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Washington (State)

Catholic bishop: Same-sex marriage ‘endangers religious liberty’

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. — Same-sex marriage “jeopardizes freedom rather than expands it,” and “endangers our religious liberty and the right of conscience,” according to Bishop Joseph Tyson, the Catholic bishop of Yakima, Wash.

Tyson’s remarks came in a recently released pastoral letter, where he delivered yet another apocalyptic denunciation of Referendum 74, the upcoming ballot initiative in Washington that will allow voters to approve or reject the state’s new marriage equality law.

Bishop Joseph Tyson

“Once marriage is redefined as a genderless contract, it will become legally discriminatory for public and private institutions such as schools to promote the unique meaning of marriage,” wrote Tyson. “This law will challenge our right to educate about the unique value of children being raised by his or her own mother and father in a stable home.”

However, it was noted by pro same-sex marriage advocates that the prelate did not specify how these rights would be challenged by passage of the measure by Washington voters.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the pro-Referendum 74 group, Catholics for Marriage Equality, delivered a sharp response to Tyson and his fellow bishops in the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Spokane, who have issued letters and videos opposing marriage equality.

“We are shocked when we read the language and examples used by our bishops to incite fear in our Catholic brothers and sisters if Referendum 74 passes — the message of Jesus is love and compassion, not fear,” said Kirby Brown spokesman for Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington.

In statements regarding the issue, Tyson has called same-sex marriage “offensive to basic human rights and equality” and “a loss of civil rights and equality for the most vulnerable among us, children,”

“The terms ‘husband and wife’ and ‘father and mother’ will continue to recede as so-called gender-neutral terms overwhelm our public lexicon,” he warned.

Experts, political analysts and observers all agree that the debate over the issue of same-sex marriage has sharply divided the state’s faith community.

Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel has endorsed Referendum 74 as a “conservative proposal” consistent with basic Christian teaching and the Christian life. Two prominent Methodist pastors in Seattle have endorsed marriage equality in campaign ads paid for by same-sex marriage advocates.

Catholics for Marriage Equality is asking its supporters to distribute a brochure that supports Referendum 74, entitled “Love Overcomes Fear” outside their churches, even as bishops’ letters are read inside.

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51 more reader comments:

  1. Religion is poison and unnatural.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:33pm
  2. Why are they so intolerant?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:34pm
  3. bullshit….fREEDOM to marry has NOTHING t o do wit hyour bigoted church

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:34pm
  4. awww poor christian freaks are getting a little scared? So tell me freak how is it jeopardizes “religious” freedom?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:34pm
  5. WTF?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:34pm
  6. Really? Seriously? How about Catholics endangers little boys, and girls.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:34pm
  7. All I can say is seriously and wtf.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:36pm
  8. Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:36pm
  9. Great photo Connie.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:36pm
  10. Willful ignorance and bigotry endanger all our liberties.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:37pm
  11. how does it endanger it?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:37pm
  12. Ironic. This post appears just below a post by The East Side Club on my screen.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:40pm
  13. Poor Stupid Man…

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:40pm
  14. He should think before he speaks…some Bishops have endangered Childrens lives….

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:40pm
  15. They used to say the same thing about…… Interracial marriages, ending slavery, teaching girls to read, allowing women to vote, birth control, ending prohibition, …… and that is all in the last 236 years…. funny, we are still free, more so than ever. If you really believe that OUR MARRIAGE took something away from you… I would love to hear EXACTLY what it was. SPECIFICALLY. No nonsense answers like the vague suggestion that something intangible is different. I will give you the same respect and will tell you just why this is critical to secure our freedoms for the next 200 years.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:41pm
  16. the same way that the child rape scandal DOESN’T endanger the Church?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:41pm
  17. Add me anyone and everyone! :) thanks

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:42pm
  18. The leading cause of divorce is heterosexual marriage.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:42pm
  19. Christian Extremist are the most dangerous then think in society today

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:47pm
  20. Who died and made people God?? No man has the right to judge another because of who they love. Don’t gays and lesbians have the right to love another?? Besides, I bet alot of hetros do things in thier bedroom that is very questionable in *Gods* eyes.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:48pm
  21. no more than catholic bishops do, perhaps even much less

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:48pm
  22. More blah, blah, blah….

