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Latino Daily News

Tuesday April 24, 2012

Immigrant Aid Group Defunded by Catholic Church for Support of Gay Immigrant Rights

Immigrant Aid Group Defunded by Catholic Church for Support of Gay Immigrant Rights

Photo: Companeros in Colorado Defunded by Catholic Church

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A not for profit group helping immigrants in southwestern Colorado will now have to look somewhere other than the Catholic church for funding after being denied funding as a result of its ties to a gay rights group. 

The Catholic Campaign, a division of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will stop giving Compañeros $30,000 a year, which is more than half its annual revenue, because of its membership in the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition or CIRC.  The CIRC is known to advocate for the rights of all immigrants and an affiliate of the coalition is One Colorado, which is a supporter of civil unions for homosexuals. 

As a result of this membership, the diocese of Pueblo informed Compañeros to choose between the money and its membership in the CIRC.  The board voted to maintain their membership and risk losing the funding from the Catholic Church. 

According to Danny Quinlan, a spokesman for Compañeros, “It was a big decision for us.  Because access to a statewide network is way more important to what we’re doing than money; we are very cut off from the rest of the state down here.” 

Yet, it seems that the group has other supporters willing to fund their cause.  Since hearing of the split with the Catholic Church, Compañeros has received donations from several other groups as well as individual Catholics unhappy with the church’s decision.  In addition to individual Catholics, the group is also receiving funds from the Gill Foundation, which is one of the nation’s largest funders of LGBT civil rights activism

The Catholic Campaign provides close to $8 million dollars a year to more than 200 groups nationwide, provided that they follow the guidelines of the Catholic Church’s agenda.  Church officials could not be reached for comment on this story.