Catholic Charities of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has been forced to amend the health care coverage of it employees in order to avoid giving benefits to same-sex partners, as a result of the implementation of same-sex “marriage” in the District.
The Washington Post reported today that Catholic Charities employees received an email yesterday stating that the charitable organization will no longer offer health care benefits to spouses of new employees or to spouses of current employees who are not already enrolled in the plan.
“We looked at all the options and implications,” said the charity’s president, Edward J. Orzechowski. “This allows us to continue providing services, comply with the city’s new requirements and remain faithful to the church’s teaching.”
Late last year, when representatives of the Archdiocese of Washington spoke in support of natural marriage at a hearing examining the proposed same-sex “marriage” legislation, they predicted that if the legislation was approved the archdiocese would be forced into an untenable position.
“The expected effect … if enacted without expanded protection for religious conscience, would be to put the Archdiocese (and its employees) in a position that is simply untenable under the First Amendment: the District will effectively force the Archdiocese either to violate the law or to abandon forms of religious practice – care for the poor, hungry and homeless – that are fundamental to the practice of Catholic social teaching” the D.C. City Council was told.
Catholic Charities has already been forced to give up the foster care program it ran with the aid of public funds, after repeated warnings that there would be no other choice should the D.C. City Council insist that the archdiocese recognize gay “marriage” partners in its employment practices.
The new same-sex “marriage” legislation is due to come into effect Wednesday.
Mr. Orzechowski told the Washington Post that the change in health benefits will be the last move necessary to comply with the new legislation.
“We do not anticipate any further changes whatsoever,” he said. “Taking the action we have on foster care and spousal benefits we feel has addressed everything the new law requires of us.”
Robert Tuttle, a professor at George Washington University, commented to the Washington Post that though the decision to cut spousal benefits to its employees goes against the Catholic social teachings that underpin the charitable work of the Archdiocese, it was left no choice by the lack of religious exemptions in the same-sex “marriage” legislation.
“For decades, the church has been at the forefront of worker benefits, so this move cuts against their understanding of social justice and health benefits to all possible,” Tuttle said. “But obviously, you can see they felt there was a real conflict between those values. They feel they weren’t left with much of a choice.”
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Gay “Marriage” Law Forces D.C. Archdiocese to End Foster Care
D.C. Archdiocese Threatens to Axe Social Service Programs over Same-Sex “Marriage” Law
Lawmakers Refuse to Address D.C. Archdiocese’s Concerns Regarding Same-Sex “Marriage” Law
Archdiocese of Washington Opposes Bill to Redefine Marriage in District of Columbia