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US Gov Romney offers temporary reprieve to Catholic Charities


Angela D’Amboise | April 19, 2006

Gov Mitt Romney
BOSTON, Massachusetts — Gov. Mitt Romney has said his administration will hold off on penalizing Catholic adoption agencies for refusing to consider gays and lesbians as adoptive parents, though doing so is considered in violation of state anti-discrimination laws.

The state Department of Early Education, which regulates adoption agencies, his temporarily holding off on taking action while Romney finalizes possible legislation that could allow the agencies to refrain from considering gays and lesbians on religious grounds.

"We're going to wait and see how the legislation plays out," Constantia Papanikolaou, the agency's general counsel, told The Boston Globe.

According to the Associated Press, Romney proposed the bill when Catholic Charities of Boston announced last month it was ending its adoption services because it could not reconcile state law with church teachings.

A spokesman for Catholic Charities said the church considers gay adoption "immoral.”

Gary Buseck, legal director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston, said his group has not publicly protested because the state will have a new governor next year.

Romney is not seeking another term, according to the Associated Press, and all of the candidates for governor oppose an exemption for Catholic groups from anti-discrimination laws.

The adoption services branch of Catholic Charities of Boston stopped running in March. Since then, several other Catholic social service agencies have said they won't accept gay applicants.

Catherine Loeffler, executive director of Catholic Charities of Worcester, said her agency is not harming gays or lesbians because it simply refers these applicants to other agencies. – Issued by Gay Link Content


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