Joining forces with the same bigoted people who fought to make Catholics second-class citizens in Indiana 80 years ago, Bishop John M. D'Arcy brought discredit to the diocese he represents by issuing a public statement against South Bend's proposed gay rights ordinance. D'Arcy claims the ordinance is "about validating in law the homosexual lifestyle."
" As reported by the South Bend Tribune, D'Arcy had the following to say about a proposed ordinance to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to South Bend's human rights ordinance:
While I do not question the good intentions of those involved in this effort, my concern as a Catholic pastor is that this ordinance appears to be more about validating in law homosexual lifestyles and behaviors than it is about addressing unjust discrimination," D'Arcy wrote. D'Arcy said the main reason for his opposition is sexual orientation and gender identity go beyond "self-identity" and include behaviors, expression and appearance.
D'Arcy said that in other communities these types of changes in the law have led to wider efforts to promote homosexuality. Citizens with "principled objections" are often labeled as prejudiced or homophobic, he said."Without question, everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. Everyone should enjoy the same basic human rights," D'Arcy said.
"Along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I wish to deplore any type of violent action or hateful speech aimed at homosexual persons. Such activity is morally wrong. At the same time, we must be very cautious lest we validate in law lifestyles and behaviors to which many of our citizens are deeply in conscience opposed."
While Bishop D'Arcy has been generally lauded for his efforts to clean up the embarrassing priest-child abuse scandal within his own diocese that has rocked the Catholic Church nationally and here in Indiana, his statement against the human rights ordinance is a major setback in the Church's effort to restore its credibility. By joining forces with the religious voices of intolerance, Bishop D'Arcy is turning his back on the voices of moderation of other Judeo-Christian denominations in this state who once fought side-by-side with Catholics to eradicate the dominating influence of the Ku Klux Klan.
Please contact Bishop D'Arcy and let him know how disappointed you are with his statement on behalf of the Catholic Church in support of treating Indiana's GLBT citizens as second-class citizens. You can contact him by clicking here.