At least six Catholic parishes in Washington state have ignored the Seattle Archbishop’s call to gather signatures for a referendum repealing the state’s recently-enacted marriage equality law, calling the effort “hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.” “Seattle’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church gave the Rev. Tim Clark a standing ovation Sunday” when he announced that the parish would not be participating in the anti-equality effort:
“I am happy to report that Our Lady of the Lake parish-oners have been overwhelmingly and, thus far, unanimously supportive of the decision I made NOT to gather signatures in support of this Referendum,” Clark wrote in response to an e-mail.
“The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish. I only wished the archbishop could have experienced the sustained applause — the ‘sensus fidelium’ — of the people. He needs to listen to this ‘voice.’ That is my prayer.”
The other parishes to opt out of the signature drive include: St. James Cathedral, St. Joseph Church, St. Mary’s Church, St. Patrick Church and Christ Our Hope Catholic Church.
Opinion polls have consistently shown that Catholics reject the Church’s opposition to marriage equality, with nearly three-quarters of Catholics favoring “either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.”