Forget that vow of poverty: The Roman Catholic Church has shelled out more than $1 million to fight various marriage-equality initiatives, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.
The study shows that the millennia-old institution has donated more than $1.1 million to anti-equality initiatives, including ones fighting gay-marriage measures in Washington, Maryland and Maine—and one supporting a gay-marriage ban in Minnesota, where it has given more than $608,000 to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. (That’s more than half the campaign’s budget.)
Today, the Church is now the top religious donor for anti-equality efforts, with more than $640,000 coming from the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus.
Fortunately it looks like gay-rights advocates have been able to raise considerably more funds overall than anti-equality cronies. (HRC has contributed $7.3 million to marriage-equality campaigns in the past 12 months.).
Given that a majority of everyday Catholics actually support gay marriage, HRC president Chad Griffin says “The Church hierarchy owes the laity an explanation as to why they are spending this much money on discrimination, and at what cost to other crucial Church programs.”
In a statement, Jason Adkins of the Minnesota Catholic Conference replied, “Our marriage amendment activities, like our other activities, are aimed at fostering the common good.”
Thanks but no thanks, pal.