Today the Supreme Court upheld the DC law, which was not submitted to voters, but enacted by the City Council.
There were basically two avenues that appeared to be open, each one leaving the local Church open to accusations of injustice or duplicity:
- Reduce the social services the Archdiocese carries out with government contracts (even the suggestion was enough to provoke righteously indignant reproaches that the Church was abandoning the needy over a trifling matter of doctrine--or, to put it even more despicably, "dogma") (
- Redefine spousal benefits so that they could be assigned to a person of the employee's choosing (pretending that in the case of same-sex unions, that wouldn't be a spousal benefit)
As I wrote in November, "The Archdiocese of Washington is not a social service organization; it is a Church that expresses its identity in a vibrant way through its many social ministries. But that identity is a complete package: the 'Catholic' in 'Catholic Charities' means something!"
Critics of the Archdiocese claim that this means that the Church's opposition to gay marriage is stronger than its concern for the needy. It seems to me the other way around: the District of Columbia's intransigence (disallowing appropriate religious exemptions) reveals what DC politicians think about the District's weakest citizens.