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Justices Sidestep Catholics’ Case against San Francisco

c. 2011 Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court on Monday (May 2) declined to hear a Catholic group’s appeal accusing San Francisco supervisors of violating the Constitution when they disparaged the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay adoptions.

The refusal lets stand last year’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said the New York-based Catholic League had failed to prove that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ resolution applies to them in a “direct and concrete manner.”

As usual, the Supreme Court did not comment on its refusal to hear the appeal, but Catholic League President Bill Donohue said his suit was still successful in some ways.


“While we lost in terms of implanting a legal marker, I do think a cultural marker has been made,” he said. “We haven’t seen the same kind of vitriol directed at the Catholic Church. A message has been sent.”

In 2006, San Francisco supervisors passed a resolution calling on the local archdiocese and its charitable programs to allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

The nonbinding resolution called it “an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great city’s existing and established customs and traditions.”

The resolution also strongly denounced Cardinal William Levada’s statement that allowing gay couples to adopt would mean “doing violence to these children.”

Donohue said he would not have brought suit if the supervisors had simply said they disagree with the Catholic Church. “But they had to go that extra step. The language they used was hateful. We think they crossed a line.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    I’d have some sympathy for them if there were even one thing untrue about what I read above the supervisors said.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    “We think they crossed the line”. Obviously the court didn’t think so. That’s life.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    I of course agree with San Francisco, I left my heart there.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Good one, Henrietta!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Brother Luke

    Hooray for the Supreme Court and hooray for San Francisco. Descrimination and lies about any group in this country MUST STOP. Mr. Donahue is a mean spirited fellow and an embarrasment to most Catholics, except those to the really far out right. I hope the People of God realize Mr. Donahue IS NOT an official representative of the Catholic Church….

    Brother Luke

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bedel

    Too bad people don’t understand that children have a right to a mother and a father. Is that “bigoted” or rather is it not bigoted to call it “bigoted.” The courts make a lot of mistakes, and this is just one of them

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Bedel: Children have a right to loving parents, no matter what the gender those parents are.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Some children who have a mother and father don’t have them even if they started out with them. Heterosexual people don’t take an oath to raise and love their children when they have them, even when they promise to care for each other as long as they both shall live, they don’t do that either. Two people of ss can be just as disfunctional as we can but seriously they do a great parenting job and two of any humans can do a better job together then alone or with an institution taking care of them. Commonsense should prevail.

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