Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Knights of Columbus HQ got pushback today over millions in donations to it spent on antigay ballot fights

You wouldn't know it from the organization's disingenuous web site, but the Knights of Columbus has spent more than $6 million since 2005 in nasty political fights over gay marriage in state after state.
     Today, a liberal Catholic organization, Catholics United Education Fund, delivered 5,000 petitions directly to the New Haven headquarters of the largest lay Catholic organization in the world, which just spent another $600,000 on whatever side of ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state would ensure that gay couples stay strangers to the law in each of those states. Alas, the Knights of Columbus bet on the wrong horse in every one of those contests.
     Catholics United  says such efforts alienate younger Catholics; the Knights should focus on serving the poor and vulnerable.

Knights of Columbus headquarters
New Haven, CT
Here's Catholics United's press release:
Catholics United’s Statement on Knights of Columbus Anti-Marriage Equality Spending Report
Posted October 18, 2012

WASHINGTON – Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholics, has released a report that discovered the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization, spent nearly $16 million since 2005 on far-right wing social issues, including $6.25 million opposing civil same-sex marriage. Of this, more than $600,000 has been donated in 2012 alone to anti-marriage equality ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
     The report comes immediately on the heels of a Pew Charitable Trust poll which has found a record increase in the number of Americans, roughly one-in-five, who no longer associate with any religion. Leading researchers believe these individuals are abandoning religion over the mixing of religion with right-wing political movements, such as opposition to civil same-sex marriage laws. The Knights of Columbus’ over-emphasis on divisive social issues corresponds with the appointment of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, a former political appointee of President George W. Bush.
     The following is a statement from Catholics United’s Executive Director, James Salt:

     “At a time when so many Americans are suffering, it saddens me that the Knights of Columbus have dedicated a large portion of their charitable donations to fund a far-right political agenda. The Knights of Columbus’ work against civil same-sex marriage laws has the unfortunate effect of pushing younger generations of Catholics out of the church. Younger Catholics don’t want our faith known for its involvement in divisive culture wars, we want our faith known for serving the poor and marginalized.”
     In response to today’s report, Catholics United is launching a petition drive asking Carl Anderson to cease the divisive culture war. To view our petition visit: http://www.catholics-united.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=15
     To review the report issued by Equally Blessed, visit:

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition. For more information about Catholics United, follow us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CatholicsUnited) or on our blog at www.OurDailyThread.org.

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