Scroll To Top
World

Lawmakers to
Catholics: Adoption by gays is the law in Massachusetts

Lawmakers to
Catholics: Adoption by gays is the law in Massachusetts

Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and a top legislative leader in Boston say a request by Massachusetts's four Roman Catholic bishops to exempt Catholic social service agencies from having to place adoptive children with gay parents is unlikely to be granted. Romney told The Boston Globe he was not authorized to give such an exemption, while state representative Eugene O'Flaherty, house chairman of the joint committee on the judiciary, said there would be little support among lawmakers to offer an exemption from the state's antidiscrimination laws. The archbishop of Boston and the bishops of Fall River, Worcester, and Springfield are planning to hire a Boston law firm to explore legal and political strategies for opting out of adoptions by gay people, which the Vatican has called "gravely immoral." Catholic Charities, the social service arm of the Boston archdiocese, has in the past two decades allowed a small percentage of the total number of children it has placed to be adopted into homes with gay parents, in compliance with state antidiscrimination laws. Of the 720 adoptions the group has completed in the past 20 years, only 13 have gone to gay couples. Those adopted were all foster children who were considered hard to place because they had special needs or were older. The bishops' plan appears to be at odds with the 42-member board of Catholic Charities, which voted unanimously in December to continue the practice of allowing gays to adopt. Romney, an opponent of same-sex marriage, said that he asked his legal counsel to research whether he has the authority to exempt an organization from the antidiscrimination law. "My understanding is that any exemption would require legislation and would not be something I would be authorized to do on a personal basis," Romney said, while not discussing his own views on the practice. O'Flaherty said that while he respects the church's position on the matter, he would oppose granting such an exemption to any social agency that contracted with the state. "This is a very divisive issue that I don't see making it onto the agenda for debate," he said. "We have enough on our plate already." Representatives of the archdiocese and Catholic Charities said on Thursday that funds to pay for the legal strategy were coming from Catholic Charities' budget, which surprised some board members. "I'm shocked," board member Donna DePresco said. "I find it hard to believe." The board members serve three-year terms at the pleasure of Archbishop Sean O'Malley. The bishops may also consider going to court to fight the antidiscrimination laws on First Amendment grounds protecting religious freedom. (AP)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories