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If Catholic Charities can't accept same-sex marriage, it should get out of childcare and adoption business [Most Commented]

June 22, 2011 | 12:07 pm

Photo: The rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride flies from a pole in Manhattan on June 21, 2011. Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images The debate over marriage equality moved to the New York Senate this week. If the measure passes the Legislature, the state would be the largest to adopt same-sex marriage. Op-Ed columnist Tim Rutten zeroed in on New York's importance in the issue, especially in lieu of the Illinois adoption agencies run by Catholic Charities refusing to place children with same-sex couples. Rutten hopes New York will steer clear of a similar mess and, in taking the legislative route, provide a constructive debate.

The issue is now in court, but if it can't be resolved, Catholic Charities may simply go out of the childcare and adoption business. That's no small matter because its agencies care for 20% of Illinois' parentless children. Nationally, Catholic Charities, with 1,700 agencies, is the country's second-largest provider of social services after the federal government.

If a bipartisan majority in the New York Legislature can work out a path to marriage equality that doesn't involve the sort of destructive confrontation occurring in Illinois, the contribution to moral progress and the common good will be inestimable.

Here's what readers are saying about same-sex marriage and adoption agencies run by Catholic Charities:

Don't fund discrimination

 State funds should not be granted to or managed by organizations that discriminate.  Period.

 -- slyypper

It's the people’s decision, not the legislature's

 My ultra conservative political view: Gov't and marriage do not mix, what a man and woman (or guy/guy) do to legalize their commitment should remain a private (or religious) matter. Government is only involved to get money and for some idiotic reason, our society accepts that.

Nonetheless, I am a native Angeleno who now lives in NY, and what I do not like about NY politics is that ''we the people'' can not vote on referendums (no prop 13 will ever happen here my friends!) Since I believe in and will accept "majority rules" I think that gay marriage then should be decided by people at the polls. If 58% of NYers support gay marriage, it would pass, case closed. If 51% oppose, get the gay PR machine going to change public opinion so that in a few years it might pass....which is what they should have done in California two years back.

 --JeffreyAllenMiller

Separate religion from civil marriage and adoption

This Archbishop argues about freedom of faith in order to protect marriage laws?

Freedom of Faith means that people are free to be of whichever faith they want and that the law shouldn't infringe upon them.

Yet he is arguing against homosexual marriage because of his faith which means he is actually limiting the Freedom of Faith by imposing Christian rules on people through law.

Freedom of Faith would involve the separation of Civil and Spiritual marriage. Priests would lose the right to Legally bind any couple however they will be free to spiritually marry anyone and decline to marry homosexuals based on their faith. Similarly Civil Marriage would lose the idea of a spiritual union however it will be able to be exorcised without being constrained by the religious beliefs of people.

As for Catholic Adoption agencies refusing to allow homosexual couples to be foster parents I would think that their right to allow anyone to adopt should come under scrutiny as they are putting their religious belief system above the children's best interests in terms of finding them parents and so they might be doing so in other areas. The Catholic Church's record in regards to the well-being of children is abysmal after all.

 --GilaEnnui

Blame the Catholic Church, not the Illinois Legislature

Mr. Rutten is wrong in blaming Catholic Charities' misdeeds on the Illinois State Legislature.  In Massachusetts, when marriage equality became the law, Catholic Charities could no longer expect to use taxpayer dollars to promote their anti-gay agenda, and instead of compromising, Catholic Charities threw orphan children under the bus and proved hurting loving, committed same gender couples is more important to them than helping children needing loving parents and a good home.  The Catholic bishops are ratcheting up their attempts to use taxpayer dollars to hurt same gender couples in Illinois.  The bishops are well within their rights to show all Americans their hatred and fear of LGBT Americans, but, conversely, Americans are free to prevent Catholic bishops from using our tax dollars for their anti-gay agenda.

-- Carrot Cake Man

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

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Photo: The rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride flies from a pole in Manhattan on June 21, 2011. Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

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