WASHINGTON — An online petition asking the White House to designate the Catholic Church as a “hate group” for its views on marriage is drawing criticism for generating unjust animosity.
The petition reveals an “underlying agenda,” which is not simply to prevent violent crimes, but to “stigmatize any disapproval of homosexuality at all and essentially to silence us,” said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington.
He explained to Catholic News Agency on Jan. 3 that applying the “hate group” label to organizations that are morally opposed to redefining marriage is simply “name-calling designed to cut us out of the public debate.”
Initiated on Christmas Day, a petition on the White House website had collected 1,640 signatures by Jan. 3.
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