The Washington Post reported that recent sex scandals plaguing the Roman Catholic Church have decreased the church’s political influence, particularly on issues such as gay marriage, parental consent for abortions, and increasing the minimum wage. “We had an informed-consent bill on abortion recently when the church’s voice might have been persuasive…but their influence with people of the faith has been hurt,” said Thomas M. Finneran, Democratic Speaker of House.
In New York, the scandal has revitalized the vigor of opposition groups. New York Assembly member Deborah Glick (D) said the recent legislation requiring insurers and employers to provide contraceptive coverage for women succeeded in part because proponents “took advantage of a distracted church.” In Massachusetts earlier in the year, a bill requiring insurance companies to cover family planning passed over Catholic hierarchy objections. The hierarchy before the scandal had managed to defeat this coverage year after year.