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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Nice try

Dan Levine at CT News Junkie has the scoop on the Catholic Church and their latest attempt to tinker with the new civil union law.

For most in the state Capitol, the civil union controversy ended April 13, when Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the landmark legislation. But for the Catholic Church, the battle still rages.

Over the last few weeks, church lobbyists have shopped an amendment at the state Capitol that would exempt church affiliated organizations from paying benefits to same sex partners. They’ve even begun phone banking legislators- state Rep. Michael Lawlor (D-East Haven), a leading civil union proponent, said he received four calls over the past week.

For Dr. Marie Hilliard, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, the issue is one of entitlement. The Catholic Church should be protected under the First Amendment from being required to follow policies that undermine its religious teaching, according to Hilliard. By mandating church funds towards same sex partners, via benefits packages, the civil union law infringes on religious freedom, she said.

“We’re trying to exercise our right not to de facto recognize civil unions through benefits packages,” Hilliard said.

Oh but it's nice to live in a blue state and most of us don't drink kool-aid and can see through their smoke screen.

Problem is, the civil union law already exempts religious organizations, Lawlor said. The Judiciary Committee’s co-chairman believes the Catholic Conference is actually pushing much stronger language which the House rejected during the debate on the bill. That language would institute a range of restrictions, and not just at churches- Catholic hospitals may not be required to recognize civil unions on a range of fronts, including visitation rights, Lawlor said.

This isn't about First Amendment rights, it's about intolerance and hate pure and simple and thank goodness Lawlor had the guts to call them on their bigotry.
“This is a pathetic attempt to have another discussion about this bigotry. Now this is pure bigotry,” Lawlor said, “and we don’t want to rent our hall to that.”
We know where the church stands with homosexuality and this is the start of their master plan to chip away at the law and the rights of gays in this state.

This battle isn't going away anytime soon.