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Washington Catholic Charities office will drop benefits with employees' spouses

March 02, 2010

The Washington DC office of Catholic Charities will drop health-care coverage for the spouses of its employees, in order to avoid clashing with a new law that requires equal treatment of same-sex couples. Officials for the archdiocesan agency chose to change their health-care plan for employees rather than expanding the definition of "spouse" to allow for the inclusion of a same-sex partner.

The Washington archdiocese had already ended its adoption services because of the same law, which would have required the Catholic agency to provide equal service to homosexual couples. This approach contrasts with the one taken by three English bishops, who have brought suit to challenge similar legislation.


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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 03, 2010 8:56 PM ET USA

    It isn't disclosed if the offsetting savings to the archdiocese in not providing spousal health insurance will revert to the impacted employees. Also, the concept of a "just wage" is a moral one and not a legal or even a economic one. Is $8.25/hr "just"? Ask a moral theologian. Apb Wuerl did what he could without suing the DC Council. I think he did the right thing. There is close to zero chance of the archdiocese winning in court.

  • Posted by: B_Anthony - Mar. 03, 2010 7:53 PM ET USA

    Just curious: How many Catholic Charities employees have same-sex "spouses"?

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Mar. 02, 2010 10:58 AM ET USA

    Faithful employees will be deprived of a portion of their remuneration, and their spouses deprived of health-care coverage, because the Archdiocese is unwilling to challenge an unjust law. If the perverse officials of Washington were to pass another law, this one mandating that half an employee's salary be paid directly to his spouse, would the Archdiocese then cease to pay salaries, too? A brilliant strategy for creating a Catholic ghetto, but a poor witness to the teachings of the Church.