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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 27, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 17
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

AN OPEN LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP SARTAIN
Dear Archbishop Sartain,

I have worked for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington for several years. I was drawn to your mission of dignity and respect for all people and I love my job. I put my heart and soul into my work, as I know you do. I could see myself working with your agency for a long time, dedicating years of my career to your mission and the vulnerable communities we serve.

However, your recent actions against marriage equality in Washington state, particularly your letter calling on parishioners to sign the Referendum 74 petition, make me feel ashamed to be a part of Catholic Community Services. You have made it extremely difficult for me, as a Gay person, to continue working for you and I am seriously considering bringing my skills and talents elsewhere.

My partner and I have been together for almost 10 years and we hope to get married when the state of Washington makes that possible for us. Our families and community stand behind us in this hope. Marriage for us would mean having access to the rights and respect that all families deserve. It would mean being able to earn my living in social work without worrying about paying thousands of dollars in legal fees just to ensure that my family will be protected. It would mean sharing in the 'unique, fruitful, lifelong union' between two people who deeply love one another. For us, 'the word marriage isn't simply a label' either.

I am not writing to change what marriage personally means to you. I am writing to ask you to stop misusing your power to take away rights that we have already won in Washington state. I am writing to explain to you that your actions are spreading intolerance and hate toward the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people who support and seek help from the Catholic community. I am asking you to stop wasting valuable resources to attack my family rather than lift up the vulnerable communities that you and I both care deeply about. I am asking you, instead, to use your power to create a world in which someone like me can do compassionate, rewarding, mission-driven work without feeling ashamed of the name under which I am doing it.

I am choosing to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by the Archdiocese.

Anonymous CCSWW Employee

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