Catholic Charities Issue

ArtSpitzer at ArtSpitzer at
Tue Mar 14 10:45:24 PST 2006

In a message dated 3/14/06 1:05:46 PM, nebraskalawprof at writes:

(Quoting Dean John Garvey's op-ed in the Boston Globe): 
> "But Catholic Charities did not obstruct that effort; it only declined to 
> assist it. Is our commitment to equality so strong that we are willing to put 
> Catholic Charities out of business because it won't promote an agenda that it 
> views as morally wrong?"

It's a good point.   But let me ask a factual question, in case anyone knows 
the answer.   When a particular social service provider is looking for an 
adoptive family for a special-needs child in Massachusetts, is that provider the 
only one that's trying to place that child, or can several provider be looking 
on behalf of the same child at the same time?   If the latter, then it's hard 
to see any harm (and easy to see potential benefit) to a child from having 
Catholic Charities looking for a placement, because even if Catholic Charities 
won't consider gay couples another agency will.   On the other hand, if the 
child is assigned exclusively to Catholic Charities, then the child may be the 
loser as a result of Catholic Charities' policy, doomed to remain in foster care 
despite the existence of a ready, willing and able gay adoptive couple; in 
that context it's easier (isn't it?) to justify the state saying "we won't assign 
a special-needs case to a provider that won't consider all lawful potential 

Art Spitzer
ACLU, Washington DC
(not purporting to speak for the ACLU of Massachusetts)
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