Major Catholic Organizations File Suit Over Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

The Catholic Church has fired a legal shot across the bow of the Affordable Care Act.

A group including some of the largest Catholic Diocese, Universities, and organizations in the country has filed a series of lawsuits contesting the Constitutionality of the Administration’s mandate that employer-provided health insurance include coverage for contraceptives:

In an effort to show a unified front in their campaign against the birth control mandate, 43 Roman Catholic dioceses, schools, social service agencies and other institutions filed lawsuits in 12 federal courts on Monday, challenging the Obama administration’s rule that their employees receive coverage for contraception in their health insurance policies.

The nation’s Catholic bishops, unable to reverse the ruling by prevailing on the White House or Congress, have now turned to the courts, as they warned they would. The bishops say the requirement is an unprecedented attack on religious liberty because it compels Catholic employers to provide access to services that are contrary to their religious beliefs. The mandate is part of the Obama administration’s overhaul of the health care system, which the bishops say they otherwise support.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, whose archdiocese in New York is among the plaintiffs, said in a statement, “We have tried negotiations with the administration and legislation with the Congress — and we’ll keep at it — but there’s still no fix.”

The bishops rejected a compromise offered by President Obama in February that would have insurance companies — not the Catholic employers — pay for and administer the coverage for birth control. When some Catholic organizations broke with the bishops and greeted the accommodation positively, the bishops resolved that Catholic institutions must present a united front.

Among those filing suit are the Archdioceses of New York, Washington and St. Louis; the Dioceses of Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Rockville Centre on Long Island and Springfield, Ill.; the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic University of America; and Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic publication. All the plaintiffs are being represented pro bono by the law firm Jones Day.

The defendants are the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services Departments.

The lawsuits are based for the most part on the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 law passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Democratic President largely in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Employment Division v. Smith in which the Court had decided that two Native Americans could be denied unemployment compensation after being fired for drug use, even though the drug in question was peyote and that it had been used in a Native American religious ceremony. Because of its far-reaching implications, the decision ended up uniting groups that were normally on opposite sides of the church-state divide, and support for the RFRA was largely bipartisan. Each lawsuit essentially argues that the mandate improperly gives to the Federal Government the authority to determine which kind of institution is sufficiently religious in order to qualify for an exemption to the mandate, which in and of itself violates the religious liberties of the organizations as provided by both the Constitution and the RFRA.

When this mandate first became an issue in February, I was skeptical of some of the legal arguments being advanced by opponents and by the Catholic Church and its allies, but at it has become evidence that there’s a great deal of merit in the argument being made here. It is similar, for example, to the argument used to strike down an Oregon law requiring pharmacists to dispense the so-called “morning after” pill. In fact, one might argue that the Church’s claims are actually stronger because, in addition to the Free Exercise claim that was advanced in that case, they are also able to take advantage of the RFRA (the Supreme Court has previously ruled that the RFRA does not apply to the states). Indeed, many legal scholars now see the contraceptive mandate as being especially vulnerable to claims under the RFRA:

Legal scholars see the merit in challenging the mandate with RFRA, which then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced in 1993 to protect religious exercise from laws that might unintentionally restrict it.

(…)

[I]t will force the government to prove that federal regulators did not have another way to expand women’s access to birth control that would be less burdensome on religion — an argument experts say conservatives can win.

“I think the odds are pretty good for the plaintiffs here,” Marc DeGirolami, an assistant law professor at St. John’s University, told The Hill.

Because of the law, courts now have to apply certain standards to federal actions that might inadvertently infringe on religious liberty. In one sense, laws under scrutiny must aim to achieve a “compelling” government interest. In another sense, they must be designed in a way that burdens religion as little as possible.

The second claim might be hard for the administration to meet when regulators could have taken many other steps — like expanding Medicaid — to provide better access to birth control, DeGirolami said.

“Even if one concedes that the state has a ‘compelling interest’ in ensuring that all women have free access to contraception,” he said, “there are many, many less restrictive means of achieving that interest.”

In the end, of course, these lawsuits could end up being moot. If the Supreme Court decides at the end of this term that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and that the entire law must be thrown out, then that also throws out the employer mandate under which HHS purports to issue the regulation at issue here.  In fact, it’s likely we’ll get a decision from SCOTUS on that issue before any of the Federal Courts that now have these cases in front of them will be able to rule on the merits of the case. If they do go forward, though, it appears to me that the Church as a strong argument here and that the mandate, as applied to them, could very well be vulnerable.

