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Catholic Church Punishes Maine’s Homeless for Attempt at Marriage Equality

March 24, 2010

First the the threat of pulling services for the poor of Washington, DC was used by the Catholic Church in their fight against marriage equality.  Then foster children were thrown under the bus instead of providing health benefits to gay partners.  Now it’s the homeless of Maine.  From the Portland Press Herald:

A social service agency’s support for same-sex marriage has cost it local and national funding from the Catholic Church’s anti-poverty program.

Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year.

Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine’s “No on 1” campaign last fall.

Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice is a statewide organization led by the formerly homeless.  Here’s the worst part: not only did they lose future funding, the Catholic Church asked for money already allocated to be returned.

In December, Catholic Charities Maine, which is led by Malone, sent a letter to Preble Street asking it to return $2,400 that the diocese had granted for the Homeless Voices for Justice program.

“We regret the collaboration must end at this time,” wrote Sandra Thompson of Catholic Charities Maine, who coordinated the distribution of the church’s local anti-poverty funds. “Accountability to the Catholic community requires this.”

Why did the organization take a stand for No on 1?  Because they’re a social justice organization and, as Executive Director Mark Swann pointed out, issues of sexual orientation are the single greatest cause of homelessness among youths.

Maybe Bishop Malone can go out and ask the the homeless to pay him back for the support services they received.  Just disgusting.

Help chip in with support for Preble Street here.

ht Debbie


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