Catholic parishes shun anti-gay initiative
April 23, 2012 | 11:32 am
This referendum would ask voters to approve the new law with the addition of language that says that the state would “preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.” (As reported by thinkprogress.)
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has been endorsing a petition drive for the referendum and has been foisting it on his parishes.
However, Catholic leaders are standing up against the referendum. One, Rev. Michael Ryan of St. James Cathedral, said that the referendum would “prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.”
Seattlepi reports that, when Rev. Tim Clark of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church announced on Sunday that the parish would not gather signatures for a referendum to repeal same-sex marriage, the congregation gave him a standing ovation.
Rev. Tim Clark said in response to the proposed referendum:
“In conscience, I could not allow signatures to be gathered, to allow the faith to be politicized in this way.
“What troubles me is the message this whole approach sends which I find discriminatory and insensitive. To follow through with his wishes would be hurtful, divisive and a countersign to what we are trying to foster in this Catholic community in Wedgwood.
“I deeply believe, and say this with boldness, that this approach is not in the mind of Christ.”
Referendum74.org underlines the importance of true marriage equality, pointing out that, when Washington’s marriage-equality law was passed, “It was very important when this law was crafted that everyone’s religious viewpoint was respected, even and especially those that do not believe in same sex marriage. However, it is important to also respect the beliefs of those that would enter into such a marriage and allow them the same rights as everyone else in this state.”