Yes, you read that right. Yesterday, Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty crapped all over the Catholic bishops’ utterly misguided effort to exempt Catholic Charities’ adoption program from state law barring discrimination against gay couples who want to adopt. As well they should have. State law is clear that discrimination against gay couples in adoption is illegal; Romney correctly said that he had no authority to create an exemption without legislative action; and O’Flaherty said that “there would not be an appetite to entertain” the possibility of a legislative exemption.
Make no mistake – this effort stems from the bishops themselves, and appears to be contrary to what Catholic Charities wants to do (recently the Catholic Charities board unanimously approved continuing to facilitate adoption by gay couples). Several board members of Catholic Charities are quoted (some by name, some anonymously) in the Globe story as being appalled at what the bishops are doing, and there are rumors that some board members will resign in protest if the plan goes forward. Especially appalling is that the bishops are forcing Catholic Charities to use its own money to hire the very expensive Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray to devise a legal strategy around the state anti-discrimination law. Surely that money could be better used for, oh, I don’t know … helping people?
So good for Romney and O’Flaherty for doing the right thing. Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day!