USCCB opposes ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender identity’ in domestic violence legislation
CWN - March 07, 2013
The heads of four committees and one subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have announced that they “cannot support” the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which has passed the House and Senate by wide margins (286-138 and 78-22 respectively).
President Barack Obama has pledged to sign the legislation.
“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a history of supporting the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and of providing ongoing support to victims of domestic violence through our social service programs,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Archbishop William Lori, and Archbishop José Gomez in a joint statement.
“Unfortunately, we cannot support the version of the “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013” passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate (S. 47) because of certain language it contains,” they continued, adding:
Among our concerns are those provisions in S. 47 that refer to “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” All persons must be protected from violence, but codifying the classifications “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as contained in S. 47 is problematic. These two classifications are unnecessary to establish the just protections due to all persons. They undermine the meaning and importance of sexual difference. They are unjustly exploited for purposes of marriage redefinition, and marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman with each other and with any children born from their union.
The Senate’s decision to incorporate into S. 47 a title reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act also raises concerns because this title omits language to protect the conscience rights of faith-based service providers to victims of human trafficking … Conscience protections are needed in this legislation to ensure that these service providers are not required to violate their bona fide religious beliefs as a condition for serving the needy.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our Spring 2013 goal ($25,254 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!