Catholic Church Defunds Portland Homeless Charity Over Marriage Support

Another homeless charity is suffering the wrath of the Catholic Church for having the audacity to support equal rights for gays. This time it’s in Portland, Maine.

A social service agency’s support for same-sex marriage has cost it local and national funding from the Catholic Church’s anti-poverty program. Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year. Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine’s “No on 1” campaign last fall. No on 1 opposed a ballot proposal to overturn the new state law legalizing gay marriage. Voters approved Question 1 on Nov. 3. Homeless Voices for Justice, a statewide advocacy group, is led by people who have been homeless. It works on issues that affect the homeless, such as supporting affordable housing and preventing violence against the homeless. Portland-based Preble Street, which runs a dozen programs to provide housing and other services for the poor and the homeless, provides staff support for Homeless Voices for Justice.

The cut was ordered by Bishop Richard Malone, whom you may remember for his infamous “second collection” of Mass offerings which were donated to the successful effort to repeal marriage equality in Maine.