By Tim Waggoner

Raleigh, NC, July 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, who recently founded Catholic Voice NC, an organization created to give the state’s Catholics a greater voice in the political process, have invoked North Carolinians to support the Senate version of a "bullying bill" - but not the House version.

In a letter posted on the Catholic Voice website, the bishops affirmed that they support the Senate version of the School Violence Protection Act, because it "protects all children under the law without raising any group to a special status."

The House version of the bill, however, would give "special enumerations in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, in effect giving this group the same legally protected status as race, religion, natural origin, etc."

Bishop Jugis and Bishop Burbidge’s stance on the matter corresponds with the teachings of the Catholic Church, evident from a 1992 document dealing with proposals on the matter of non-discrimination of homosexuals.

The document observes that such legislation leads naturally to the promotion of homosexuality.

"‘Sexual orientation’ does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination," reads the document. "Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. "Letter," No. 3) and evokes moral concern.

"Including ‘homosexual orientation’ among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homosexuality (cf. No. 10) which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims.

"The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person’s homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights."

Some critics of the House version of the bill are saying it has nothing to do with the protection of children, but is being used to further the agenda of homosexual activists.

Dr. Jameson Taylor of The Civitas Institute in Raleigh wrote an article on the matter titled "Let’s Stop Pretending," which was published in the Carrboro Citizen.

"The primary aim of the bullying bill is not to prevent bullying, but to add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes recognized by North Carolina," Dr. Taylor said.  "I am more than willing to have a debate about whether sexual orientation should be a protected class. But let’s stop pretending this legislation has anything to do with ‘protecting children.’"

The bishops are urging North Carolinians to contact their senators to express their support of the Senate version of the bill, which could be voted on anytime this week.

  To see the full 1992 Church document dealing with proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexuals:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfhomol.htm