic Bishops of Washington State would of remained silent on this matter especially since there is such overwhelming support in the broader Catholic Community.

Gov. Chris Gregoire who is a practicing Catholic reversed course last week and threw her full support behind a bill to legalize same-sex marriage – legislation that is expected to breeze through the state House of Representatives, but struggle in the Senate.

The governor’s position is in clear conflict with the Catholic bishops of Washington state. Greg Magnoni, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, said that the church would be “looking for the Legislature to uphold the current legal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.” He said, “The position of the Catholic church is clear.”

However, Magononi’s statement is somewhat misleading. The Rainbow Sash Movement as well as others in the Progressive Catholic Community understands that there are three pillars of authority in the Church. Each of equal importance and authority: the Teaching Magisterium, of which the 4 Bishops of Washington State are a part of, the “Sense of the Faithful” of which Gov. Chris Gregoire is part of, and our theological community. When unity is lacking between these three pillars of authority you do not have unity, and without unity there is no authority to speak for Jesus Christ.

Clearly as poll after poll have shown the national and the international Catholic Community do not support either the Pope or his Bishops’ position on this issue. For Magononi to infer that by speaking for the organizational Church leadership he speaking for the “People of God” is both disingenuous and misleading.

This was all about my personal faith,” Gregoire said. “I came to understand my religion is one thing, but as governor of the state and as a human being, I believe in equality. And I don’t respect a state who discriminates.”

It’s time for Washington state to end illegal discrimination against gays and lesbians. The “everything but marriage” law may sound like equality, but it is still placing gays and lesbians as second class citizens in the eyes of the LAW
The Equal Protection Clause is quite clear that states should not have laws that discriminate.

If the Catholic Bishops are worried about the moral agenda of others as they claim WHY do they not address the immoral divorce situation amongst 40 – 50% of the heterosexual population?  Instead of addressing this (which is just as prevalent within the religious community), you prefer to deny LEGAL rights to a small percentage of the population. The Bishops have no legal reasoning for it. They just support discrimination in the name of Rome..
Mary Murphy
Rainbow Sash Movement
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