Oakland Bishop Michael Barber warns Congress about Equality Act

Joins three other USCCB chairmen in letter saying proposed law "would devastate the core ministries of a wide range of religious groups"

Bishop of Oakland Michael C. Barber speaks at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

Four chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have cosigned a coalition letter highlighting key religious freedom concerns with the Equality Act (H.R. 5 / S. 788). The Act would add the new terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws and have wide-reaching consequences for both employment and delivery of service standards in religiously-affiliated schools, shelters, foster care and adoption agencies, potentially houses of worship, and other facilities and ministries.
 
“[T]he Equality Act would devastate the core ministries of a wide range of religious groups, especially those ministries that serve the most vulnerable,” the signees cautioned. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education; and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, joined representatives of numerous denominations, schools, and charities of faith in their letter to members of Congress.
 
Among other concerns, the signers pointed out that “[t]he Equality Act amends Title VI of the Civil Rights Act so that any recipient of any federal funds, even a small amount for a subsidiary service” would be affected and that “[b]y way of example, this includes thousands of Catholic, Jewish and other parochial schools with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program, which helps poor children whose families have selected these specific religious schools.”
 
They concluded that the Act “regulates a huge new swath of religious activity and facilities as ‘public accommodations’ and transforms the conditions by which hundreds of thousands of faith-based entities partner with the federal government to serve the common good. It accomplishes these goals while bringing the daunting power of the federal government to bear against religious people and groups with non-conforming views about marriage, sexuality, and gender.

From USCCB.

Comments

  1. Bishops need to learn to stop supporting Democrats for anything. Anything. No Democrats would mean no stupid legislation such as this. Wake up to the evils of Democrat totalitarianism.

  2. Adolfo R. Mercado says

    The US federal government is now challenging our bishops to live out the Gospel. God is love.

    • God is love, but he is not lust. That is why he set boundaries to our behavior in both the Old and New Testaments, and in Church tradition. Acts. of fornication, adultery, incest, sodomy and bestiality destroy the image of God within us, and that image cannot be brought back without repentance and a turning toward the True God and a change of behavior.. Some people are so deep in sin, they may never turn back. Pray for them anyway. While there is life, there is hope.

  3. Anonymous says

    The government is forcing Catholics and other religious organizations to drop core beliefs and act in accordance with worldly beliefs. Wrong at every level.

  4. Anonymous says

    Get ready for California’s dictator, Gavin Newsom, to do things like this on his own. He has a track record of defying and ignoring the law to get what he wants. He claims to be Catholic but almost everything he does is against the Catholic faith. Another “Catholic” Democrat.

    • Boy, you got that right. Today Newsom pardoned felons to prevent President Trump from deporting them. Get that? Newsom is pardoning FELONS as a purely political move against the president. He doesn’t care about Californians nor decency. He’s a dangerous, out of control, leftist dictator who is power hungry and narcissistic.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says

        My understanding is that the felons had served their time and many people testified to the reforms they made in their lives, and the need for these individuals to care for the elderly and sick within their families. I understand your concern, but this is one of those gray areas. It isn’t as though they were in the middle of their punishment. They completed their punishment and served their time. Use of the partdon power by a governor in this situation is less a sign of “dangerous out of control leftist dictator who is power hungry and narcissistic” than it is for a President who does the same things for his felonious friends.

  5. A simple factual example with specifics would be helpful.

    • Anonymous says

      You can’t connect the dots yourself? You don’t see the danger of equating subjective feelings such as homosexuality and gender confusion with the biologically binary scientific reality of male and female sexual differentiation and complementarity? The proposed legislation would elevate a person’s subjective sexual feelings to the status of objective reality and require organizations to treat those subjective feelings as if they correspond to an objective reality because those subjective feelings would be protected by law and treating them as realities would be mandated by law.

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