Sorry, Orphans, The Catholic Church Spent That $2 Million To Fight Marriage Equality

As the religious right sifts through the rubble of their attack on our freedoms, an interesting factoid has surfaced: The Catholic Church spent $2 million this election cycle to stop marriage-equality efforts in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

Much of that money can be traced to the Church’s fraternal order, the Knights of Columbus, which previously gave $1 million to push Prop 8 in California.

In other instances it came from parishioners who didn’t even know what their donations were being used for.

Combined with the war chest of the Church’s staunch ally, the National Organzation for Marriage, the total comes to $11.3 million, or 65% of the money used to fight same-sex marriage in the four battleground states.

That means that a lion’s share of the funding to make gays and lesbians second-class citizens came from outsider groups forcing their agenda on locals. (Our great-grammy called those kinds of folks carpetbaggers.)

Maybe the Church should listen to its congregants: According to Public Religion Research Institute, almost 60% of Catholics support marriage equality—and more than 80% say they don’t feel beholden to their bishops’ political opinions.

“The Church and NOM can continue pouring money into discriminating against LGBT people, but the writing is on the wall for their anti-equality agenda,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, who says Catholic leadership should be use its resources to enrich people’s lives not “on spreading malicious lies aimed at tearing down an entire community.”

Frankly, the Catholic hierarchy’s behavior is downright, well, unchristian. “The majority of Catholics support equality for their LGBT sisters and brothers precisely because their faith compels them to extend the same love and dignity to others with which they themselves wish to be treated,” says Dr. Sharon Groves of the HRC’s Religion & Faith program. “That is the Golden Rule that guides not just those of the Catholic faith, but so many people across religions.”

Photo: Play it Forward

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