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Church Won't Accept Cash From Catholics Who Voted for Equality

Church Won't Accept Cash From Catholics Who Voted for Equality

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lucasgrindley

A Catholic bishop is refusing to accept a donation from a New York assemblyman in retribution for his backing of marriage equality.

As he'd been doing for 20 years, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, a Brooklyn Democrat, sent his annual $50 donation to a scholarship fund at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish School. But the New York Daily Newsreports that it got returned with word that Brooklyn bishop Nicholas DiMarzio won't allow any donations from politicians who voted for same-sex marriage.

"I was certainly surprised because I know the church needs the money and the school certainly needs the money for the scholarship program they run," Lentol told Pix11 News.

The decision comes despite Archbishop Timothy Dolan's claim last week via his blog that "the real forces of intolerance were unmasked" by the marriage equality debate, and he pointed a finger at proponents of the bill.

During debate over marriage equality on the floor of the state Assembly, Lentol took great care to explain his vote in the context of his religious beliefs. (See the video below.) He talked about studying catechism as a boy, attending Catholic high school and college, and about reconciling his faith with his vote.

"Didn't those of you who are Catholic learn in Catholic school that we should love one another and that it was the greatest commandment of all?" he asked. "We should have faith, hope and charity. Now, what does that mean if we can't apply it to our everyday lives? It means nothing."

Lentol talked about having "to look myself in the mirror" after voting many years earlier against laws prohibiting discrimination against gay people.

"People can change and they ought to change," he said. "I have changed because I believe that not only the Lord my God expected me to change in order to do the right thing, but because my fellow human beings and the people of the state of New York expect me to to do the right thing, and the right thing is to vote for marriage equality."

lucasgrindley
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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.