A report issued by the Human Rights
Campaign (HRC) concludes that the Roman Catholic Church is a top
funder of campaigns opposed to gay marriage.
“Taking up where the Mormons left off
in 2008, the Catholic Church – and its affiliate, the Knights of
Columbus – have made considerable investments in the marriage
fights in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington State and Maine this
election cycle – spending at least $1.1 million to date. In
addition, a close ally of the Church and past co-conspirator, the
National Organization for Marriage, has spent nearly $1.4 million
this cycle,” the authors wrote.
estimates that marriage foes have raised roughly $4.1 million
across the four states, and that the Catholic Church's contributions
make up 27 percent of those donations.
“The majority of Catholics support
equality for their LGBT sisters and brothers, and they do so
precisely because their faith compels them to extend the same love
and dignity to others with which they themselves wish to be treated,”
said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC's Religion and Faith program.
Catholic leaders have also strongly
spoken out against marriage equality.
J. Peter Sartain, the archbishop of
that society would be harmed “beyond repair” if Washington voters
approve Referendum 74, which would uphold the state's gay
John C. Nienstedt, the archbishop of
St. Paul and Minneapolis, ordered
priests to get behind Minnesota's proposed gay marriage ban or remain
“The Church's anti-LGBT agenda is
clear, both from its giving history and the actions of American
Church leaders,” NOM wrote. “The gulf between the hierarchy and
laity is increasingly jarring on this issue.”