US bishops blocked suicide hotline creation because of LGBTQ resources
A group of US bishops was reported to have blocked the creation of the National Suicide Hotline because it offered resources to LGBTQ people.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) had lobbied in 2019 against the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to create the national suicide prevention hotline.
Likewise, the organization of Catholic leadership in the US supposedly opposed the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 for the same reason.
Catholic bishops’ moves behind the scenes
The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act would have allocated funding to the LGBTQ suicide prevention programs, as well as creating the national toll-free suicide hotline.
However, the National Catholic Reporter said the USCCB had worked against the legislation behind the scenes to prevent it from passing because of that funding for LGBTQ support.
This wasn’t the first time the USCCB had worked against legislation expanding LGBTQ rights.
According to LGBTQ Nation, the USCCB had used the same logic to block the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. This law would have given more funding to prosecute cases of violence against women.
In a statement about that legislation, the USCCB said: “All persons must be protected from violence, but codifying the classifications ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as contained in S. 47 is problematic.”
“These two classifications are unnecessary to establish the just protections due to all persons. They undermine the meaning and importance of sexual difference,” they further said.
The USCCB had also recently spoken out against the 2021 Equality Act. This proposed law would expand LGBTQ protections from workplace discrimination.
US bishops’ efforts against the LGBTQ community
In a statement, they said the Equality Act dismisses sexual difference and “falsely presents ‘gender’ as only a social construct” in its support for transgender rights.
“The bill is well-intentioned but ultimately misguided. The Equality Act discriminates against people of faith, threatens unborn life, and undermines the common good,” they declared.
Even before, they had opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which dates back to 1974 and has been proposed by each Congress since 1994.
This bill would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment because of sexual orientation.
With ENDA, they said this legislation fails to distinguish “between sexual inclination and sexual conduct.” They also said this does “not represent an authentic step forward in the pursuit of justice in the workplace.”
Ironically, the group has also spoken out against the Fairness for All Act, a compromise legislation to the Equality Act that is supported by Catholic-allied faith communities.