At right, David Catania
As things stand, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. says it will have no choice but to abandon its contracts with the City if the December 1 vote on the D.C. City Council’s proposed same-sex marriage law is successful.
The pulled contracts would have substantial consequences in D.C., as diocese-run “Catholic Charities,” currently serves 68,000 District residents and spends $10,000,000 on social services in the city annually in the District, and so City Council members are hurriedly seeking a compromise that will keep Catholic Charities in the City.
On Wednesday, Councilmembers Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and David A. Catina (I-At Large) (SFS ‘90, LAW ‘94), the Georgetown graduate who introduced the bill, sent a letter to the Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl asking the Church to adopt a policy like the one in effect at Georgetown that allows the University to provide medical coverage the same-sex partners of employees without recognizing their union.
The New York Times editorial board seconds the idea (which City Paper columnist and Voice alum Mike DeBonis wryly notes is probably “the first time a D.C. Council committee report has been quoted in the Gray Lady”).
Susan Gibbs, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese, has not responded to a request for comment, but she has told the Catholic News Agency and the Washington Post that she is “not confident” and “not sure the proposal alleviates the Church’s concerns.”
An explanation of Georgetown’s policy, after the jump