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:48pm
  23. And religion endangers my freedom!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:48pm
  24. It’s jerks like this guy who endanger religious liberty!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:49pm
  25. But yet they don’t pay taxes

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:49pm
  26. you know where this guy’s religious liberty comes from? the bastardization of language, of conquest and bloodshed. Which in my mind is much more dangerous than two people sharing home and hearth together.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:49pm
  27. My husband and I were married in our church by clergy. So how is it religious freedom to tell our open and affirming church that they can’t marry same gender couples?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:50pm
  28. Poppy Cock!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:01pm
  29. “Celibate closet homosexual lectures committed gay couples on the nature and value of marriage”

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:04pm
  30. Here’s the deal. We won’t tell you how to worship, and you won’t tell us how to marry!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:06pm
  31. Ya, “endangers religious liberties” because my partner and i being married will stop you from getting your fat azzes on your own knees praying for your OWN sins and sorry azzes! leave me the freak alone and hate all u want but it’s pretty pathetic to use “god” as your tool to preach your hate and ignorances against other humans!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:07pm
  32. Bullshit. I know a lot of gays and lesbians who found a different kind of faith. Catholicism isn’t the only answer.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:11pm
  33. No is endangers Religious MONOPOLY!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:26pm
  34. well hey, there’s plenty other religions out there.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:26pm
  35. and your colleagues molesting little boys doesn’t endanger anyone *snark*. Who are you to say anything? Your opinions are irrelevant

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:34pm
  36. And catholic bishops endanger children.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:36pm
  37. Your A BIGOT AND FULL OF CRAP BISHOP!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:47pm
  38. are you fucking kidding me and stupid can you get

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:55pm
  39. I imagine raping children really boosts that liberty doesn

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:10pm
  40. it

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:10pm
  41. Their afraid they will run out of people to hate. Then what purpose will they have? They will be forced to look at themselves. They are afraid.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:59pm
  42. No Catholic Church having sex with little boys is what screwing up it up!! It is also ran by a REAL Nazi !!! Who cam take this church serious? Or any church for that matter? God knows I’ve tried.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:04pm
  43. Why, because some of the priests and bishops may want to marry each other?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:15pm
  44. They say homosexuality is a sin. When its consensual. While no one ever said pedophilia is a sin. And you have all those things happening with catholic priests molesting children. Did the pope even condemn them? Didnt the pope try to cover it up? I dont remember…

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:17pm
  45. people being able to live their lives according to them without fear of persecution or legal discrimination has always affected religious liberties. thats why we live in the united states of england.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:32pm
  46. The catholic church is a threat to all other religions and sects that disagree with catholic teaching and it’s all coming from Rome, not from within the U.S.A.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:48pm
  47. Religious zealots endanger religious freedom

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 9:01pm
  48. the EQUAL Rights Trumps religion… Pretty Simple… gay PEOPLE Pay Taxes CHURCHES DO NOT. Neither Corporations NOR Churches are People. HUMAN AMERICAN RIGHTS FIRST.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 9:05pm
  49. You know, for such a small segment of society, gays can sure shake a lot of foundations. Why does it matter what other people in their pursuit of happiness? If it is loving and uplifting of the people involved, how can it have any negative effect on anyone else? Unless, of course, the person being effected is a bigot and wishes to keep the people in this small segment of society beat down and relegated to second class status. Not a very loving or Christian attitude, if you ask me.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 11:21pm
  50. Only god can judge the hate that spews out of some peoples mouths.how much better are we if we are doing the same thing? Feel sorry for them for they know not what they do. Being hateful back is just as bad

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:11am
  51. Apparently, so does heterosexual marriage, Bp. Celibate.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7:03am