Supporting working women and families
Minnesota Catholic Conference staff are monitoring a flurry of bills, including paid family leave and a constitutional amendment that would give judges the power to create new patterns of discrimination based on the ambiguous concept of gender.
Rebellion against the sexes
We talk a lot today about “identity politics”. The urgent question is what identity should guide our policy. The Church proposes that our primary identity is as children of God created in his image – and created male and female. We are all brothers and sisters, and we should treat each other accordingly, living together in right relationship; that is, in justice and truth.
Others propose that we define ourselves primarily by racial identity or a fluid construction of ‘gender’. The latter creates an internal war against human nature by manipulating, instead of receiving, the divine gift of creation. It undermines the ability to form and participate in the natural family, thereby creating a society of atomized individuals beholden to the state.
These principles were central to MCC’s testimony against a proposed constitutional amendment to mandate gender equality. This so-called Equal Rights Amendment (HF 726) states: “Equality before the law shall not be restricted or denied on the basis of sex.”
With Promoters, we share the goal of ending unjust discrimination against all people. But making reasonable distinctions based on gender is often appropriate. In addition, the state’s human rights law already prohibits discrimination based on gender (including sexual orientation).
The proposed amendment seeks to empower judges to impose constitutional mandates in the name of equality that are unlikely to be enacted by statute, as well as to erode the conscience and religious liberty protections built into the human rights.
Potential impacts of the amendment include the imposition of state-subsidized fertility treatments or surrogacy arrangements for same-sex couples; mandating publicly funded gender transition therapy and surgery; further entrench abortion as a “right”; and allowing men to participate in women-only activities and spaces, compromising the safety and well-being of women.
Paid care leave
Polls show that Americans are increasingly delaying or giving up on starting a family due to economic insecurity. A 2018 New York Times survey found that 44% of respondents said they could not afford to have more children and 39% said not having enough paid family leave as a barrier to growth. of their family.
Business trade associations and labor advocacy groups have been deadlocked for years over a family leave proposal favored by House Democrats that would use a new payroll tax to create the equivalent of a workers compensation style system for paid vacation (HF 1200). MCC has communicated to lawmakers that HF 1200 is a reasonable way to create a family leave program, but the bill has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate.
In an effort to break the deadlock, MCC participated in the hearing of the bill to remind lawmakers of the urgency of the issue and encourage them to find common ground for the common good. There are multiple ways to build a paid leave program, and for anything to succeed, it must recognize the reciprocal relationship and foster solidarity between employers and employees.
“Inside the Capitol” is an update from the staff of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
Category: Practicing Catholic