Here’s one of the complaints filed yesterday (in this case the Notre Dame Complaint):

University of Notre Dame v. HHS et al

FILED UNDER: Health Care, Law and the Courts, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. rudderpedals says:

    Yet another reason why Medicare for all is the only viable solution for the US

  2. John Bartlett says:

    Thanks to the catholic church, the courts are full of lawsuits. It’s high time someone charges them with crimes against humanity for the molestation of thousands of children in many countries around the world. If this had happened in a war, the country responsible would have been held accountable.

  3. Hey Norm says:

    “…The bishops rejected a compromise…”

    Exactly.
    But never let the opportunity to impose your beliefs onto others pass you by.
    Whenever I read any discussion of the Catholic Church and their strongly held views I remind myself that these are the same people who put Galileo under house arrest for suggesting that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Within that context all their strongly held beliefs make perfect sense.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    So, the same Catholic Church that countenanced a major child molestation scandal is now claiming to be principled on the issue of an insurance mandate that allows contraception coverage?

    I wonder if they plan to excommunicate the millions of Catholic women who use, or have used artificial birth control and contraception, contrary to the teachings and ministrations of The Church?

    What a sleazy operation. No wonder so many people I know are lapsed Catholics.

  5. Gromitt Gunn says:

    So, basically, they want to be able to buy up as much of the medical infrastructure as possible of multiple smaller metro areas to create effective monopolies, then turn around and claim that medicine is part of their ministry and any profits are incidental…. and then turn around and claim that they have an absolute right to control the reproductive health of virtually every female health care worker in that same metro area.

    That is some f*#$ed up s*%t. For real.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Actually, one of my friends is working on a paper right now on the anti-trust implications of a lot of these mergers.

    The Catholic hospitals may find they win on one hand but lose on the other.

  7. legion says:

    If they do go forward, though, it appears to me that the Church as a strong argument here and that the mandate, as applied to them, could very well be vulnerable.

    I’m not so sure. It sounds like (or perhaps it’s just that the counter-argument would be that) the churches are basically arguing for a judicial expansion of what a protected religious institution is & who counts as ‘clergy’ within that protection. I don’t think that idea is nearly so cut-and-dried.

    I think an interesting facet to this debate will be brought up if churches continue to make overt political forays as the Presidential campaign wears on… I assume that if a church was to go so far over the line as to risk their tax-exempt status it would also doom their arguments in this case.

  8. Andre Kenji says:

    In Brazil there is free distribution of contraception(pills and condoms) on public health care clinics and I never saw a Priest or any Catholic commentator complaining. Even the most conservative of them.

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Let’s keep in mind that Notre Dame recieves a ton of Government money. If it is a religious organization as opposed to a secular organization…I wonder if they are willing to forego that money in order to maintain the sepration of Church and State.

  10. Scott says:

    I find this whole trend allowing institutions and individuals relief from fulfilling their duties based on their personal beliefs disturbing. For pharmacists to deny certain medicines because it would violate their beliefs is an ethical breach. If they cannot conscientiously fulfilled the duties of their job, then they can change jobs. They are not owed a living in their chosen field.

    Same goes for hospitals. Just because they are owned by religious institutions does not mean they should be able to impose their beliefs on their employees. It is the employee’s benefit not the employers. This belief that the employer should be able to control their employee is just feudalism in a new disguise.

  11. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    I just hope that the Catholic Church doesn’t go all Crusader and rise up against President Obama’s Jihad and stop educating all those children in all those schools at other than taxpayer expense. All those little theological miscreants, at say, $10 thou per year showing up at the local public school, I wonder what rabbit my President would pull out of his hat for that one ???

    As the beneficiary of 13 years of Catholic education, I’ve come to accept that some Americans have mixed feelings (and some of your comment-ers mixed-up feelings) about the Catholic Church, but the Church makes more than its fair share of a contribution to what’s left of the old USofA. The willingness of Catholics to support financially the education of their children while bearing their share of the cost of educating everyone else’s children is nothing more than a “reverse voucher” system in our modern political parlance. The history of the Catholic Church’s parochial school system is one of non-entitlement. Instead of running to the government to extract funds from their fellow taxpayers, Church members put their own hands in their own pockets to address their concerns. How contretemps is that? Why is that allowed to continue?

  12. Tsar Nicholas says:

    There’s also a political elephant in this room, lurking under the legal niceties.

