NewsWed Mar 1, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Massachusetts Gov. Romney Changes Position, Supports Bishops Opposed to Gay Adoptions
By Gudrun Schultz
BOSTON, Massachusetts, March 1, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) –Governor Mitt Romney has said he will consider the request of the Massachusetts bishops that Catholic adoption agencies should be exempted from placing children with gay couples, in an unexpected shift from earlier statements,
“We respect and honor the free practice of religion, and we look forward to meeting with representatives from the Catholic Church to discuss this issue,” Mr. Romney said through a spokesman yesterday.
Earlier, Gov. Romney had said he did not have authority in the matter, and the decision would have to be undertaken by state legislators.
Massachusetts’ law prevents any adoption agency from “discriminating” against gay couples seeking to adopt, including Catholic agencies. The bishops have asked that Catholic agencies be granted an exemption from the law on the grounds of religious freedom, since the Catholic Church teaches that gay adoptions are “gravely immoral.”
“Because of the Church’s teaching, Catholic agencies may not provide adoptions to same-sex couples,” the bishops said in a statement released yesterday. “Hence we intend to seek relief from the regulatory requirements of the Commonwealth on this issue. We do this in the hope that we will be able to continue focusing our attention on serving children in need of adoption.”
The bishops said the issue is “a serious problem in which our religious freedom is challenged.”
Gov. Romney has been inconsistent in his stand on traditional marriage and family values, allowing legal considerations to outweigh moral objections. He opposed same-sex unions in 2003, but ordered state officials to perform same-sex services regardless of their personal convictions.
In the fall of 2005 he defended the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to dispense the “morning-after” pill, but in December he changed his mind and said the hospitals would be required to follow state law and provide abortifacient birth control on demand, despite moral dissent.
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Boston Archdiocese Includes Gay “Couples” in Catholic Charities Adoptions
Romney Does Flip-Flop and Forces Catholic Hospitals to Distribute Morning-After-Pill