Target: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an anti-poverty group under the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Goal: Don’t rescind funding from groups because of their support for legalizing same-sex marriage
Recently, an immigrant rights coalition whose members receive grants from the Catholic Church endorsed marriage equality in Illinois. The Catholic Church then threatened to rescind funding from the group and its partners unless the group renounces their position on same-sex marriage. Urge the Catholic Church to withdraw its unfair threat over these groups.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) partners with groups that receive grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an anti-poverty organization under the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The ICIRR recently released a statement supporting legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, acknowledging the controversial nature of their position within the Catholic community. “While we recognize that there are differences of opinion within immigrant and faith-based communities regarding same-sex marriages, including among our members, the majority of our members—and therefore our organization—believe that a full respect for our state’s and our nation’s diversity demands that we not discriminate based on whom we love, and that we call upon an end to such discrimination in our local, state, and federal laws,” the group said in a statement.
The Catholic Church responded by contacting members of the Coalition and threatening to cut their funding. The Catholic Church is strongly opposed to gay marriage, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development prohibits grant applicants from pursuing non-Catholic agendas.
Though the ICIRR broke its agreement with the Catholic Church, it took a brave stance in fighting the church’s discriminatory position against the LGBT community. These groups are doing work to reduce poverty in their communities, and should not lose their funding because of their position supporting marriage equality. Tell the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that any groups fighting poverty also fight discrimination in every population, and that human rights have no boundaries.
Dear Catholic Campaign for Human Development,
I urge you to stop threatening to rescind funding from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and its partners for their support of marriage equality in Illinois. These groups, regardless of their political stance, perform vital services to their communities. Their support of marriage equality comes out of the belief that discriminating against the LGBT community is wrong, and the Catholic Church’s position needs to change.
Using money to threaten groups that do good work in order to continue the Catholic Church’s anti-marriage equality stance is a dirty tactic to bring these groups back in line with discriminatory teachings. Human rights have no political or religious boundaries. Stop threatening the ICIRR, and allow them to continue their work in supporting the rights of people everywhere.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk via Flickr