Group asks Mr. Paladino and Catholic Bishops in New York to Support Catholic Social Justice Teaching
WASHINGTON - In response to comments yesterday by New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, the board of Catholics for Equality issued the following statement:
"Catholics for Equality calls on Catholics and people of good will in New York and throughout the United States to repudiate the anti-gay comments by Carl Paladino, the Catholic Republican gubernatorial candidate of New York. His comments do not represent Catholic social teaching nor the feelings of the majority of faithful American Catholics.
Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie showed that 51 percent of registered voters supported same-sex marriage while 42 percent opposed it. (Dec 3, 2009) More recent polling shows us that American Catholics support LGBT equality, including the freedom to marry, more than any other Christian denomination.
Catholics for Equality hopes that our bishops throughout New York will call to accountability Mr. Paladino for his words which violate the heart of Catholic teaching that gay persons should be treated with respect and dignity.
As the U.S. Catholic bishops stated clearly in 1997, "Our message speaks of accepting yourself, your beliefs and values, your questions, and all you may be struggling with at this moment; accepting and loving your child as a gift of God; and accepting the full truth of God's revelation about the dignity of the human person and the meaning of human sexuality. Within the Catholic moral vision there is no contradiction among these levels of acceptance, for truth and love are not opposed."
With the recent tragic anti-gay bullying, youth suicides around this country, and the horrible attack of three gay men in New York, Catholics for Equality is shocked and saddened that such blatant discriminatory statements would be delivered by a candidate for a major political post.
Teaching LGBT youth that they are created in the image of God, with dignity and worth, deserving of equal freedom to live, work, serve, and love is not "brainwashing" -- it is good parenting and compassionate counsel. Homosexuality is not, as Paladino asserts, an "option." He is not entitled to judge whether one's sexual orientation is "valid" or any relationship "successful." With so many youth being driven to suicide, Catholics for Equality stands with the majority of U.S. Catholics, who favor of a pastoral approach to LGBT issues.
Supporting hatred of gay people is at the root of homophobia, and Mr. Paladino must be held accountable for being a part of the problem, instead of the solution."
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