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Happy and Healthy, not Gay and Healthy

March 2, 2010

We all know the drill. Either you find a job with good health benefits, or your partner does (or you move to Canada, shack up with a doctor, win the lottery, or follow the health regimen of Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

Well, as of Tuesday, that story changed for some as human rights were thrown out with this Monday’s garbage when social services organization Catholic Charities actually changed its health coverage plan so that partners of employees who were in same-sex relationships would not receive the benefits received by those of opposite-sex relationships.

Same-sex spouses of what-might-as-well-be-re-branded Cathartid Charities employees don’t get any benefits through this new plan. Interesting timing, as tomorrow is the day that same-sex marriage becomes legal in the District of Columbia.

The President of CC, Edward Orzechowski says, “We looked at all the options and implications. This allows us to continue providing services, comply with the city’s new requirements and remain faithful to the church’s teaching.”

As far as For Serious is concerned, some issues are weighted with boulders that no excuse can overturn. On the fluffy end of the spectrum, this includes kicking puppies and breaking up with a lover over Skype chat (which out does Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw’s post-it dump). On the dark end of the spectrum, this includes any act of treating humans with complete disrespect and prejudice.

Catholic Charities gets it’s funding from the city of Washington for its social service programs. An article today in the Washington Post reported “church officials said [the legalization of same-sex marriage] could make it impossible for the church to be a city contractor because Catholic teaching opposes such unions.”

Regardless of the fact that this private group has a right to do this, and regardless of the fact that only 100 of the 850 employees utilize the spouse plan, is it really the right of any one to make decisions based on sex? Should social justice and community not be emulated through support and care of individuals regardless of someone’s definition of sex, marriage, family or gender? Would an institution based on the love of humankind not rise above the bedroom for the good of moving forward a shared vision of a more giving, compassionate, truthful, hopeful, and just world?

Now maybe I don’t understand Catholicism. Maybe I have a different understanding of faith. But my gut feels that if only people were judged based on gestures towards others – versus the gender of lovers – then maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place.

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