US Bishops’ September Marriage Newsletter

September 2017
Love and Responsibility

The MUR blog began a series on Karol Wojtyla’s (St. John Paul II) book Love and Responsibility in August. This book grew out of university lectures that Wojtyla gave as a priest, recognizing the great need young people had to understand the ethical side of love. This mission extended to his papacy, and is the reason that Pope Francis calls St. John Paul II, “The Pope of the Family.”

MUR Video Series

In July and August, the MUR blog ran a series of short videos about various aspects of the implications of marriage redefinition. For example, why is marriage redefinition NOT like interracial marriage? Be sure to check them out if you don’t have a good answer to that question!

FORMED.org

 MUR is happy to announce that all our videos are now available on the FORMED.org platform. If you or your parish has a subscription, be sure to check them out there!

Legal Updates

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

On July 27, 2017, the EEOC found that Sam’s Club (a subsidiary of Walmart) discriminated against a “transgender” employee, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The commission noted that the health plan categorically denied coverage of “transgender treatment/ sex therapy” and that this is “medically necessary care that would have been covered if not for her [sic] transgender status.”

Pennsylvania

On August 1, 2017, the Pine-Richland School District settled the lawsuit that was brought by three “transgender” high school students (Evancho v. Pine-Richland School District). The district agreed to change the policy to one that affirms a student’s “gender identity.” The student may access the opposite sex facilities or single-user restrooms, and “gender identity” will be added to the district’s nondiscrimination policies. The district also paid an undisclosed monetary sum.  A federal judge in Pennsylvania had issued a preliminary injunction in February, granting the transgender students’ motion based on equal protection but not Title IX grounds.

Also in PA, this August, a federal judge denied an injunction in Doe vBoyertown Area School District, ruling in favor of the “transgender” students while the lawsuit moves forward.

Wisconsin

The Dane County Circuit Court announced on August 1, 2017 that, in the case of Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison, the photographer is not subject to the city’s nondiscrimination statutes regarding public accommodations since she does not have a storefront.

Kentucky

On August 9, 2017, a “transgender woman” and “her” husband filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon.com in Kentucky, alleging sex discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit is Lane v. Amazon.com KYDC LLC

Texas

On August 10, 2017, three Houston city employees filed a federal lawsuit over the potential denial of benefits to same-sex “spouses.” This comes after the Texas Supreme Court sent a case back to a lower court with the ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell did not answer the question of whether employers were required to offer spousal benefits to same-sex “spouses.”

Colorado

On August 17, 2017 two women filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against one of their former employers, the Colorado-based Cherry Creek Mortgage. The employer allegedly refused to offer spousal benefits to the employee’s same-sex “spouse” because of their policy to cover only “spouses who are in a legal union between one man and one woman.” Cherry Creek is a “Christian-based” company.

State Legislative Updates

Texas

The second attempt to pass a “bathroom bill” in the Texas legislature failed in August 2017.

Illinois

In August 2017, the governor of Illinois signed into law a bill that makes it easier for “transgender” persons to change the sex on their birth certificates. They no longer need to have undergone surgery but simply show that they are receiving treatment.

Legislation in the 115th Congress

The USCCB supports the First Amendment Defense Act and the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act in Congress.

Take Action Now! by visiting this link and urge your representatives to support and co-sponsor this vital legislation.

 

The U.S. Bishops are encouraging Catholics throughout the country to offer their Friday acts of sacrifice and penance for the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.

 Click here for more information.

Talking Point

Get back to the basics:

What is marriage?

Marriage is the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children (see CCC, no. 1601; CIC, can. 1055.1; GS, no. 48).

Catechesis Corner 

“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2333