By Patricia Wen and Frank Phillips, Globe Staff | February 16, 2006
The four Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts plan to seek permission from the state to exclude gay couples as adoptive parents, according to two board members of the church's largest social service agency who were briefed on the plan.
The decision follows a three-month study of the theological and practical impact of having Catholic Charities of Boston, the Boston Archdiocese's social service arm, place children with gay couples, given the Vatican's teaching that describes such adoptions are ''gravely immoral."
This decision to seek an exemption from state anti-discrimination rules pits the bishops against the 42-member board of Catholic Charities of Boston, which is made up of some of Boston's most prominent lay Catholics. The board voted unanimously in December in support of continuing to allow gay couples to adopt children.
In the past two decades, agency officials placed 13 children with same-sex couples, a tiny fraction of 720 adoptions completed by them during that time.
The outgoing chairman of the board, whose term expired earlier this month, expressed strong opposition to the bishops' plan, saying it would undercut the agency's longstanding mission to provide stable homes for as many needy children as possible.
''This is an unnecessary, unmitigated disaster for children, Catholic Charities, and the Archdiocese of Boston," said Peter Meade, who remains a board member.
If the bishops obtain an exemption, they could continue to handle adoptions while excluding gay or lesbian applicants from consideration. However, if they do not win an exemption, they either have to allow gay adoptions to continue or risk having their adoption license pulled and being barred from adoption work in the state altogether... Read the rest of this Globe story here, and comment below.
EDITOR's NOTE: Even the Liberal Blue Mass Group applauded the Pols on this one:
Hurray for Romney and O'Flaherty!
by: David, February 17, 2006 at 09:46:00 EST
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? See the site here.
Lawmakers override Romney veto of wine sale bill
BOSTON --A bill making it easier for small vineyards to sell their wines directly to consumers, bypassing local retailers, is now state law, after the House and Senate voted Wednesday to override Gov. Mitt Romney's veto.
Wine aficionados pushed for the new law, saying it would open up a new world of possibilities by letting them purchase small wines over the Internet that they might not be able to find locally.
The reaction among wine shop owners has been mixed. Some said they were worried it could cut into their sales while others said purchasing wine is a personal experience that can't be replaced by the Internet.
The new law also includes a section that allows restaurants to re-cork bottles of wine so diners can bring them home without violating the state's open container law... Read this Globe story here, and comment below.