NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Catholics United Education Fund (CUEF), a lay Catholic advocacy group, delivered a petition containing about 7,500 signatures to the Knights of Columbus on Tuesday, asking the Catholic fraternal organization to stop using its money to oppose same-sex marriage.
CUEF submitted the petition to the Knights’ headquarters in New Haven.
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CUEF claims that Knights of Columbus spent more than $600,000 opposing same-sex marriage in the last election cycle.
James Salt, Executive Director of CUEF said anti-gay lobbying by the Knights is alienating younger Catholics, causing them to leave the faith.
“As a young Catholic, I want my church to focus on serving the marginalized, not fighting for far-right political issues,” said Salt. He added that the Knights should place focus on serving the poor and vulnerable.
Salt, citing a report last month from a coalition of Catholics who support gay rights, said the Knights donated more than $600,000 this year for ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state.
The Knights of Columbus is the largest lay Catholic organization in the world, and has donated more than $1.4 billion and 664 million hours to charitable causes.
Since 2005, the Knights and its affiliated insurance company have spent more than $6 million campaigning against marriage equality.