Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Catholic Group Sues San Francisco Over Criticism of Vatican

Last week, San Francisco Board of Supervisors strongly criticizing the Vatican for suggesting that Catholic social service agencies in California should refuse to place children for adoption with gay or lesbian couples. (See prior position.) Yesterday the Thomas More Law Center announced that it had filed suit on behalf of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and two San Francisco Catholic citizens challenging the resolution as a "startling attack by government officials on the Catholic Church, Catholic moral teaching and beliefs, and those who adhere to the tenets of the Catholic faith." Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said "This is a matter so serious that no apology can ever suffice to undo the injurious effects that the resolution triggered. A legal remedy is needed."

The complaint in the lawsuit alleges that the First Amendment "forbids an official purpose to disapprove of a particular religion, religious beliefs, or of religion in general." It goes on to argue that the "anti-Catholic resolution sends a clear message to [Catholics] ... that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community and an accompanying message that those who oppose Catholic religious beliefs, particularly with regard to homosexual unions and adoptions by homosexual partners, are insiders, favored members of the political community." Yesterday's reports further on the lawsuit.

UPDATE: Here is the full text of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors resolution. [Thanks to Volokh Conspiracy.]