Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:

Catholic League sues San Francisco over Catholic Charities LGBT adoption resolution

By Pat Murphy

April 4, 2006, 4:30 p.m.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights today asked the Federal courts to strike down a resolution passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Sponsored by Supervisor Tom Ammiano, the March 21 resolution was critical of Catholic Charities policy on adoption placements in to same-sex couple families.

Ammiano predicted the Catholic League "will continue to embarrass itself," the San Francisco Supervisor told the Sentinel.

"It's Catholic Charities who received money from the City.

"You don't play by our rules - you don't get the money."

The resolution authorted by Ammiano constituted a "State intrusion into Church affairs," Kiera McCauffrey told the Sentinel.

McCauffrey serves as Communications Director for the New York based Catholic League.

It came in response to a statement in which former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada said earlier in March that

"It has been, and remains, my position that Catholic agencies should not place children for adoption in homosexual households."

Levada, who was made a cardinal on March 24 and is now an official at the Vatican, headed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco from 1995 to 2005.

The Thomas More Center, a Michigan-based public interest law firm representing the league, said the lawsuit contends that the First Amendment "forbids an official purpose to disapprove of a particular religion, religious beliefs or of religion in general."

Robert Muise, the center lawyer handling the case, said, "The Constitution forbids hostility toward any religion."

Muise alleged that "homosexual activists in positions of authority in San Francisco are abusing their authority as government officials and misusing the instruments of government to attack the Catholic Church."

The San Francisco City Attorney had not received the court filing as of midday today, reported City Attorney press officer Matt Dorsey.

Catholic League founder William Donoghue said in a prepared statement that a legal remedy is necessary.

"Imagine what would have happened if the Vatican had condemned the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for 'meddling' in the internal affairs of the Catholic Church simply because the two entities disagreed on a public policy issue?

"Separation of church and state cuts both ways, and when agents of the state accuse the members of any religion of interfering in municipal affairs-merely because the two sides hold contrary views-the inevitable result is the creation of a chilling effect on the rights of the faithful.

"This is a matter so serious that no apology can ever suffice to undo the injurious effects that the resolution triggered. A legal remedy is needed."

San Francisco archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy said last month that the archdiocese's social service agency, Catholic Charities of San Francisco, allowed five same-sex couple adoptions out of a total of 136 it arranged beginning in 2000.

Healy said church teaching "precludes adoption by same-sex couples," but said the archdiocese is reviewing its adoption program to look for ways to make sure that children in need find homes.

The lawsuit seeks $1 in financial damages to two San Franciscans represented by the Thomas More Law Center.

Bay City News Service staff writer Julia Cheever contributed to this report.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa