A report by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday said that the Catholic Church has contributed more than half of the funding into efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
At the same time, Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholics who support same-sex marriage, issued a report saying the Knights of Columbus has quietly become one of the most aggressive forces opposing same-sex marriage.
“(Knights CEO) Carl Anderson is using the good name that the Knights have developed over generations as cover while pursuing policies and making alliances that many Catholics find deeply troubling when they learn about them,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, a member of the Equally Blessed coalition.
The group found that the headquarters organization donated $6.25 million to promote traditional marriage dating back to 2005, mostly by supporting ballot measures aimed at banning same-sex marriage in 12 states, including Minnesota.
In a recent Star Tribune report on the Knights' giving, Minnesota state deputy Craig Larson said there is nothing secretive about the organization’s giving. He said the group is charged with carrying out the work of the pope and the bishops, and that includes a strident defense of traditional marriage.
An Equally Blessed coalition member doesn’t see it that way.
“The Knights portray themselves as representatives of a broad Catholic tradition, but they have become culture warriors,” said David Saavedra, co-president of the board of Call To Action. “Most U. S. Catholics support marriage equality, and even those who have doubts are put off by these hardline tactics.
The Star Tribune, October 18, 2012