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DC Catholic Charities Limit Health Coverage and Discontinue Foster Care Due To Same-Sex Marriage Legalization

Washington, DC-based Catholic Charities announced yesterday that health insurance for the spouses of their employees will no longer be provided due to the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the District. Catholic Charities will also discontinue their foster care program in the District. The changes take effect immediately, according to the Washington Post. Current employees and employee spouses who are already signed up for health care benefits will not be affected. Today is the last day of a 30-day congressional review period of the legislation that legalized same-sex marriage in DC. Tomorrow is the first day same-sex couples can apply for licenses to marry in DC, according to the Associated Press. The new law has caused a rift between DC officials and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Catholic Charities, which receives $22 million of city funding, has already transferred 43 children, 35 families and seven staff members to the National Center for Children and Families, says the Washington Post. However, its policy on adoption sponsorship has not changed. The Archdiocese of DC first threatened to stop offering social services if the city legalized same-sex marriage in November 2009. One of the primary reasons for the church’s opposition to the law was that it did not include an exemption allowing the Church to discriminate against gay and lesbian individuals. D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D), who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, told the Washington Post, “Catholic Charities is a private, nonprofit corporation. They can choose to provide benefits to families and spouses or not. I hope that it’s not just a runaround to keep from doing things they should do.”

Sources:

The Washington Post 3/2/2010; Associated Press 3/2/2010; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/13/2009

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