Knights of Columbus financing gay marriage bans in four states

The Catholic bigots are back at it, but who knew the Knights of Columbus was a front for far-right anti-gay activism?

From a new report by the Human Rights Campaign:

The Roman Catholic Church is funneling unprecedented dollar amounts into the four states where marriage equality is on the ballot this fall – Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington – and in many cases, parishioners may not even be aware that their dollars are being used to fund discrimination. The new HRC report finds that the Church has spent at least $1.1 million as part of its broader effort to deny loving, committed couples the right to marry. In addition, a close ally of the Church and past co-conspirator, the National Organization for Marriage, has spent nearly $1.4 million on the four ballot measures. In the aggregate, the Church and NOM are the single largest funders of discrimination, responsible for funding nearly 60 percent of all anti-equality efforts in Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington.

A significant portion of the Catholic-affiliated funding -more than $640,000 – comes from the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization within the Church. The Knights of Columbus have an established history of using their money to fight marriage equality dating back to 2005. Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholic groups, will be releasing an extensive report in partnership with HRC today detailing the Knights’ longstanding financial support for anti-equality measures.

Catholic church top funder of anti-gay bigotryIn Minnesota alone, the opposition to marriage equality has received more than $180,000 from dioceses across the nation. Much of this funding likely came without the knowledge of parishioners; and as diocesan schools and important programs like soup kitchens struggle for resources, the Catholic Church has instead chosen to fund hateful, misleading political campaigns targeting loving, committed couples.

The anti-LGBT activity of the hierarchy stands in direct opposition to the values of the majority of Catholics. A 2012 Public Religion Research Institute poll found that nearly 60 percent of Catholics support marriage equality. In fact, polling indicates marriage equality is one of the least important issues Catholics are currently concerned with. That same poll, from Belden Russonello, found that 83 percent of Catholics feel their bishops should not influence their vote.

You can find a copy of HRC’s report here.

I’ve been hearing more and more about the Knights of Columbus lately.  The Knights of Columbus were huge financial supportes of Prop 8 too.  From the same HRC report:

The Knights invested heavily in California’s Prop 8 battle – contributing $1 million and calling it vital to a “healthy society” that same-sex couples be prohibited from marrying and starting families.

I honestly thought it was just a bunch of old men with silly hats who rented out the townhall for parties. No we know the truth. The Knights of Columbus is a virulently bigoted arm of the Catholic Church’s jihad against the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

It still amazes me that a church that still hasn’t fully entered the 21st century, in terms of its refusal to come clean on the pedophiles in its midst, has the chutzpah to run around telling the rest of us, including non-Catholics, how to live.

If it’s a choice to live in a Catholic-values world where pedophiles run free, no thank you.  At least now we know the truth about the Knights of Columbus.  They’re anti-gay bigots and activists. Don’t support them, don’t fund them.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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