    As that recent fiasco in West Virginia so aptly reminded us, Obama has major, major problems with white working class voters. Ohio and especially Pennsylvania not only are laden with white working class voters they’re replete with older Catholic white working class voters. Wisconsin too.

    It would not be all that surprising to learn after the election via exit polling that Obama might have gifted over the Electoral College and thus the presidency on the basis of this contraceptive coverage mandate. How ironic would that be?

  13. Chad S says:

    Anything directly owned by the Church or directly controlled by them does have a great argument under the law about this rule. The problem is that those have specifically been exempted from the mandate. Any non-owned/controlled entities shouldn’t be able to claim that they’re exempt because of XYZ tenants. If that door is opened, you can expect a mess of lawsuits from companies who say that they should be allowed to smoke pot because they follow rastafarian teachings.

  14. PD Shaw says:

    @legion: There is no judicial expansion. Congress passed a law requiring the executive branch to not burden religious belief. Congress can repeal the law or legislate that the law doesn’t apply to the contraceptive coverage mandate.

    @Chad S: I assume you are not familiar with the various peyote cases in which the courts have ruled that the federal government was required to exempt Indian Tribes from narcotics laws.

  15. Hey Norm says:

    11b40…
    When all those churches start paying taxes on their property on prime real estate in the center of town your argument may have some creedence…until then…not an ounce.

  16. Gromitt Gunn says:

    The money that employers pay as contributions to employees’ insurance premiums is an economic contribution in lieu of salary. By the rationale noted in this article, the Church as employer would also have the right to tell its employees how they can spend their wages.

  17. rudderpedals says:

    @PD Shaw: I believe congress did repeal the offending bits of the older law, implicitly, insofar as the bits conflict with a later expression of Congress via ACA

  18. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @PD Shaw: Are non-Tribe employees of Indian Tribes allowed to smoke peyote while they are working in the pit at the casino? That seems to me to be much more analagous.

  19. Nikki says:

    And exactly how will this help the Republicans gain in the “Female Voter” category? How does this help dispel the perception of a “War on Women”?

  20. Scott says:

    Here’s the other problem:

    Thirty-seven percent of ob-gyns at religiously affiliated hospitals have faced a conflict with their employer about religiously based policies on patient care, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reuters reports. At Catholic hospitals, 52% of ob-gyns have experienced such conflicts, the study found. ( http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily4_&page=NewsArticle&id=33552). Moreover, religious-affiliated hospitals and clinics are the only source of care in many communities, especially rural communities.

  21. Chad S says:

    @PD Shaw: Im very familiar with them. Gromitt makes the point clearer and more simply then I could.

  22. PD Shaw says:

    @rudderpedals: I would have thought implicit override was probable as well, until Obama offered a compromise. That means to me that the ACA is not that specific to create implicit override, and thus Obama would be expected to promulgate regulations that complied with both the ACA and the RFRA. I have not read the ACA myself though.

  23. Carson says:

    What the church in the US needs is a real leader, not the weak, compromising people we have now. Someone like …..King Henry VIII: “Defender of the Faith”, or Luther.

  24. 11B40 says:

    @Hey Norm:

    Greetings, Hey Norm:

    Thank you for your comment. I don’t often meet people who are both so forthright and altruistic in their covetousness. Perhaps you should send off your résumé to President Obama and suggest an applicable position, say, Religious Wealth and Property Redistribution Czar, and that the taxes, as a result of the Interstate Commerce Clause, all be on a federal level. After all, those folks ensconced in the District have a proven record of the care and effectiveness with which they handle what used to be called our commonwealth.

    And don’t let those nay saying “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” types dissuade you from your purpose. After all, and then some, President Obama has clearly established that he, if nothing else, is a true paragon of psuedo-Christian/Muslim/Marxist ethics and not the type to demand, under pain of paining him, complete fidelity or to punish those who worship other gods. That whole “Will no one rid me of this bothersome church” has been done to death and is so, I don’t know, sixteenth century.

  25. Jenos Idanian says:

    I was going to give a spirited defense of religious freedom, but I decided against it. Instead, I’ll join in the attack on the Catholic Church in lieu of actually discussing the merits of their arguments.

    For decades, the American Church has been too involved in the “social justice” movement and allied itself with the Left, letting such people as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and the Kennedys define “Catholicism” in the US. They’ve given full-throated support to the vast majority of the liberal agenda, and sold their souls to the American Left. Now that the Left has turned on them and shown just how little they respect and appreciate them — screw them. They helped build the scaffolding; now let them hang from it.

