The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC), which “represents the Catholic Bishops of the State of Washington on issues of public policy”, has posted a link to this notice on the main page of their website (hyperlinks are mine).

Repealing Domestic Partner Benefits

Passed by the 2009 Legislature, SSB 5688 granted all of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples in Washington State.    Referendum 71 seeks to overturn SSB 5688, known as the “all but marriage” law…

WSCC opposed SSB 5688 because proponents publically (sic) stated that this legislation was intended to extend existing marriage rights to same-sex couples as a precursor to legalizing gay marriage in Washington State.  While opposing all unjust discrimination against any individual, WSCC upholds marriage as a union between a man and a woman, which is the foundation of our civil society.

Opposing “unjust discrimination” implies that some discrimination is justified, that it can be just to discriminate.  According to the bishops of Washington, it is just to destabilize and undermine LGBT families.  The bishops believe it just to disadvantage children by preventing their LGBT parents from protecting them to the fullest extent of the law via domestic partnerships or marriage.

How do these people have the nerve to show their faces in public after spouting such anti-family nastiness?Unlike the WSCC’s 2006 statement for justified discrimination, the current statement is unsigned.  This indicates two things.  First, that while the bishops advocate for discrimination against LGBT families they, like most of their anti-equality colleagues, see this particular referendum as a non-starter and are thus giving it lip service but no solid backing.  Indeed, Chief of Staff Siler of the Yakima Diocese recently stated that “our resources are limited, and we think the more important issue will be the question of gay marriage”.  (Curious statement, given that his bosses at WSCC talk as if the current battle over domestic partnership law is about marriage.)  The second thing indicated by the lack of the bishops’ signatures on the 2009 statement is that the entire WSCC faculty approves the message.  The faculty are:

Alexander J. Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle & Chair of the WSCC Board of Directors Carlos A. Sevilla, Bishop of Yakima William S. Skylstad, Bishop of Spokane Eusebio Elizondo, Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle Joseph J. Tyson, Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle

Peter Gillette is the first Roman Catholic cleric in Washington reported to circulate the instrument of justified discrimination in his church.  If you hear of others, drop a note in the comments.

By the way, is Joseph Backholm of the local Focus on the Family affiliate a crypto-Catholic?  He riffed on the “justified discrimination” theme numerous times during legislative hearings on the domestic partnership expansion bill, as well as included it in his “citizens guide” to Referendum 71.

Q: Isn’t it bad to discriminate?

A: No.  Discrimination is not only appropriate, it is necessary for survival.  In fact, the inability to rationally discriminate (or exercise discretion) is one of the ways psychologists diagnose mental illness.

Translation: if you don’t discriminate, you’re mentally ill.


Join Washington Families Standing Together in their fight to defeat Referendum 71 by clicking on the graphics below.

Cross-posted at Washblog.