Saturday, February 09, 2013

Catholic Bishops Seek to Torpedo Immigration Protections for Bi-National Couples

Even as more filth within the Catholic Church hierarchy has been exposed by the ongoing release of documents from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Roman Catholic bishops have stepped up their anti-gay jihad and are pressuring politicians to strip provisions from immigration reform bills that would give legally married bi-national same sex couples the same immigration rights afforded to heterosexual couples.  It's part and parcel of the bishops' continued speaking out of both sides of their mouths while they disingenuously state that gays should be treated with dignity even as they do all in their power to strip away LGBT rights and dignity.  One has to wonder (i) do the bishops think these tactics will distract the laity from the horrors the bishops, cardinals and Popes allowed and perpetuated, and (ii) why does any politician listen to these bitter old men, many of whom ought to be behind bars for their roles in the sexual abuse of children?  The Associated Press is reporting on the bishop's anti-gay efforts. Here are highlights:

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops are in a difficult position as the debate over immigration reform gets underway: The immigrant-built American church, known for advocating a broad welcome for migrants and refugees, could end up opposing reform because it would recognize same-sex partners.

Proposals by President Barack Obama and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus include the same-sex partners of Americans among those who would be eligible for visas. The Human Rights Campaign and other gay advocates welcomed the recognition, arguing current laws unfairly treat people in gay or lesbian relationships "as strangers." The idea has the backing of the National Council de la Raza and other liberal Latino groups.

But Catholic bishops, with the support of evangelicals and other theological conservatives, have sent a letter to Obama protesting his proposal. In a sign of the sensitivity of the issue, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would not provide a copy of the statement, saying the signatories agreed not to make the letter public. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bishops, would say only that recognition of gay couples in the president's reform proposals "jeopardizes passage of the bill."

Many other major religious groups lobbying for reform, such as The Episcopal Church, either support gay marriage or don't make homosexuality a focus. In a conference call this week with reporters, White House Domestic Policy Council director Cecilia Munoz was asked whether Obama would support a bill that didn't acknowledge same-sex partners. Her only response: "The president's position on that is very clear."

It seems unlikely the bishops would accept any provision for same-sex partners— even for an issue as important to the church as immigration.

Ultimately, the controversy could split Catholics, in much the same way that Catholics divided over health care. Despite enormous pressure from the bishops, the Catholic Health Association, a trade group that represents hospitals, provided critical backing for the president's health care legislation. Surveys have found that large majorities of lay Catholics back same-sex marriage or civil unions.  Given the importance of Latinos to the U.S. church, political observers wonder how bishops could explain their opposition to Hispanic parishioners.

Frankly, what's needed is more criminal investigations of - and criminal prosecutions of bishops and cardinals for their roles in the worldwide criminal conspiracy to protect predators and obstruct justice.  Perhaps then these foul men wouldn't have time to work to deprive others of their civil legal rights - they'd be too busy trying to save their own sorry asses.

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