The Archdiocese's Priorities.

Marriage equality is poised to become law in Washington, D.C., following the 30-day congressional review period, during which Congress can overturn the law Mayor Adrian Fenty signed last year. In response, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has decided to punish the children of D.C. for same-sex marriage by withdrawing their foster programs:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has ended its 80-year-old foster-care program in the District rather than license same-sex couples, the first fallout from a bitter debate over the city's move to legalize same-sex marriage.

Catholic Charities, which runs more than 20 social service programs for the District, transferred its entire foster-care program -- 43 children, 35 families and seven staff members -- to another provider, the National Center for Children and Families. Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), the D.C. Council member who chairs the Committee on Human Services, said he didn't know of any problems with the transfer, which happened Feb. 1.

In addition to foster care, the center runs programs in Montgomery County and the District for homeless families and victims of domestic violence.

The Church is ostensibly ending the program because they fear that, because they don't perform same-sex marriages, they would be seen as discriminatory and lose their contract. Except the marriage equality bill has exemptions for religious institutions, and the only people who seem to think that religious institutions that don't offer their blessing to same-sex marriages would be denied city contracts are the the people who run Catholic Charities:

City officials knew of no other faith-based groups that said their city contracts were in jeopardy.

They aren't losing their contracts. They're throwing a temper tantrum. Who cares about helping poor children, or even domestic violence victims in a world where consenting adults of the same gender can marry one another?

First things first.

-- A. Serwer

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