CommunityPam's House Blend

San Francisco Archdiocese halts same-sex adoptions

Newsom on the church’s position: “Somehow inherently that two people of the same sex can’t be loving parents to me is patently offensive because it belies fact and it belies any sense of sensitivity or capacity of understanding.”

You’ll recall that last week, S.F. Mayor (and official Blender hottie) Gavin Newsom stuck it to the Vatican by deciding to take a pass on a trip to the installation of Archbishop William Levada as Cardinal as a protest on the church’s anti-gay adoption position.

The Prada Pope said in 2003 that allowing children to be adopted by same-sex couples “would actually mean doing violence to these children” and was “gravely immoral.”

What was that? And what about the morality of the men raping and molesting innocent children and covering it all up? The mind boggles.

Anyway, as expected, Papa Ratzi’s stooges at the Archdiocese of San Francisco brought the hammer down on the homos who wished to adopt through its Catholic Charities agency.

Catholic Charities has placed five children with same-sex couples since 2000, but a statement from Archbishop George Niederauer makes clear there will be no more, said Maurice Healy, spokesman for the archdiocese.

“These kinds of adoptions are not in sync with church teaching, and we’ve committed ourselves to being in sync with church teaching,” Healy said.

The issue now is whether Catholic Charities can continue providing adoptions without losing its public funding. Catholic Charities received $800,000 from the state and $5 million from local governments, including the city of San Francisco, last year. Diocesan officials are reviewing that matter.

The archbishop released a statement last week that read, in part, “We fully accept and faithfully teach what the Catholic Church teaches on marriage and family life. In light of these convictions, we currently are reviewing our adoption programs to determine concretely how we can continue to best serve children who are so much in need of a home.”

Then it gets weird. There is a major break in the anti-gay communication chain because the head of Catholic Charities isn’t taking no as the final answer from

Brian Cahill, executive director of Catholic Charities for San Francisco, said Niederauer did not explicitly ban same-sex adoption.

“This is an outright statement that is false,” Cahill said of Healy’s assertion. “Mr. Healy is, A, mistaken, B, doesn’t speak for Catholic Charities and, frankly, it’s clear to me that he’s not speaking for the archbishop these days.”

…Cahill said Niederauer’s statement, instead of indicating a ban, shows that the archdiocese and Catholic Charities are reviewing the program to determine how to serve the best interests of needy children, Cahill said.

We are trying for a different solution than Boston,” Cahill said.

He’s referring, of course, to Boston’s Archdiocese pulling out of adoption services. The church there is awaiting Gov. Mitt the Sh*t to come through with a religious exemption to allow them to keep operating — and discriminate against gays.

Sounds like there’s about to be a rumble between the church heads and Catholic Charities over this.

In case you’re curious, NY Catholic Charities has been stalling regarding a response to the Pope’s new initiative.

“We don’t discriminate and agencies that contract with us have to comply,” Kali Holloway, a spokeswoman for the City’s Administration for Children’s Services, said. She cited state adoption regulations that read, “Applicants shall not be rejected solely on the basis of homosexuality,” even though the wording is hardly a ringing affirmation of nondiscrimination.

Jacqueline Lo Faro, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, refused to say whether Catholic adoption agencies here allow gay people to adopt. The only thing she was authorized to say was, “We’re aware of the Boston situation and we’re reviewing it.”

…In New York, informed that Catholic Charities refused to certify that it does not discriminate against gay people in adoptions, Sheila Stainback of the Administration for Children’s Services said that state regulations and case law are clear that discrimination against gay parents in adoption is illegal. “If they are contracting with us, they understand that is the policy,” she said. “We’ve seen no evidence that any religious organization is discriminating,” but that the agency would take action if that comes to their attention.

Other states where the church may have to take a position include Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and the District of Columbia — all allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children. (As commenter shirky noted, if the states don’t subcontract adoption services out to CC, or don’t have non-discrimination policies, it’s moot.)

Hat tips to Fritz and Paul.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding