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Beliefnet News


Bishops Push Back on Allowing Gay Couples in Housing

WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops are urging federal housing officials not to adopt proposed rules that would bar groups that receive federal funds from discriminating against gays, lesbians or transgender persons in housing programs.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said the new rules, proposed on Jan. 24, would “ensure equal access” to programs that help the elderly, sick, and impoverished find stable housing.

Citing recent studies, HUD said gays and lesbians face discrimination in the private housing market, and one in five transgender persons reports homelessness due to bias.

“In considering the mounting evidence of violence and discrimination against LGBT persons, the department is concerned that its own programs may not be fully open to LGBT individuals and families,” HUD said in January.

Lawyers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops say the new rules would force some religious groups to compromise their beliefs or quit HUD housing programs.

“Faith-based and other organizations should retain the freedom they have always had to make housing placements in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs, including when it concerns a cohabiting couple, be it an unmarried heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple,” said Anthony Picarello and Michael Moses, lawyers for the bishops conference.

The lawyers’ remarks came in a letter to HUD as part of a public comment period that ended Friday (March 25). A spokeswoman for HUD could not be reached immediately for comment about when the new policy would take effect.

- DANIEL BURKE, Religion News Service



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Linguist

    I suppose I understand. When forced to choose between letting an elderly couple have a place to live and following one’s religious beliefs, freedom of religion trumps the rights of people to rent a room.

    Still, forgive me for saying it, but it seems small minded…even tiny minde and positively Pharisaic and spiteful and, well, unChristian…

    But I am Jewish. And gay. What do I know.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    I’ve gotta agree with the bishops on this one. If somebody offends me personally, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing them end up on the street. But I’m a bisexual agnostic and therefore have no morals. What’s their excuse?

    That was sarcasm, by the way. These bishops are sick people.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ldfrmc

    Same argument was made for adoption services – Cathaholics said no gay couples. Fine. Then they do it on their own – no government support, no government money, no referrals.

    What’s next? Rehab programs? Unemployment, job training and education programs where they want to get government money and support, but not serve all people in the community?

    A compromise might be to end the religious tax exemption on church properties, income and businesses. Let them pay their own way.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    It’s clear “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” take the money dance the dance.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    It must be a huge problem to live in the United States of America and believe religious teachings that don’t coincide with The Constitution of the U.S. of America. HUD has been made aware of the need for the elderly, and people who need help to live in an apartment and not the street. These people are both hetero and homo; the Catholics have been receiving monies for the people they choose to help, not homosexuals obviously, now they’re worried if they refuse to help a human being who is gay or transgendered they won’t receive anymore government helpful money. Well times have changed and if they can’t follow in our Lord’s love I hope they will be refused money if they refuse charity to GLBT.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Alex

    Messrs. Picarello and Moses must acknowledge that “faith-based” organizations are fully free to discriminate in any way they choose, just not while accepting federal funds.

    If a group wants to discriminate based on its religious beliefs, whatever those beliefs may be, it is free to do so. Groups may freely choose whether to accept federal funds. If they choose to accept federal funds they have entered into another legal arena where private discrimination no longer applies, and must act accordingly.

    Decline taxpayer funds and use your own churchgoer funds if you still choose to discriminate according to your beliefs: That would be the principled response. Otherwise you are acting like whining babies.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Gwyddion9

    It’s quite simple really, If you want Federal funds, then you won’t be able to deny others because of your religious beliefs. If you don’t accept them, you’re free to do as you wish.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    “help the elderly, sick, and impoverished”

    This sounds a lot like the teachings of Christ. Until, of course the religioinisti get their hands on it and add the coda: ‘unless they’re queer.’

    DIS-GUSTING.

    Jesus made no such exceptions.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Charles Cosimano

    How ironic considering that the Catholic Church is the world’s largest gay institution.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    Bigots for Jesus!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    grump you’re fine if you are talking about the government but when you try to talk about Jesus accepting homosexuality it only proves you don’t know what you are talking about. Jesus never once endorsed homosexuality as a matter of fact Jesus was very clear on marriage and sexuality very clear, if he thought homosexuality was of any value He would certainly have mentioned it. Not once did he mention homosexuality as important as it seems it would be to any homosexual following Him or in His group. It’s not a hint it is a directive to marry one man one woman, sex between marriage men and woman – husband and wife is clear in His instructions also. Homosexuality is clearly a sin. Now that has nothing to do with this article and I wouldn’t have mentioned it but don’t try to make people think Jesus was alright with homosexuality it is a lie.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ce6

    but yet he spent all his time hanging out with dudes, and never once got married or even had a serious girlfriend in all of his 33 years…seems a little fishy to me, I’m just saying.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    This isn’t ABOUT “Jesus”. It’s about this Catholic “church” agency rejecting the teachings of Jesus which were to “help the elderly, sick, and impoverished”. Jesus didn’t stipulate a thing about inquiring as to their love life.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    It is extremely revealing that fully 50% of the “Most Popular Posts” here in the “News” section of B’net have to do with gay issues.

