Five key Catholic bishops are opposing the newly authorized Violence Against Women Act for fear it will subvert traditional views of marriage and gender, and compromise the religious freedom of groups that aid victims of human trafficking. Photo courtesy

Catholic bishops oppose Violence Against Women Act over lesbian provisions

(RNS) Five key Catholic bishops are opposing the newly authorized Violence Against Women Act for fear it will subvert traditional views of marriage and gender, and compromise the religious freedom of groups that aid victims of human trafficking.

The act, which was signed into law by President Obama on Thursday (March 7), is intended to protect women from domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, and allows the federal government to spend money to treat victims and prosecute offenders.

Five key Catholic bishops are opposing the newly authorized Violence Against Women Act for fear it will subvert traditional views of marriage and gender, and compromise the religious freedom of groups that aid victims of human trafficking.  Photo courtesy

Five key Catholic bishops are opposing the newly authorized Violence Against Women Act for fear it will subvert traditional views of marriage and gender, and compromise the religious freedom of groups that aid victims of human trafficking. Photo courtesy

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

But for the first time since the original act became law in 1994, it spells out that no person may be excluded from the law's protections because of  “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” -- specifically covering lesbian, transgender and bisexual women.

That language disturbs several bishops who head key committees within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that deal with, among other issues, marriage, the laity, youth and religious liberty.

“These two classifications are unnecessary to establish the just protections due to all persons. They undermine the meaning and importance of sexual difference,” the bishops said in a statement released by the USCCB on Wednesday.

“They are unjustly exploited for purposes of marriage redefinition, and marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman with each other and with any children born from their union,” the statement continued.

The bishops also take issue with the lack of “conscience protection” for faith-based groups that help victims of human trafficking, an addition they sought after the Obama administration decided in 2011 to discontinue funding for a Catholic group that works with trafficking victims, many of whom were forced to work as prostitutes.

The administration instead funded other groups that, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, could provide a full range of women’s health services, including referrals for contraception or abortion, both of which the Catholic Church opposes.

“Conscience protections are needed in this legislation to ensure that these service providers are not required to violate their bona fide religious beliefs as a condition for serving the needy,” reads the statement of the bishops, who have supported previous versions of the act.

The statement was signed by:

--  Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

-- Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

-- Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

-- Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

-- Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Migration

The bill passed the Senate 78 to 22 on Feb. 12, and the House passed it on Feb. 28 on a vote of 286 to 138, with no Democrats in opposition. Some Republicans objected to the bill for reasons similar to the bishops'.



  1. I used to be a catholic until they ignored US military rapes and violence against women in general. But I should thank them because now I’m an atheist and it all makes sense. Especially when I see they oppose something that is supposed to help people.
    Realize this Bill is a joke to begin with and is in name only, but why come out and oppose it because of a group. They don’t have to worry the US never enforces it.


  2. Unfortunately, if you were Catholic because you thought the bishops were God I should say I am sorry for you. Now you are atheist because you believe nobody is God, that is good. What’s left for you to do now is to discover the creator and upholder of the entire universe and to live in communion with him in the light of his Son in union with the Holy Spirit under the guidance of his Church headed by bishops.

  3. Sadly, the bishops think they’re being prophetic but they’re only being reactionary.

  4. Violence against women is violence against women. Sign on this is beyond the pale for God sake. This will not do the Catholic heirarchy any good I am sure.I am a Catholic woman, not a lesbian, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and this is a shame. I think it might be a sin. Institutional sin is still sin. What now, if a person is a lesbian she can’t be protected. These fellas are casting the stones oh for God sake. Thank God their opiniion and efforts can be ignored by the STATE. Pax et Bonum.

  5. First they go after the nuns, now they oppose a bill to protect women from violence. And they wonder why people are leaving the church!

  6. Dear sister, this statement by the USCCB pains me. I, too, think “these fellas are casting stones.” They have ceased being caring pastors, abandoning their flocks to tend their cathedrae.
    Paz y Bien, Rolando, OFS.

  7. And the Cathiolic hierarchy–and many Catholic lay “People of God”–wonder why so many others are leaving the church? Religion is presumed to be about being good, nice, decent, fair–as in “faith, hope, charity” and honesty, and here we are in this 21st century, supported with all the knowledge the human race has accumulated during its evolutionary history, and the chaste, celibate royalty of the Catholc hierarchy dares to oppose respectful, decent, equal treatment of women.

    Hey, “People of God,” these are your leaders. These are the master-minds of the cover-up of their own and your priests sexual abuse of your children. These are a bunch of “queers” just like lesbians. Very few of them have children of their own. You don’t make babies having same-sex. And if they do, they keep that covered also, like the holy Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legion of Christ.

    Maciel became a very close friend of John Paul II after heaping piles of money into the Vatican in order to win “respect.” Maciel got that money by deceiving wealthy widows and anyone else who had big bucks. He also claimed, “The Holy Father has given me an exemption to have sex with young guys because I have stomach problems.” Very unusual medicine. You’d have to be a genuine pedophile to come up with that one. Or an ephebophile who preferred teen-agers like young seminarians..

    These are the guys who readily yank all the bucks you dump into the collection baskets and pay it out to sleazy accountants and lawyers who help them hide the sins and crimes of their sex abuse and its cover-up. Guess who’s paying for all the fancy regalia they wear and the fancy appointments they use in royal ceremonies that always place them front and center while you fill the halls like a paying audience. You don’t pay at the door very often anymore, you pay half-way through when they have the baskets passed.

    This is religion? This is love? This is justice? This is honesty? This has anything at all to do with Jesus of the Gospels? Where’s the hope?

  8. You “think” it might be a sin? An institutional sin?


  9. In 1994 then Senator Biden contacted the National Organization for Women (NOW) to help him write, pass and implement the Violence Against Women Act. NOW immediately formed the Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women. One of the first groups recruited by that Task Force was the NCADV. The NCADV was formed in the late 1970’s to advocate for the activist gay and lesbian communities. The NCADV now guides the primary VAWA grantees overseeing your Coalition Against Domestic Violence (VAWA) shelters for battered women and children in your state. Just add you state initials before CADV and you have evidence of the gay and lesbian influence in VAWA from its very inception. The two domestic violence surveys quoted by VAWA year after year (NCVS and NVAW) have always included gay and lesbian “intimate partners” in their statistics. This unconstitutional law, built on the premis that all men are batterers and all women are victims, has been promoting the distruction of the family for almost two decades. The only difference now is that the VAWA has come out of the closet to show their true colors. Shame on our Bishops for not having eyes to see this evil all along. Millions of families have been unnecessarily destroyed by this abomination over the last 18 years.

  10. A church is godly when it’s headed by a gang of chaste, celibate bishops who spend billions of dollars of the foolish lay people’s money to cover up the sins and crimes of their unchaste, celibate priests? Seems to me such bishops are only committing more sins and crimes–and the Holy Spirit can in no way be placed in the middle of that, much less “guiding” it.

  11. “Reactionary” is hardly the right adjective. The bishops are still at their game of cover-up of all matters sexual. The bishop leaders of gangs of “queer” priests–many of whom are “queer”–themselves are only involving themselves in contraception, lesbians, or anything else sexual to try to distract attention from their concerted, but failed, effort to hide the sex crimes of themselves and their priests.

  12. So what’s wrong with anyone, “queer” or straight, participating in action to put a stop to violence against anyone, “queer” or straight?

    Stopping all violence seems downright “Christian” to me.

    Or are you suggesting that Jesus would support violence against certain groups, based on his ignorance and prejudice?

    See what institutional thinking and obeisance does? Both the messenger and the message are lost!

  13. Well, verbummilitant is certainly militant and sees agendas everywhere all out to undermine the authority of the “Church” and raise lesbians to the level of human beings. How enlightened. What these bishops, arch or otherwise, do is irrelevant. They have no moral credibility left and certainly no one is looking to them anymore to lead us to more just and moral positions. They only know how to react. They’re finished. Their hypocrisy is their most salient feature.

  14. I applaud the bishops for speaking Truth to Power.

  15. How could those California Cardinals be so out of touch – with society, yes, but also with the teachings of Jesus . “Love one another as I have loved you” and many other sayings of Christ make it clear that discrimination is against His teachings. That the Cardinals are defending Catholic teaching above Christ’s teachings is reprehensible – and just to preserve archaic and even political views is disgusting. In this time, how can they still protect issues that harm women or discriminate against women? The Pre Vatican II mentality will only cause the church to lose ground. Probably that’s what they want, so that only the “truly faithful” will be called Catholic. A smaller church that will be completely under the thumb of these out of touch old men.

