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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 31 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 35
Yakima Diocese Catholics Express Disappointment that Bishop Requests Contributions at Mass to Oppose Marriage Equality
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Yakima Diocese Catholics Express Disappointment that Bishop Requests Contributions at Mass to Oppose Marriage Equality

Group urges supporters to APPROVE Referendum 74 and marriage equality.

Yakima-Yakima members of Catholics for Marriage Equality-Washington (CFMEWA) warned that action of Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson in asking all parishes to take a second collection during Mass this weekend (September 8th and 9th) to oppose Referendum 74 is divisive. CFMEWA said the action threatens to drive away Catholics who have friends, neighbors and family who are gay and lesbian.

'Our faith teaches us to love our neighbor and treat them with respect and dignity,' said Tom Gehlen, Yakima Valley native and long-time member of St. Joseph's in Sunnyside. 'We don't think the church should become a political party and tell members how to vote. That's not how Catholics make moral decisions. '

Surveys show that church leadership is badly out of step with the conscience of the faithful on the issue of freedom to marry. While 58% of Catholic voters around the United States support equal rights for all committed couples to marry and create strong families (Pew Research Center June 28 - July 9, 2012), local bishops have stood in the way of marriage equality in Washington State.

'We are saddened that a bishop with an otherwise good reputation for human rights is taking this stand to divide our parishes and our families' said Barbara Guzzo, spokesperson for CFMEWA. 'This is a matter of conscience and at the heart of this issue is the Gospel of Jesus, what Americans call the Golden Rule-that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Treating our families, friends, and all our community as ourselves means giving every couple the chance to make a meaningful, public commitment to each other and their community,'

Given the recent Pew Study, it is likely that a majority of Washington Catholics will support the new law and will vote for it in November. Catholics for Marriage Equality-Washington seeks to remind all Catholics that they can, in good conscience and in good standing, support this law.

'This bipartisan freedom to marry law protects every church's right to perform marriages according to its own tradition. Nothing in this law will affect the Catholic sacrament of marriage,' Guzzo added, 'but it will give to all committed couples the freedom to be married by the State under civil law.'

Kevin Walsh, a Catholic doctor who has practiced medicine in the Yakima valley for twenty years, spoke in support of CFMEWA, 'I encourage other Catholics in the Yakima Diocese to let our pastors and our bishop know that that we oppose taking a second collection at Mass on behalf of political causes. This is divisive and is not representative of the teaching of our Church about justice and equality. '

'Our Gospel tells us to raise an authentic Catholic voice for fairness and love,' Walsh added. 'This is something we ask our bishops to do on behalf of gay and lesbian members of our faith community.'

Contact: Barbara Guzzo
Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington State
206 747 4214 | cfmewa@gmail.com

Jorge Quiroga (Spanish language)
Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington State
206 852 2533 | cfmewa@gmail.com

Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington State can be reached at: www.catholicsformarriageequalitywa.org or by emailing cfmewa@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsForMarriageEqualityWashingtonState

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