Catholic Politicians Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

Deal W. Hudson
January 7, 2010

Writing for the Catholic Advocate, Matt Smith reports that 39 of the 106 cosponsors of a House bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act are “self-identified” Catholics. Smith, a former associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, warns that same-sex marriage activists are trying to bring H.R. 3567 – ironically, titled the “Respect for Marriage Act 2009” – to the House floor this year.

The end of DOMA would mean 40 states would be required to recognize same-sex marriage. As Smith writes, the political fallout would be enormous: “Democrats will have learned nothing from the current health care debate or the voices of the voters in the states that have repealed gay marriage initiatives.”

Earlier this week, I wrote about Catholics in Congress leading the effort to procure abortion funding. Now we see many of the same names, such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), seeking to change the legal status of marriage in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

In 1996, the Catholic bishops in the U.S. expressed that teaching this way:

[W]e oppose attempts to grant the legal status of marriage to a relationship between persons of the same sex. No same-sex union can realize the unique and full potential which the marital relationship expresses. For this reason, our opposition to “same-sex marriage” is not an instance of unjust discrimination or animosity toward homosexual persons.

American citizens appear to be on the side of the bishops, not the dissenters in Congress. In the nearly six years since the Supreme Court in Massachusetts made that state the first to recognize gay marriage, 26 states have amended their constitutions to prohibit gay marriage. Last November, Maine – a blue state – voted to repeal the law legalizing gay marriage. In December, the New York Senate voted to reject a gay-marriage bill.

Today, the New Jersey State Senate will vote on a same-sex marriage bill. Activists are hoping to get the bill passed while Gov. John Corzine is still in office, as his successor, Chris Christie, is a Catholic opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage. If passed, New Jersey would be the seventh state – following Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont – to recognize gay marriage.

Gay activists are hoping to turn the tide in their direction after winning a victory in Washington, D.C., last month when the city council voted for legalization. But, as Smith points out, the D.C. bill must pass congressional review before the House Government Reform and Oversight Sub-Committee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia.

Noting that the sub-committee is composed of seven Democrats and three Republicans, Smith writes, “With such a lopsided advantage, advocates anticipate marriages could begin in the District of Columbia as early as February 16. Since the District is a federal territory, same-sex couples from any state will be free to travel to our nation’s capital to wed.” Four of these subcommittee members are Catholic: William “Lacy” Clay (D, MO-01), Dennis Kucinich (D, OH-10), Gerry Connolly (D, VA-11), and Brian Bilbray (R, CA-50).

Smith argues that the Democrats are using the same-sex marriage issue to “re-energize their disappointed base leading into the November 2, 2010, mid-term elections.” If so, they are wading into already very turbulent waters, as the majority of Americans (52 percent) are opposed to the health-care reform the Democrats are trying to ram through Congress.

An even larger majority of Americans (55 percent) oppose the abortion funding that the Democrats and the White House are gearing up to protect from the threat of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and his pro-life coalition in the House. With all this public discontent, the mid-term election of 2010 could take on the high drama of a presidential election.

* * *

The following are the names of the Catholic co-sponsors of H.R. 3567, a bill “to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage,” according to Smith’s tally:

Rep. Michael Arcuri (D, NY-24)

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D, CA-31)

Rep. Michael Capuano (D, MA-8)

Rep. Wm. “Lacy” Clay (D, MO-1)

Rep. Gerald “Gerry” Connolly (D, VA-11)

Rep. Joe Courtney (D, CT-2)

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D, NY-7)

Rep. Bill Delahunt (D, MA-10)

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-3)

Rep. Michael Doyle (D, PA-14)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D, AZ-7)

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D, IL-4)

Rep. John Hall (D, NY-19)

Rep. Brian Higgins (D, NY-27)

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D, NY-22)

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D, RI-1)

Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D, OH-15)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D, OH-10)

Rep. John Larson (D, CT-1)

Rep. Ben Lujan (D, NM-3)

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D, MA-9)

Rep. Daniel Maffei (D, NY-25)

Rep. Edward Markey (D, MA-7)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D, MN-4)

Rep. James McGovern (D, MA-3)

Rep. George Miller (D, CA-7)

Rep. Jim Moran (D, VA-8)

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D, CA-38)

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D, NJ-6)

Rep. Ed Pastor (D, AZ-4)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D, NY-15)

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D, CA-34)

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D, CA-39)

Rep. Jose Serrano (D, NY-16)

Rep. Joe Sestak (D, PA-7)

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D, NH-1)

Rep. Paul Tonko (D, NY-21)

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D, NY-12)

Rep. Diane Watson (D, CA-33)

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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