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Archdiocese: We'll Pull Service Programs If Same-Sex Marriage Law Isn't Changed

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By Natalie Neumann

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is threatening to pull some social service programs it runs for the District if the proposed same-sex marriage law is not changed.

The bill does not require religious organizations to perform same-sex weddings or make space available for them, but does say they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Opponents told the Washington Post the religious liberty exemption is too narrow.

The archdiocese says among other things, it would have to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, and it says that would leave it no choice but to abandon the city contracts.

That could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

The D.C. Council is expected to debate and vote on the bill next month.

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