63 Former Roman Catholic Priests to Release Statement Supporting Marriage Equality in Washington

A group of 63 priests with more than 800 combined years of service to the church are coming out in support of marriage equality on Thursday, the Seattle PI reports:

WA“We are uneasy with the aggressive efforts of Catholic bishops to oppose R-74 and want to support the 71 percent of Catholics (Public Religion Research Institute) who support civil marriage for gays as a valid Catholic position,” they said in a statement.

Former priest Pat Callahan, who organized the statement, added:  “This is the first public action we’ve taken.”  Callahan was in the Catholic priesthood for 15 years.

Over the weekend, Catholic Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of the Diocese of Yakima told his 41 parishes that same-sex marriage endangers religious liberty.

In related news, NOM-backed group Preserve Marriage Washington just injected $650,000 into the battle there.

Writes Dominic Holden at Slog:

The statewide dialogue up to now has been controlled almost entirely by gay-rights advocates. The advantage we have now is one that exists before the anti-gay campaign even opens its mouth. Their ads begin airing on October 15, and they will get more traction with less money. Reserved to the tune of $1.5 million, the ads are being designed by Frank Schubert, whose commercials in Maine depicted girls marrying princesses, a chalkboard with the words "gay sex," teachers discussing penetration, and the looming—dishonest—specter that "homosexual marriage will be taught in schools."

To scare the sh*t out of Washington, they only need enough money for one statewide blitz. And now they've got it.

Help out Washington United for Marriage here.


  1. i could go on, but I won't says

    The church drives the good ones out, anyone with a conscience or signs of intellectual honesty.

    Good for them. It takes courage to stand up for what’s right.

  2. UFFDA says

    Still, we may not win marriage even in this, my enchanted State (or any other) in which case I have tent and gear ready to spend a weekend on mountain or shore to regroup and come back ready to soldier on. There’ll be lots of continuing reasons to do so and it will all work out eventually.

  3. Joel says

    “…same-sex marriage endangers religious liberty.” Bunk! Nobody is keeping the idiot bishops from telling others what do do. Liberty means opposing these guys.

  4. woodroad34 says

    “…same-sex marriage endangers religious liberty.” Anti-gay legislation endangers human liberty. I’ll take actual human liberty over some heterosexual fantasy belief system any day.

  5. Diogenes Arktos says

    “endagers religious liberty”? Absolutely not. Here we have a classic justification for education both in school and at home. We see two groups of RC arguing for different views. Values are too different across the general population to be taught at school and must be taught at home. Basic common knowledge and the valuing process are the duty of schools. Sorry, bishops, but People Like Us do exist and must needs be part of this basic common knowledge. Three cheers for this group of former RC priests!

  6. Craig says

    The catholic heirarchy seems to forget that they don’t even have to marry straight couples. They routinely turn away couples where both aren’t catholic (though not always).

    Also don’t count out the impact of the negative advertising that is about to be released. It was ugly when they came down in California for Prop 8. It will change the polling numbers – but keep up the fight and counter every commercial released. Equality was ahead in the polls in California and we all know what happened here.

  7. Icebloo says

    Will the Vatican cancel their pensions now for speaking out ? The Vatican is ALL ABOUT MONEY so I’m sure they have a contract clause somewhere to claw back this money now the priests have spoken out.

  8. john patrick says

    Twenty percent of Americans when asked their religious affiliation now respond “none.” These bishops are trying to infringe on the religious liberties of those citizens who identify themselves as “none” and those of any religious belief that differs from the RC bishops. The bishops themselves endanger religious liberty.

  9. andrew says

    The Catholic Hierarchy: A Catholic priest that I worked with, a few years ago, use to say: “The Catholic Church is like a bucket of stagnant water, the scum rises to the top”. Boy was he right. Lots of good water in the lower ranks, but mostly scum at the top. This is truer today than ever. In the last 30 years or more John Paul II and Benedict XVI have filled the Catholic hierarchy with ridgid narrow minded authoritarian conservatives. They love to play dress up in their “glad rags” but have little understanding of the issues that effect real people.

  10. Trask says

    Wow. They’re “uneasy.” So bold. So striking. And all this conveniently after they’ve retired. You spoil us!

    Catholics are really pathetic. If they can’t be effective allies (and it’s clear they can’t) they should just shut up and stay out of politics.

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