    As Miss Dreher used to say, “Obsess much?”

    Considering that the entire Bible has 6 verses purportedly dealing with some kinds of homosexual activity, I think things are out of whack with you “Christians”.

    Get your priorities straight, you should pardon the pun.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    Also, what the heck has happened to the comments? No more “CAPTCHA”? Old posts reappearing as new ones? Mark Silk’s column being renamed “Feiler Faster”???

    Here be gremlins methinks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jeff

    I live within the archdiocese of Philadelphia. Take a look at what’s going on here, and answer this question: Don’t these guys have other things to worry about?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    Jesus didn’t say “visit people who are in prison and who are innocent!”

    And it’s the same thing here. Even if Catholics believe gay people are the worst of “sinners”, they are still called to serve them – unequivocally and without stipulations or prejudice.

    To do otherwise is to be anti-Christ.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    If the RCC wants to continue to help folks and get the feds to help, you accept all who are in need—not just the heterosexual ones!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    Grump there you go again spouting false doctrine: no it would not be anti-Christ to not serve homosexuals Jesus talked about casting pearls before swine, in other words if a person does not repent shake treat them like a tax collector or a pagan. Homosexuality is pagan and Jesus had nothing good to say about that practice.

    ce6 you say because Jesus hung around with “dudes” you suggest Him as suspect. And that just about what one should expect from a compromised mind with homosexual tendencies. Not surprised,

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    That’s a new one, homosexuality is pagan, can’t remember that ever being used in the medical world.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    Your comment calling gay people the equivalent of “swine” is uncalled for, un-charitable and definitely un-Christian, ck.

    What part of, “Jesus didn’t say “visit people who are in prison and who are innocent!” is “fase doctrine”?

    What part of ““help the elderly, sick, and impoverished”” is “false doctrine? Where did Jesus add the coda “except for fags, of course” – ANYWHERE in Scripture?

    “Homosexuality is pagan” IS false doctrine. There are loads of gay Christians.

    “Jesus had nothing good to say about that practice.”

    True. And Clever, too, until one points out the obvious – Jesus never said anything BAD to say about it either. As has been pointed out numerous times, He is completely SILENT on the issue. Would that His ‘followers’ did likewise.

    Yours is the “compromised mind”.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Homosexuality is pagan? What kind of nonsense is that? Yes, H22, when did that become a medical term?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    homosexuality is pagan from pagan worshipers read about it H22 science simply cannot prove much about homosexuality, it is not inherited, bred, nor is it predictable.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment GodsCountry

    Haven’t visited this wasteland in over a year and am surprised to find the same old self-interest, deception and subversion.

    Hell awaits. That is, until you accept the free gift of God’s grace and turn from your ways.

    Do it now, you don’t know that you will have another opportunity.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    GC, that message is the same as the one on a previous post. No new messages or are you stuck with the hell thing?

    So cknuck—only Pagans are homosexual according to the truth book? I’m a Pagan and I’m straight. “Sorry Charlie”—-doesn’t cut it. BTW, homosexuality wasn’t “created” by Pagans or anyone else. It just “is”, as is heterosexuality.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    you believe homosexuality just is but there is no proof of that. Homosexuality does have a history and historically for the most part it is a practice that was often forced on another. Almost every religious practice outside of Christianity is pagan, one cannot practice homosexuality and follow Christ.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Actually there are many faithful Christians and they are homosexual too, so one can actually “follow Christ” and be homosexual, cknuck. Many post on this site. BTW, can one practice heterosexuality—since you seem to think homosexuality is practiced? What is the expression—-practice makes perfect?

    “Almost every religious practice outside of Chritianity is Pagan?” Intresting.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    “Almost every religious practice outside of Christianity is pagan”

    That’s going to be quite a surprise to jews,muslims, Buddhists, etc.

    What a doink.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Yes, YN—it will be a large suprise that the Jew, Muslim’s, Bhddhists etc. will find that they are actually “Pagan!”. Of course to cknuck—all those faiths are—

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