  16. “Bishops” is a misspelling. The correct spelling is B-I-G-O-T-S.

  17. HOW DARE THEY! Bishops, tend to your own corrupt houses and leave the rest of us alone!

  18. Prophetic rhymes with pathetic. Easily confused.

  19. Bishops are shepherds and we can all have different opinions. Protecting women is at the fore front of church teaching. I disagree with your statement.

  20. Our sexuality is a spectrum. Their bigotry has become blindness, their blindness and arrogance has become their inhumanity, and their inhumanity is the total antithesis of the teachings of Jesus.

  21. Well, gilhcan, we can work on against violence without undermining social order. Undermining social order ultimately result in violence.

  22. Judy, Jesus was killed because… he opposed corruption, he did not discriminate but he did not encourage licentiousness. That is his ‘love’ that we should share with our neighbour just as he shared with us. Catholic teaching is Christ’s teaching, that’s the very reason the Church exists.

  23. You are basing your appreciation of truth on the failures of human like yourself. Look for the good and you may just discover what you’ve been missing.

  24. John 8:11c “Go, and now do not choose to sin anymore.” And what was the teaching of Jesus again?

  25. Poor sister who appear to be ignorant even more than the lay. There is nothing wrong with protecting women from violence but at the same time you do not do that at the promotion of another evil which, believe it or not, might very well result in greater consequence for humanity at large. I sometimes wonder if some of these sisters joined their orders to grow in truth or to serve themselves.

  26. Have you ever wondered why people are joining the Church?

  27. It means that because one does not believe that other humans are God doesn’t mean that there is no God.

  28. MISANDRY – the Separatist / Exterminationist Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity and Normal Heterosexuality (the ‘Y-DNA BioManPigOppressor) is The Tenure Track in the pathetic farce of Academentia.

    The focus pretends to be about pandering to those with GID (gender ID disorder) but is actually an Orwellian ‘Doublethink’ pogrom designed to Force All Citizens to Lie about their own Immutable Inherited Genetic Gender Identity.

    Author Theodore Dalrymple (pen name of Dr. Anthony Daniels) wrote about this scam in his book “Anything Goes” – in a essay titled ‘Freedom & Its Discontents’. The following is an abridged version:

    Freedom & Its Discontents: Starts out with Vienna story about a 12-year-old boy who has ‘sex change’ (Tim 2 Kim) – Dalrymple sees future lawsuits over competence of boy 12 to decide.
    Asked to appear on BBC about story he finds ‘good reason’ not to – then questions the “Almost physical relief” He Analyzed and said “The answer was neither flattering to me, nor reassuring about the state of our freedom.”

    “IF I had spoken my mind, without let or hindrance, I should have said what I suspect a large majority of people think: that there is something Grotesque, and even repugnant, about the idea of sex-changes, let alone sex-changes for 12 year olds.

    A feeling of repugnance is not a complete moral argument, of course, something deeper is required. Nevertheless, an intuition that an action of policy is profoundly wrong is the beginning, if not the end, of moral reflection.”

    “However, the fact is that a certain fear or lack of courage (Pusillanimity) entered in to my relief that I was not to broadcast on this subject.
    If I had done the broadcast, I would have had to sit opposite an advocate of trans-sexualism in the studio, and to be true to myself fan my opinions I would have had to tell him / her, in front of an audience of many thousands if not millions, that I though what he/she had done was fundamentally egotistical and antisocial.”

    “… But I was aware that trans-sexuals now form a considerable lobby group, not because of their numbers, which is inconsiderable, but because of support from that part of the intelligentsia that sees the dissolution of boundaries if not as God’s work exactly, then as the work of the morally elect. They have been fighting boundaries for years.”

    “Yet lobby groups have a way of exacting a price for the expression of views very different from their own. They are able to portray that persona that opposed them as unreasonable and bigoted, as some kind of pea brained andeluvian. And the fact is that they are probably prepared to put more effort into doing this than the person who opposes them is prepared to put in to defending his opinion…

    Because he is not a monomaniac or one issue person, unlike at leas some of his opponents… I don’t care very much about trans-sexualism, and so I didn’t want to risk even a small amount of public opprobrium from right thinking people on the subject”

    Thus we see how Social Change, of a kind opposed by the majority of the population, can come about: no one can be Found to oppose it strongly, because the individual change doesn’t matter that much, except to the beneficiaries, and the price of opposing it is made too high. Precedents are set, and once set, followed: there is no going back, Omelets never can become eggs again, the genie never returns to the bottle…
    All that is needed for untruth to become orthodoxy is for men to be afraid to utter what they think is the Truth.”

    Lurch toward transgenderism pushed by Obama

  29. You’ve no proof, nor will you be able to produce any, that the “gang” of bishops leading our Church are covering up anything (out of the 5,104 bishops in the world, the percentage of those accused in cover-ups in miniscules, as is the percentage of priests who are predators when compared to the 412,236 priests total). And while I would not presume to speak for the Holy Spirit, it’s certainly fascinating that you do. One assumes He doesn’t mind you taking a pass on actual research?

  30. Cowardly Lion RINO$:


    A veteran in the conservative movement for nearly five decades says Republicans voted for the Violence Against Women Act this week because they are cowards who are afraid of radical feminists and that fear overcame any concerns they may have had about the content of the bill.

    “We call it feminist pork, this bill was dreamed up by radical feminists to promote their agenda,” said Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum and the main force behind stopping the Equal Rights Amendment. “The Republicans voted for this horrible bill for one basic reason. They are afraid of the feminist lobby and would rather vote for it than stand up for principles.”

    The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act sounds noble enough based on the title of the bill. However an actual reading of the bill reveals its truth.

    For instance, the bill calls upon states to legalize child prostitution under the guise of protecting children.

    “The Republicans are afraid to fight the feminists and so they roll over and give them what they want. It doesn’t matter what the bill actually says, they are afraid of being accused of fighting a war on women and so they refuse to stand up for what is right,” she said.

    She said fear of the feminists spreads beyond the Republicans in Congress.

  31. MISANDRY (Separatist / Exterminationist Hatred of the
    ‘Y-DNA BioManPigOppressor’ certainly pays well – particularly if you let you Hate 4 Men dictate the outcome of the study.
    Jail For UC Davis Embezzler
    By K. LLOYD BILLINGSLEY CalWatch 6/6/11

    Former UC Davis official Jennifer Beeman was sentenced on Thursday to 180 days in jail and five years probation

    Pled no contest to two felony counts of embezzlement and falsifying accounts.
    Neither charge involved her falsification of campus sexual assault statistics

    Beeman “significantly over-reported the number of forcible sex offenses” For 16 years Beeman headed the UC Davis Campus Violence Prevention Program (CVPP)

    UC Davis officials would not tell CalWatchdog whether the university had disciplined or censured Beeman over the falsified statistics. She remained in her job

    Former CASA Director Pleads Guilty to Four Felony Charges, Receives Three Years

    Written by David Greenwald – Thursday, 28 April 2011
    Claudean Medlock on Wednesday pled guilty to four felony counts, for embezzling over 40,000 from the Yolo County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). She was sentenced by Judge Timothy Fall to three years and eight months in prison.

  32. Cordileone – isn’t he that wonderful role model of a bishop who was arrested for drunk driving in San Diego?

  33. What do you know about anything? Spout your nonsense on some street corner wearing a sandwich board…

  34. Joseph, who are you or the bishops to judge what is sinful? As far as the seminaries, rectories, and convents go, darn right the are hotbeds of gay and lesbian activity. I had one Catholic priest confess to me over dinner that he and the other priests at his church used the money collected from the “flock” to buy rent boys on Polk Street in San Francisco. Keep contributing to this if you like, but don’t act all high and mighty and judgmental.

  35. Schafley, a real blast from the past. If only she would be taken up in the rapture…

  36. Only those who are brain dead or sexually repressed would join the church today.

  37. So, what’s the logic. If someone does something wrong that means he doesn’t know what is right. Or that someone does wrong that mean every other person is free to go haywire. There is right and there is wrong and whether the clergy live right doesn’t mean the Church follows likewise. Why didn’t the priest tell his congregation during his homilies what he and his colleagues were doing?

  38. Personally, I’ve always known sexual libertarians to be brain dead.

  39. Personally, I’ve always known sexual libertarians to be brain dead.

  40. Anyone, under the banner of religion or other, who opposes laws to protect women or any human being is acting from a mind of fear and ignorance.

  41. i think this is the most unfair law ever written for women great for men your [expletive deleted] i wish a woman could be put in a innocent mans place and they would jump all over it to change this law

Leave a Comment