The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has backed down from threats that it was prepared to walk away from providing thousands of people in the District of Columbia with social services if lawmakers approve a gay marriage bill. The bill received its second and final approval from city leaders on Tuesday, but Congressional approval is still needed before the bill becomes law.

Under the bill, religious organizations would not be required to perform gay weddings, but the church advocated for a broader amendment that would have allowed individuals, including private business owners, to refuse to provide goods and services related to the nuptials of gay couples. The amendment, proposed by Council member Yvette Alexander, was rejected in committee.

The next day, the church threatened to pull its support for all social services, including feeding the poor and sheltering the homeless, unless lawmakers reintroduced the amendment or made other accommodations.

“If the city requires this, we can't do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, told the Washington Post. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us that's really a problem.”

But Gibbs was a bit more accommodating Wednesday when she appeared on National Public Radio, saying the church is “not threatening to walk away.”

“We opposed the bill because of our understanding of gender being intrinsic to the meaning of marriage,” she said. “So it's something that was dealing with our theology, our understanding and not discrimination. We serve everybody. That's very important to us as a church.”

“We're committed to serving. That's just what we do. We've been here since before there was a D.C. We've been serving all the time. We're not walking away,” she added.

Gibbs also suggested the church would not join other opponents of gay marriage in looking to Congress, which has final say on all laws approved in the District, to block the bill from becoming law: “We have been very strong advocates for a long time of D.C. Home Rule, which means D.C. needs to resolve its own issues and we work very closely with the council and we have on a lot of issues.”

When asked if there was a resolution, Gibbs answered: “You know, we're in the business of faith. You've got to have faith.”