Pentecost Sunday - Civil Unions- Gay Adoption - Employee Benefits - A Gay Catholic Response

May 27, 2011, 06:00 ET from Rainbow Sash Movement

CHICAGO, May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 1, 2011, LGBT people in Illinois will be allowed to enter into Civil Unions. How will Catholic entities respond to the New Civil Unions Bill? This bill not only affects the adoption of children, but also employee benefits packages. The answer to that is somewhere between pragmatic/creative and dogmatic.

The Illinois Catholic Health Association, which includes Catholic Hospitals and other health care institutions in Illinois, sent a memo to its members on May 9 suggesting that they offer "employee plus one" benefit packages instead of "employee and spouse" benefit packages starting on June 1, 2011.

This would allow the employee the opportunity to buy into a benefits package that would provide health coverage for themselves and one other person living with them. "This person could be a sibling, relative, etc., the exact relationship would not need to be disclosed," wrote Patrick Cacchione, the Health Association Executive Director.

One wonders why this type of creativity is not also expressed in the arena of adoption. Why would the Illinois Catholic Conference side with the Illinois Catholic Health Association when it makes adjustments for the new civil unions law, and yet they refuse to do the same with adoption at statewide Catholic Charities entities? Are the Illinois Catholic Bishops speaking out of both sides of their mouth, or are children not as important as employee benefits?

Clearly the Illinois Catholic Health Association sees costly legal issues if they don't make adjustments for the Civil Unions Law down the road. The same analysis can be applied to Catholic Charities. One definite negative will be the loss of some $30 Million in public funding now being paid to Catholic Charities facilities across Illinois for the purpose of adoption placement. Is discrimination against the LGBT couples the only response?

The Rainbow Sash Movement prays the Illinois Catholic Conference will remove the log of homophobia from its eyes before trying to judge LGBT couples as harming children when they both open their hearts and homes for adoption.

If you want to do something about this hypocrisy in the Catholic Church than stand with us on June 12, 2011, 11AM Mass, Pentecost Sunday, at Holy Name Cathedral, and be visible in the name of the People of God. 

SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement