CV NEWS FEED // A New York City Council Member urged the city to consider cutting off funding for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn because it is “anti-gay.”
“Anti-gay discrimination is real and tremendously hurtful especially when it is done by the bishop of the church of which you are a faithful member,” wrote Council Member Daniel Dromm, who chairs the city’s Committee on Finance, in a letter to his colleagues.
In the letter, Dromm drew attention to Matthew LaBanca, a former teacher at St. Joseph Catholic Academy and music director at Corpus Christi Parish whom the Diocese of Brooklyn let go after he openly “married” a man.
“Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn and Queens fired this remarkable teacher and music director simply because he chose to marry the love of his life,” Dromm wrote:
If you are as disgusted as I am, I urge you not to attend the bishop’s events and I urge the Council to consider whether we want to contribute to this discrimination by continuing to fund Catholic Charities of Brooklyn.
“When will the hatred end?” Dromm concluded.
Dromm’s suggestion of cutting off the funding of Catholic Charities over the Diocese’s adherence to Catholic teachings on marriage and sexuality is reminiscent of a 2018 decision by the City of Philadelphia to stop partnering with Catholic Social Services until the charitable organization would submit to placing orphaned children with same-sex couples.
In June 2021, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the City of Philadelphia, reinstating the city’s Catholic Social Services to full functionality and funding.
In particular, the high court stated that Philadelphia had violated the First Amendment: “Government fails to act neutrally when it proceeds in a manner intolerant of religious beliefs or restricts practices because of their religious nature.”
While LGBT activists have been pressuring the Diocese of Brooklyn over LeBanca, some court-watchers believe that their complaints are similarly lacking in legal merit.
As CatholicVote reported in August, when a similar scenario arose in Indiana, a federal court ruled “that the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Roncalli High School were within their rights to discontinue the employment contract of a guidance counselor at the Catholic school after she ‘married’ another woman.”