Monday, May 2, 2011

Supreme Court Declines to Hear "Catholic League v. San Francisco"

Today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of Catholic League v. San Francisco, the suit brought by two San Francisco Catholics against the city of San Francisco. The suit was brought in reponse to the Board of Supervisors March, 2006 issuing of Resolution 168-06, which can be read here.

When the Supreme Court refuses to hear a case, they generally don't say why, nor did they in this case. Although the Supremes denied a hearing, the case did inspire powerful arguments, which still stand:

Judge Kleinfeld, among the dissenters in the Ninth Circuit appeal:

"The 'message' in the resolution, unlike, say, the message that might be inferred from some symbolic display, is explicit: a Catholic doctrine duly communicated by the part of the Catholic church in charge of clarifying doctrine is 'hateful,' 'defamatory,' 'insulting,' 'callous,' and 'discriminatory,' 'showing 'insensitivity and ignorance,' the Catholic Church is a hateful foreign meddler in San Francisco’s affairs, the Catholic Church ought to 'withdraw' its religious directive, and the local archbishop should defy his superior’s directive. This is indeed a 'message of . . . disapproval.' And that is all it takes for it to be unconstitutional.”

Professor Jonathon Turley, who objected to the resolution even though he personally agreed with the city's position:

"The resolution has the Board directly calling on Catholic leaders to defy the Cardinal and directly objects to the Vatican policy. That would seem to take an 'official position on religious doctrine.' I would be less concerned if the resolution solely addressed the Cardinals statement as hateful rhetoric as opposed to an official rejection of the religious based policy....

There is a good-faith debate as to whether such anti-discrimination laws violate the religion clauses. I would not criticize leaders participating in such a debate. However, the resolution in this case calls for defiance of the Cardinal and the removal of the policy."

Good Jesuit Fr. James Schall, of Georgetown, who gets right down to the nub:

"Children need a parent of each sex, whether they be 'in need' or not. Compassion does not trump principle. The Board obscures what human life and nature are about. It does this by the suasive power of civil resolution. In the end, it is not the Board that is protecting the needs and nature of real children, but the hapless Vatican.

In San Francisco, such a voice perhaps cries in the wilderness, but it cries the truth about children and their needs. It puts children first, not the self-interest of single-sex advocates. To refuse to deprive children of what they most need, a mother and a father, is this really so difficult to understand? Is it really 'hateful?' 'ignorant?' 'discriminatory?' 'insulting?' or 'callous?' to use the Board's own words, for anyone to strive to give all children what they most need, a mother and a father?"


We have always considered this case important for the light it sheds on the infiltration of the Archdiocese of San Francisco by homosexualist activists, and the results of that infiltration. Here's the origin of "Catholic League v. San Francisco":

• Between 2001-2005 Catholic Charities of San Francisco facilitates adoptions into same-sex households.

• March 13, 2006: Those actions compelled the Vatican, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to reiterate its 2003 statement, and instruct Catholic adoption agencies to stop placing children in same-sex households. On March 13, 2006, Cardinal William Levada wrote “The reasons given in the (2003) document, as well as the potential scandal for the faithful should an archdiocesan agency act contrary to the clear teaching of the church's magisterium, require that a Catholic bishop follow this clear guidance from the Holy See in his oversight of Catholic diocesan agencies."

• March 21, 2006: The Cardinal’s response to the actions of Catholic Charities results in the Board of Supervisors issuance of Resolution 168-06.

• April 4, 2006: in response to the March 21 resolution, the two San Francisco Catholics bring the suit against the city of San Francisco.

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