How much does Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George hate marriage equality. Enough that he’s willing to pull funding for any organization that even tangentially supports it. That’s what happened to Bikes N’ Roses, a neighborhood charity that fixes bicycles for kids and trains them how to fix bikes on their own.
Recognizing the value of the program, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development gave Bikes N’ Roses a $20,000 grant last year. But because the group is a member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which came out in favor of marriage equality bill that ultimately failed in the state legislature, the Archdiocese of Chicago is defunding the program.
Ten other groups were similarly told that they were in violation of the grant requirements that grantees adhere to Church policy on same-sex marriage and other hot-button issues. As the Church puts it, “when it comes to marriage and family life, men and women are not interchangeable.” Five grant recipients have severed ties to the Coalition, the largest immigration group in the state, and will continue to receive money.
The Church’s vengeful move is entirely in line with its policy of putting opposition to gay anything above helping people the way, you know, Jesus might have. The Church would rather keep its money to itself than be even remotely associated with worthy causes that have some connection, no matter how slight, to marriage equality.
As for the kids who may no longer be able to get their bikes fixes, the Cardinal has a message for them: take a hike.