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    For decades, the American Church has been too involved in the “social justice” movement and allied itself with the Left, letting such people as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and the Kennedys define “Catholicism” in the US.

    I suppose that the Kennedys and Nancy Pelosi are to blame for the fact that Catholic American Women have chosen to ignore the Church teachings and doctrine on the use of artificial birth control and contraception too. We can all agree that Jesus would say that “social justice” is not preferable to adherence to Church teachings on birth control and contraception.

  27. Jenos Idanian says:

    @al-Ameda: Funny, I thought I was joining in with the Catholic-bashing. Are you pushing me to defend the Church? Not gonna happen.

    And ain’t you just the arrogant SOB to presume what Jesus would say on such matters? As a devoted non-Christian, you certainly can’t say for me what I think Jesus would say.

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I said: We can all agree that Jesus would say that “social justice” is not preferable to adherence to Church teachings on birth control and contraception.

    The reality is, Jesus watches the Fox Soccer Channel like I do, and he doesn’t care what the Church teaches with respect to birth control. And how do I know this? Simple, I’m a lapsed Catholic, and I have plenty of time to ponder these mysteries.

  29. Russell says:

    @PD Shaw: But Obama isn’t part of the legislative branch so how can his actions define congretional intent?

  30. Jenos Idanian says:

    @al-Ameda: You put me in mind of a bumper sticker I saw the other day:

    Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you’re an a-hole.

  31. rudderpedals says:

    @PD Shaw: The church needs to come up with a less burdensome way to supply its workers with comprehensive health coverage. RFRA isn’t a free pass for human sacrifice.

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you’re an a-hole.

    Okay Jenos, let’s put it o a vote, let’s see how many people think that I’m the {expletive}?

  33. André Kenji de Sousa says:

    That´s why healthcare in the United States is so expensive. There is a reasonable case to be made that government should be providing birth control to women(At least for poor women), or at least subsidizing it. There is also a reasonable case to be made that the government should be kept out of it and that individuals should be paying for all these costs.

    Forcing employers to pay for healthcare while paying for it using a tax expenditure while you provide a pretty generous coverage to people over 65 is simply insane. That´s a mess. The decision about contraception should not be made by employers.

  34. swbarnes2 says:

    @Scott:

    Here’s the other problem:

    Thirty-seven percent of ob-gyns at religiously affiliated hospitals have faced a conflict with their employer about religiously based policies on patient care,

    On that note:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636458/

    If you are pregnant, and your pregnancy goes wrong, Catholic hospital ethics boards might sit back and let your pregnancy kill you, rather than dirty their hands saving your life. I guess they figure if you are a woman who had sex, you deserve whatever you get.

    Maybe the boys here will pay more attention to this: If your end of life directive doesn’t follow Catholic teaching, Catholic hospitals probably won’t carry it out.

  35. G.A. says:

    If your gonna bash the Catholic church for molestation and/or want them charged with a crime against humanity, I sure hope you are not an abortionist…

  36. G.A. says:

    If you are pregnant, and your pregnancy goes wrong, Catholic hospital ethics boards might sit back and let your pregnancy kill you, rather than dirty their hands saving your life. I guess they figure if you are a woman who had sex, you deserve whatever you get.

    look, a very rare straw man……

  37. Carson says:

    @Jenos Idanian: This is exactly the point that I was making. Strong leadership without apology is what the U.S. church is in need of. What we have now are mainly leaders who are afraid that they will offend someone: don’t rock the boat.
    Churches are now country clubs.

  38. Jenos Idanian says:

    @swbarnes2: If you are pregnant, and your pregnancy goes wrong, Catholic hospital ethics boards might sit back and let your pregnancy kill you, rather than dirty their hands saving your life. I guess they figure if you are a woman who had sex, you deserve whatever you get.

    Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, where the HELL did you get your delusion about what Catholic hospital ethics boards do?

    First up, you don’t have to go to a Catholic hospital. Hell, if ObamaCare goes through, they might shut down their hospitals, so that won’t be a concern. But there’s no law that says you HAVE to go to a Catholic hospital.

    Second, the Church’s commitment is to “life.” They have no problem with abortion when the mother’s life is endangered.

    Third, the Church doesn’t judge people in need. For example, their treatment of AIDS victims. They don’t turn away the Godless sodomites, they care for them. With great compassion. Ever heard “love the sinner, hate the sin?”

    You seem to have this incredibly hateful stereotype about Catholics, and Christians in general. You oughta look into that.

