New Study: Knights of Columbus Spent $15.8 Million to Deny the Freedom to Marry

10/18/2012

For Immediate Release 

Contact:
Nicole Collins Bronzan
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
nicole@freedomtomarry.org
646-375-2044

 

New York – This morning, Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholic organizations working toward equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, released a report showing that the Knights of Columbus has spent more than $15.8 million fighting against marriage for committed same-sex couples since 2005.

That funding includes $1.9 million to the so-called National Organization for Marriage, which uses divisive tactics and deceptive messages to intimidate lawmakers and frighten voters, including a strategy to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”

“At a time when bishops are shutting down hospitals, homeless shelters, and even parish churches, it’s hard to understand how an organization that says it’s dedicated to ‘charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism’ couldn’t think of a better use for $15.8 million than to deny the freedom to marry for so many Americans," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. "This spending not only violates the golden rule, but is out of step with the point of view of the solid majority of American Catholics who like most Americans support the freedom to marry."

Fifty-nine percent of American Catholics support the freedom to marry, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll and a Public Religion Research Institute, both released in March.

The funds that the Knights of Columbus has chosen to divert into attacks on the freedom to marry could have purchased 105,333 wheelchairs for its Global Wheelchair Mission, 972,307 coats for its Coats for Kids program, or 5,873,606 meals through its Food for Families program.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.