Church vs. State … Again

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A bill connected to same-sex marriage drew criticism during Sunday services at Catholic Churches in Connecticut.

Letters were sent home to parishioners during weekend services in the Archdiocese of Hartford.  The letters from Archbishop Henry J. Mansell call on Catholics to denounce Bill 899 in the Connecticut Senate.

Opponents say the bill will bring homosexuality into the classroom and will require companies to meet quotas for hiring homosexuals.  They also argue it would force Catholics to preside over gay marriage ceremonies, host same-sex wedding receptions in their halls, and force Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples.

"The state of Connecticut could try to coerce religious groups by giving grants, contract and licenses only to organizations that reorganize and support same-sex marriage," Archbishop Mansell said in the letter to parishioners.

The opposition from the Catholic Church follows attacks of the bill by the Family Institute of Connecticut, a group that has launched radio and newspaper ads against Bill 899.

Supporters of the bill have voiced frustration over the opposition.

"They have sunk to a new low with scare tactics," said Anne Stan back, executive director of Love Makes a Family.

The Archbishop pointed to the success of the Catholic Church's fight against Senate Bill 1098, a measure to oversee the finances of Catholic Churches.  Lawmakers to table that bill in March after protests from Catholics.

The weekend letter from the Archbishop urged parishioners to call lawmakers to tell them to vote against the bill.

The bill could be up for a vote in the state senate as early as Tuesday. 

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