  39. Phillip says:

    @G.A.:

    look, a very rare straw man

    Your “straw man” represents at a minimum 1 out of every 100 pregnancies that becomes ectopic. But then, I presume you don’t mind those odds.

  40. Scott says:

    @11B40: Of course, the history of parochial schools is that they arose in response and opposition to the Protestant curriculum taught in the public schools. Much of that teaching reflected anti-Catholic viewpoints.

  41. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Phillip: You might want to read the full story with regards to the Catholic Church and ectopic pregnancies. It’s not great, but it’s not quite as absolute as you imply.

  42. Scott says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Catholic affiliated hospitals provide about 20% of hospital capacity in this country, In many parts of the country, they are the only hospital. So yes, those people in those communities do not have a choice.

  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Scott: Actually, the numbers are closer to 12% of hospitals and 15% of beds. And we’re all the better for having them.

    The Church has declared that if it’s ordered to perform abortions, it will close down those hospitals and demolish the buildings, so they can’t be used for abortions. I don’t think they’re bluffing.

    When their adoption agencies were ordered to place children with gay parents, they shut down the agencies. I disagree with their position, but I respect their right to hold it.

    They aren’t looking to impose their beliefs on anyone. They’re just saying what they will and will not do, or permit under their authority.

    Here’s a compromise: how about if the Church only hires Catholics, and only accept patients who are Catholic or agree to abide by Catholic doctrine?

  44. WR says:

    @Carson: “Strong leadership without apology is what the U.S. church is in need of. What we have now are mainly leaders who are afraid that they will offend someone: don’t rock the boat.”

    Your current pope is a former Hitler youth who is willing to chase everyone out of the church who refuses to roll back the clock to the 19th century — including just about every nun. And who has steadfastly defended every priest who raped a little boy, because the Holy Church is more important than a few thousand victims.

    He’s not afraid of offending anyone. Least of all Jesus.

    Who do you want as pope? Stalin?

  45. G.A. says:

    Your “straw man” represents at a minimum 1 out of every 100 pregnancies that becomes ectopic. But then, I presume you don’t mind those odds.

    Sure it does….

    I don’t see murdering a baby as a cure, And I sure don’t belive one single stat an abortionist tells me or a liberal ……

    Your current pope is a former Hitler youth who is willing to chase everyone out of the church who refuses to roll back the clock to the 19th century

    WR if you are gonna bring up Nazi youth in a bunch of commenst defending Abortions and poulaition control and how the goverment should be able to force people to provide it you need to paint with a bigger brush and not wash off the splatter….

  46. Hey Norm says:

    GA, who has been proven to have an untethered relation to facts, and has been shown repeatedly to not have the spine required to admit when he/she is wrong, says:

    “…And I sure don’t belive one single stat an abortionist tells me or a liberal…”

    So irony and bad grammar in one thought…if you can call it that.

  47. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hey Norm: GA, who has been proven to have an untethered relation to facts…

    Much like your own “Dick Cheney turned his back on his own daughter” BS, Normie?

    Well, I guess if anyone would be an expert on “untethered relations to facts,” it’d be you…

  48. Jenos Idanian says:

    @WR: Good God, the hate is so strong in you.

    Your current pope is a former Hitler youth…

    …who was unwillingly enrolled at the age of 14, and then deserted at a time when that was grounds for summary execution. He showed more courage and righteousness before he was 18 than you have in your entire life.

  49. mantis says:

    It’s amusing that Jenos thinks Cheney, who was re-elected in the most anti-gay campaign ever, stayed completely silent on the issue while in office, and then finally supported gay marriage after leaving office and his stance no longer mattered, is a profile in courage.

  50. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Oh goodie, I’m being lectured on courage by an internet troll who hides under pseudonyms and still has to run away and change his phony name every few months when he’s made too big a fool of himself.

    Next up: Superdestroyer counsels me on interracial harmony.

  51. John D'Geek says:

    @Hey Norm:

    I remind myself that these are the same people who put Galileo under house arrest for suggesting that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    Not the way it worked, but to be fair the Catholic definition of “valid theory*” is way different than the scientific one. In short (since you don’t care anyway), he was placed under house arrest for telling the Catholic Church what to do with their doctrine, not for espousing a theory.

    * In Science a “valid theory” is one that seems reasonable and has a some proof to it; in Catholic Theology, a “Valid Theory” is one that has been proven far enough to justify re-examining doctrine. Thus Evolution was “almost a valid theory” in the 50’s and was elevated to a “Valid Theory” by Pope John Paul II in the 90’s. See “Science and Religon” for leads to the original sources.

