Monday, March 13, 2006

Craven Romney Panders

Vintage Brylcreem ad= Our own Cap'n Brylcreem actually will do it. Today he formally announced that he ordered his minions to draft a "very narrow" bill giving one loosely religiously affiliated social service agency the right to violate state civil-rights law. Of course, that is the Boston Archdiocese Catholic Charities in being allowed to discriminate fully and officially against same-sex adoptive parents.

The cynical Mitt Romney must figure this is a winner. He can't possibly care whether the legislature, attorney general, and court system support him and make this happen. It's all POTUS posturing.

He is trying so hard to distance himself from the commonwealth's liberalism, including same-sex marriages, that flourished under his administration. He has driven the Massachusetts economy and business environment into the swamp in the same period.

Now he is pretending that he is suddenly for a malicious "freedom of religion" as he calls this. A freedom to return to days of open discrimination.

Our local bishops have not asked for this and likely don't want it. They seem happy enough to get out of the business of helping people. As U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (a Catholic) told the Boston Globe, "In this case, Catholic Charities made a decision they couldn't live with these rules and they're going to walk away from it. I don't have any problem with that."

Well, thank the Lord that our smarmy governor doesn't share that opinion. He said he would file the bill as early as this week. Let the people say, "Amen," or maybe, "Ahem."

Yet, when pressed he clearly had not thought it through. Real lawyers will have to come up with the weasel words. Romney couldn't even say why this wouldn't open up a wide door for other groups to claim that they should be able likewise to ignore commonwealth civil rights mandates.

Our Cap'n said only, "They have within their religion the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that children should not be sent into homes without a mother and a father, and that's their religious freedom to have that belief and we'd like them to be able to be true to their religion and at the same time provide a service to the commonwealth of placing special needs kids."

Unlike him, his lieutenant governor agrees with many legislators, including House Speaker Sal Di Masi. "I believe that any institution that wants to provide services that are regulated by the state has to abide by the laws of this state, and our anti-discrimination laws are some of the most important," Kerry Healey said.

So, the bishops use their social services agency to score political points. Romney uses the church hierarchy to do the same. Nice bunch of guys.


Ryan said...

Would they be calling it a freedom of religion if these religiously tied food pantry organizations decided that they'd feed the hungry - as long as they weren't gay? I somehow doubt it.

This is a chief example of why I don't donate anything but spare change to religious non-profits.

I doubt a bill like this will pass though.

massmarrier said...

I expect you're right about the bill. However, if it makes it to the floor, its fate will be instructive. How many legislature vote for it tells a lot about the composition of the General Court and what progressives face.