Thursday, June 11, 2009

Connecticut Claims Diocese Acted As Lobbying Organization

In March of this year, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, rented buses so that people could attend a rally in Hartford. The rally was to protest a bill that would have granted parishioners more power with regards to church finances.

The church, via its web site, also urged its members to contact lawmakers about this bill. The bill was eventually withdrawn.

At the same time, the Diocese urged its members to contact lawmakers regarding a same-sex marriage bill. That bill passed, and was signed into law in April.

According to Connecticut law, if an individual or organization spends more than $2,000 a year lobbying, it must register as a lobbyist.

Bishop William Lori of the Bridgeport Diocese is quoted as saying:
It seems to me that by requiring a diocese or any other entity to register with the state before it can protest an unfriendly action by the state has a chilling affect. I don't think it's in anyone's interest that a protest rally be labeled lobbying.
To read the Fox News story on this issue, click here.

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