From The Human Rights Campaign:
by Dan Rafter, Online Campaigns Manager
The Catholic Church is funneling unprecedented dollar amounts into the four states where marriage equality is on the ballot this fall – Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington – and in many cases, parishioners may not even be aware that their dollars are being used to fund discrimination. The new HRC report finds that the Church has spent at least $1.1 million as part of its broader effort to deny loving, committed couples the right to marry. In addition, a close ally of the Church and past co-conspirator, the National Organization for Marriage, has spent nearly $1.4 million on the four ballot measures. In the aggregate, the Church and NOM are the single largest funders of discrimination, responsible for funding nearly 60 percent of all anti-equality efforts in Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington.
A significant portion of the Catholic-affiliated funding -more than $640,000 – comes from the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization within the Church. The Knights of Columbus have an established history of using their money to fight marriage equality dating back to 2005. Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholic groups, will be releasing an extensive report in partnership with HRC today detailing the Knights’ longstanding financial support for anti-equality measures.
In Minnesota alone, the opposition to marriage equality has received more than $180,000 from dioceses across the nation. Much of this funding likely came without the knowledge of parishioners; and as diocesan schools and important programs like soup kitchens struggle for resources, the Catholic Church has instead chosen to fund hateful, misleading political campaigns targeting loving, committed couples.
Learn more about the work of the Church hierarchy and its allies in fighting marriage equality this election cycle at www.hrc.org/catholicreport.
- Resigned Priests Come Out For Marriage Equality (dgsmith.org)
- In Same-Sex Marriage Fight, Catholic Church Gives More Than $1 Million, Human Rights Campaign Reports (huffingtonpost.com)
- Knights of Columbus Donating $$ and Time to Minnesota Marriage Ban (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
- Marriage Equality: A Tale Of Two Catholics (dgsmith.org)
- Washington State Catholic Pastors’ Refusal Continues to Inspire (dgsmith.org)