  52. mantis says:

    In Science a “valid theory” is one that seems reasonable and has a some proof to it;

    Since we’re nitpicking, this isn’t correct. A scientific theory is a principle or set of principles that explains and predicts a natural phenomenon or phenomena and is supported by a body of scientific work achieved through observation, experimentation, and careful reasoning.

    It’s important when discussing such things to use proper terms. The term “proof” is not often used in science except to refer to a mathematical demonstration using deductive reasoning.

    So while in layman’s terms, a scientific theory is in fact something that seems reasonable and has some proof to it, that definition actually understates things. A scientific theory accepted by the scientific community is the pinnacle of scientific achievement and can take the work of many scientists working for generations to arrive at.

  53. John D'Geek says:

    @mantis: Yeah, I was going for layman’s terms.

    The point of that was to show that “valid theory” isn’t the same thing between the two bodies. For those interested in the Theology, they can get the course — that professor is much more knowledgeable about such things than I am. But I suspect most of our readers couldn’t care less.

  54. mantis says:

    Yeah, I was going for layman’s terms.

    I figured. Was just being pedantic. It’s a tic. 😉

  55. Jenos Idanian says:

    @mantis: It’s amusing that Jenos thinks Cheney, who was re-elected in the most anti-gay campaign ever, stayed completely silent on the issue while in office, and then finally supported gay marriage after leaving office and his stance no longer mattered, is a profile in courage.

    Funny, I don’t recall saying that. I do recall Norm, though, specifically saying that Cheney “turned his back on his daughter,” when both Cheney and daughter say just the opposite. And I recall him spinning and dancing to twist Cheney pere’s reluctance to make a crusade on gay marriage as some kind of huge rift between father and daughter — which, again, both say never happened.

    For Norm to be laughably wrong, one doesn’t have to show that Cheney was some stalwart champion on gay marrige. One just has to show that both Cheneys have discussed their relationship before, during, and after she came out — and that he was fully supportive and accepting at all times.

    In other words, I’ll take the words of Dick and Mary Cheney about their relationship over the rantings of Normie.

  56. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Actually, you’re wrong. The Catholic Church will not approve of abortion under any circumstances, even if it is in order to save the life of the mother.

    They get around the problem of zygotes implanting in the Fallopian tube by removing the tube altogether.

  57. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: ” One just has to show that both Cheneys have discussed their relationship before, during, and after she came out — and that he was fully supportive and accepting at all times. ”

    I have no doubt that Cheney was always supportive and accepting of his daughter, even while he was running a campaign dedicated to stripping away rights from people just like her. Because he’s a typical Republican — friends and family get special treatment, everyone else is canon fodder.

    Of course, as loathesome as he is, the daughter is even worse. She knew what he was doing to her peers. But as long as he was good to daddy’s little girl, other gay women could go to hell.

  58. Jenos Idanian says:

    @WR: I have no doubt that Cheney was always supportive and accepting of his daughter, even while he was running a campaign dedicated to stripping away rights from people just like her. Because he’s a typical Republican — friends and family get special treatment, everyone else is canon fodder.

    I realize it’s a hell of a challenge for you, but try to reconcile “friends and family get special treatment” and “Dick Cheney turned his back on his daughter.”

    And just what did the Bush administration do to “strip away rights?” Gay rights have been advancing steadily for decades. And I don’t recall any single action by the Bush administration that did anything to turn that back.

    You live in a world of stereotypes, and you get so enraged when reality won’t bow to your delusions.

  59. Jenos Idanian says:

    @WR: Of course, as loathesome as he is, the daughter is even worse. She knew what he was doing to her peers. But as long as he was good to daddy’s little girl, other gay women could go to hell.

    So, in your world, those who put loyalty to loving father ahead of fealty to those who share a sexual orientation (and, possibly, nothing else) are “loathsome?”

    You’re really showing a hell of a lot about yourself here, sport. And it’s ugly right down to the bone.

  60. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: And if a Nazi had a Jewish stepdaughter and protected her while sending thousands of Jews to the ovens, and that daughter stood by Dad’s decision, I’m sure you’d find that a touching example of family love, too.

    Sorry, creep, but just because Daddy protects daughter from the harsh laws he fights to enact on everyone else who is just like her, that doesn’t make him a good man or his policies anything other than loathesome.