It's a civil rights issue, bigot.

Listening to NPR today there was a great story about the DC decision to allow gay unions. Speaking with some of those seeking licenses, the NPR reporter brought to light the Catholic Church's response.

The representative for the Catholic Church said, "The D.C. government redefined marriage, and so Catholic Charities was forced to choose between keeping its contracts with the city and abandoning its belief about the holiness and purpose of marriage, in which a man and woman unite to have children."

Apparently "Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C., stopped handling adoptions so that it would not have to place children in the homes of gay couples. And as of Tuesday, it stopped providing spousal benefits for all employees, lest the organization give benefits to a gay spouse."

When my Dad was attending GA Tech in the early 1960s, he was invited to attend First Baptist Church of Atlanta by a classmate. Being away from home, he thought it would be a good thing to do. When they arrived, they were greeted by big, burly white guys lining the entrance to the church. The guards were there to assure the "right people", that is, the white people, only came in. Across the street a small group of blacks and other civil rights proponents were demonstrating for access to the whites-only churches. Seeing this, my Dad turned and left. His thought was that these church goers were more concerned about paving parking lots than paving a new route to include all people.

The gay rights issue is getting the same response as the civil rights movement. Claiming a moral high road from the pulpit, the anti-gay bigots preach the same separation and condemnation the racists claimed regarding black civil rights. Now the irony lies with the fact that blacks have some of the most bigoted ideas against gays with their "reasoning" steeped in religion.

Until the late 1980s, schools such as Athens Christian School- a school began in response to white flight,in fact, while claiming religious separation- was preaching from its pulpit separation of the races based on the Tower of Babel myth. No surprise since ACS is linked so closely to Bob Jones University, a school famously denied federal tuition eligibility (through 2000) based on its no interracial dating policy.

The response of the Catholic Church in the DC decision, while not surprising, is appalling none the less. It reminds me of playground antics: It's my ball, and if we don't play my way, I'm taking my ball and going home.

Once again, using religion as an excuse for backwards thinking along with fear and hate mongering, civil rights are being opposed; this time it's the gay community.