The amazing Zack Ford over at ThinkProgress has just reported that George Lucas, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska, is leading the charge to repeal the city’s sexual orientation nondiscrimination ordinance, which was passed in March.
An anti-LGBT conservative group called the Heritage Coalition is working to beat back the protections, which Ford notes they were able to do successfully last month in Lincoln.
Archbishop Lucas sent a letter to every parish priest in his diocese, explaining that the Heritage Coalition needs to collect 12,000 signatures in order to force a referendum on the ordinance in spring 2013, and that they should feel free to devote parish time and resources to the Coalition’s signature-gathering effort, should they so choose. A local conservative blog posted the text of Lucas’s letter, which I’ve reproduced in full below (emphases mine):
You will soon learn from the local media about an effort that is underway to repeal the City of Omaha’s sexual orientation anti-discrimination ordinance. The sponsor of this initiative – the Heritage Coalition – must collect 12,000 signatures from October to November to place the ordinance on the spring (2013) mayoral ballot. The sponsor believes that if given the opportunity, Omahans will vote to repeal this ordinance.
Representatives of the Heritage Coalition may try to solicit your support. As pastor of your parish, you are free to exercise your discretion in determining if and how you want to involve yourself or your parishioners in this effort which addresses an important moral issue. Examples of your involvement may include speaking about the issue in your parish, giving petitioners access to your parish events, scheduling information nights at your parish to discuss the issue, providing informational handouts to your parishioners, etc. If you and your parishioners choose to participate in this petition drive, I ask that there be no undue disruption of parish liturgies, nor distraction from the important moral issues at stake in national and state elections this fall.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop George Lucas
What Lucas is doing here is essentially giving his blessing to a ballot initiative that seeks to re-enable anti-gay discrimination in employment and public accommodations in the city of Omaha. What could his motivation possibly be other than pure, unadulterated anti-LGBT animus?