Catholic Church Tries to Block Gay Marriage By Revoking Charity, No One Wins

INSANITY: The D.C. Archdiocese is putting it’s foot down in protest of the same-sex marriage bill in front of the Washington City Council. “The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.”

Seriously, this isn’t a joke? Ok, fine, let’s take a look at how the bill would affect them. It would in no way ask them to perform same-sex marriages or to condone such unions. All it’s saying is that “they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians,” which could include extending benefits to gay married couples. That’s it. And this is apparently worth cutting programs that help 68,000 people and at least one third of D.C.’s homeless population. What would Jesus do? He would PROBS NOT take charity and aid away from TENS OF THOUSANDS of people just to push a political agenda. Based on everything I’ve heard about the guy, that is in fact the opposite of what Jesus would do. How can people reconcile the Christian message of love with these actions?

But for all that, the council members don’t seem to be swayed. It sounds like they aren’t going to let the Archdiocese throw it’s weight around: the council “will not legislate based on threats.” And the council thinks they can do just fine without the Church’s help. We’ll see what happens when they vote in December. (@washingtonpost)

DADT: There’s some more progress on the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell front. There’s going to be a confirmation hearing next week for Obama’s pick for the post that oversees DADT. And Barney Frank told the Blade a few days that DADT might be up for repeal as soon as 2010. (@advocate, @blade)

eastwickposterSAVE EASTWICK: ABC canceled Eastwick, which sucks because Autostraddle BFF Haviland Stillwell is gonna be on it! Her episode will air Nov. 25, btw, so tune in. Luckily, there is already a big campaign to save the show. There’s a twitter account, a petition, and a Facebook movement. Plus, Eastwick has a commanding lead in the polls over at E!’s Save One Show campaign. So if you want the chance to see Haviland’s face on your tv some more, go tell ABC to keep the show.

GRIFFIN: Kathy Griffin is set to play a lesbian activist on Law and Order: SVU in February. (@tvguide)

JUST ‘CAUSE: Outtakes from a Lilo photo shoot. Because it is Friday, and we love you. Also it was a slow news day.dotted-divider2SIDENOTE: As you probs know, most of the Autostraddle team has been on a cruise all week. They’re supposed to return soon, but the interns have a few extra reasons to come home, just in case.

Dear Team:

• You guys CANNOT stay in Mexico just to hide the fact that you lost Brooke. When #swineflu never trends again, we’ll know what’s up! -Elizabeth
• Going “down South” is only fun in euphemism. Please come back. -Lola
• Please don’t move to Mexico. America has better health care. Oh wait…nevermind. -Daphne
• Two of you are registered organ donors, but just in NYC. We need those. -Nicole
• Sure, you can wear sombreros all the time in Mexico, but America is the land of the free-to-not-wear-pants. -Katrina
• The Internet on the boat is worse than dial-up. Come back and live in the future of wireless. -X
• We love you more than Maine hates you. -Sarah
• I am selfish and want you to live in the same country as me. -Vashti
• Who’s going to take me on family trips to Wal-Mart? -Lily

Add your own reasons in the comments, if you got ’em!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3152 articles for us.


  1. the catholic church is hurting my brain. first of all, they shouldn’t hold tax-exempt charitable status if they’re engaging in political action, which they’re doing by repeatedly interrupting gay marriage’s conversation with the people with continuous farting sounds. so now they’re threatening to WILLINGLY stop their charitable action as part of their continued engagement in political action, all while enjoying tax exemption! what the WHAT.

  2. oh – MY reason for you guys to come home: i’m having weird dreams about you for some reason. like two nights ago i dreamed i was riding a city bus in ottawa with alex, and the night before that i was riding in a big van with riese or someone and a bunch of randos on our way to the cruise even though in the dream the cruise had already started. it’s messing with my flow, man; blurring lines. i like my lines. but it’s good you’re not back for a few days, because right now Ida is making new york a dark, windy, scary place, and it’d probably just give you PTSD or something.

    • I already think I have PTSD from something, I think I said that ealier tonight, though now I can’t remember what I said abut that. This comment is silly but b/c I have paid 55 cents to type this, I might as well follow through.

    • luckily i have nikes in my suitcase! I going to send my old shoes to Samson except I don’t think dilapidated shacks count as addresses you can mial things to?

  3. “What would Jesus do? […] How can people reconcile the Christian message of love with these actions?”

    The answer is ignorance, blindness, and a willingness to think with their ass. The Catholic Church has been speaking about Christ for centuries while hiding the gospels from people, making sure education would not become widespread. So I am expecting this from them and much worse, all the time.

    “What would Jesus do?” seems like an interesting column to comment everyday happenings in Italy (as most of them are greatly influenced by the Catholic Church).

