WASHINGTON, DC, August 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A consultant for the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, which oversees the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development, has been a public supporter of pro-homosexual legislation that was actively opposed by the country’s bishops, LifeSiteNews has recently learned.
John Sweeney, President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO, and a former five-term President of the trade federation, revealed his pro-homosexual position in a 2001 essay titled, “The Growing Alliance Between Gay and Union Activists.”
Sweeney wrote of his support for a 1983 AFL-CIO resolution condemning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
“At the time, I was president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which had sponsored the resolution. I rose to speak in favor of it,” he wrote. “And I am proud to say that the labor movement has since made many advances in the fight for gay and lesbian rights.”
Under Sweeney’s leadership, the AFL-CIO Executive Council issued a resolution opposing the 2005 Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have defined marriage in the United States as a union between one man and one woman.
A press release issued in March of 2005 by the pro-homosexual group Pride at Work praised the labor organization for their stance, and specifically mentioned Sweeney’s role in getting the resolution passed.
“It happened because of the strong leadership of President John Sweeney in bringing this resolution to the entire Executive Council,” said Pride at Work co-presidents Nancy Wohlforth and Josh Cazares.
USCCB President Bishop Wilton Gregory had supported the Marriage Amendment in a letter to the Senate, calling it an “important measure” that would “protect this vital institution that undergirds the well-being of spouses, children, families, communities, and society itself.”
In June of 2009, while Sweeney was still President, the AFL-CIO released a statement in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which banned workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.
Again, the USCCB opposed the legislation, calling it a legal affirmation of “sexual conduct outside marriage,” and a “threat to religious liberty.”
Despite his outspoken support for positions on homosexual legislation that have been consistently condemned by the USCCB, Sweeney has maintained close ties with the bishop’s conference.
In addition to being listed on the USCCB’s website as a consultant for the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Sweeney co-authored a 2000 statement on U.S. Immigration Policy along with Roger Cardinal Mahoney and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, and worked with the USCCB in creating a 2009 document on health care.
He also co-hosted a reception at a 2001 USCCB meeting, participated in a Round Table discussion at a USCCB sponsored event in 2001 as a Member of the U.S. Catholic Conference Domestic Policy Committee, and received the Harry A. Fagan Roundtable Award at that same event in 2003.
Calls to the USCCB seeking comment were not returned as of press time.