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Gay Marriage Group Costs Homeless Group Church Aid


A Portland, Maine-based group that provides support and advocacy for the homeless has lost $50,000 in grants from the Catholic Church for its support of marriage equality.

According to the Portland Press Herald, "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."

Maine voters approved Question 1 in November and repealed the state's marriage equality law.

A spokesperson for the homeless group charged that Bishop Richard Malone was taking a vindictive stance. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Portland diocese showed the Press Herald a copy of Preble Street's 2009 grant application, in which the organization said it did not promote or advocate for same-sex marriage.

Mark Swann, the executive director of Preble Street, wrote a letter to Bishop Malone returning the money that said the group decided to join the No on 1 coalition because sexual orientation issues are a significant cause of homelessness among young people.

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Julie Bolcer