  4. At the risk of being banned from commenting, I, um, I don’t really feel like the Church issue is a big deal. The Church isn’t renegging its charitable works as a whole, just the public/private partnerships it entered into with DC. You see, DC is broke and unable to govern themselves properly which is one of the many reasons it doesn’t get to vote. As a result, they contract out the vast majority of their social service programs to entities that have larger support networks and funding to pick up the slack. The city doesn’t need to award those contracts to the Church, it can takes it business elsewhere and so can the Church. In the interest of continuing to at least pretend we have separation of church and state in this country, I hope the Church reprivatizes its services and the city awards its competitive bids to more secular, gay-friendly organizations. Or, you know, they can always clean up their own mess and learn how to run a local government. Maybe they can hire Leslie Knope. Or me.

    • We would never ban you! Probably. Don’t test that.

      I get what you’re saying. The Church is certainly free not to partner with a government that doesn’t act according to their beliefs. I was more criticizing the action symbolically. The story boils down to cutting charity programs over politics, which just seems backwards.
      I’m personally not a fan of having connections between churches and government, for this very reason. What if the council was in fact swayed by their declaration? Luckily, this doesn’t seem to have much effect.

    • Deb, you seem like a fellow Washingtonian (partly because you recognize that DC gov couldn’t legislate it’s way out of a paper bag). Anywho, while the church-gov showdown may not seem like a big deal, we’ve got two bad scenarios if things go south (and not in the good way). If the council concedes to the church’s demands, it will essentially be letting the church determine the law. Which is not at all okay. But if we just cut ties, there is the whole problem of our broke-ass gov failing at everything, which will probs lead to a sitch on the scale of that whole Summer Youth Employment paycheck fuck-up. So I’ll be keeping my eyes glued to the WaPo for any further developments. This is a tricky situation but DC has a great record of putting human rights before tyranny of the majority/religious pressure.

      • I just don’t see such a liberal city council giving into the demands of the diocese, which is probs why I’m not so worried or bothered by the whole thing. Plus, I go back to my whole original church/state separation issue…it makes me uncomfortable to begin with to allow the Church so much control over important social programs. Part of me wants to let them walk away and to have the council let other organizations bid for the social service contracts. There are so many non-profits and NGOs in DC, I find it hard to believe there aren’t other options to pick up the slack if the Church wants to walk out over such a wedge issue, ya know?

        • I agree with you. The council will probably call the church’s bluff. I’m just concerned about the consequences of this. I mean, the church may eliminate charity services but that seems unlikely, as they have not done so in any of the states that have equal marriage rights. If they do walk out we can get someone else to take their place, but the folks who are in need of charitable services are the ones who will get hurt in the transition. Here’s a great opinion piece on the matter by Petula Dvorak:

          You know, when it comes to the church’s childish stance I think we should draw strength from the the immortal words of Ludacris: “Move, bitch. Get out the way. Get out the way, bitch, get out the way.”
          So poignant. So true.

  5. If the Roman Catholic Church refuses these contracts of government money, the services will still be provided. They will be provided by more efficient and less hateful charities.

    I hope the Roman Catholic Church does pull out from public services in DC, especially those involving children. It will keep a lot of DC children from being molested by priests.

  6. Dear Team,

    My 10 reasons for you to come back:

    1) If you stay in Mexico some of your names won’t translate well and you will end up with names like Maraca or BerengÁria which means “bear-spear.”
    2) My sea otter, Chrysanthemum, has a big crush on Tinkerbell and she can’t speak cruise-boat.
    3) If you’re going to have a massive headache it should be from a hang-over, not foreign land concussions.
    4) Riese’s laugh is too cute to be lost at sea
    5) Using Spanish improperly isn’t as funny when you actually understand Spanish.
    6) Those sombreros probably have lice.
    7) America has better stuffed animal school systems. Think about the children.
    8) I left you guys wads of cash in my will and you have to be in the states to be eligible to claim it.
    9) You’ll miss Adam Lambert, Lilo’s Twitter regurgitation, and Sarah Shahi’s ass.
    10) Your lavish vessel full of cobbler and comedians may have promise of exotic lands of coconuts and interesting artifacts, but the USA has Lady Gaga. boom

    • That smiley was actually supposed to be an 8, but apparently the only time someone would ever want to use an 8 and a parentheses would OBVIOUSLY be to create the Fonzi of emoticons.

  7. Oh I totally understand where the Catholic Church is coming from. I for one always have the urge to find a homeless guy and kick him in the nuts anytime someone is trying to make sure they don’t lose their job. TOTALLY makes sense. In fact, the next time the girl scouts come around to my door I’m going to tell them to get out and threaten the state to find a person in a wheelchair to harass if those pesky little peanut-butter pushers ever ask for help again. People want to make sure they can support their partner? I know! Let’s find some kids without parents to take away necessities from. brilliant. OF COURSE that will solve the problem.

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  9. God, why does the Catholic Church constantly insist on miring itself in even greater suckitude? Wish someone would let these fools know that Jesus was probably gay himself.

  10. Gandhi FTW (that’s right) – “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  11. my reason?
    because its bad luck..for me anyways
    since you guys left i got in a car accident, broke my laptop, lost my wallet and car keys(which i dont need cause my car is totalled), my goldfish died, and my puppy got hit by a minivan (the same type of minivan that crashed into me btw)
    and with all that happening i could only think of the autostraddle team (cause it brings me peace and keeps me sane)
    So please, come back =]

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