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Catholic bishops conflicted over gays, immigration

Wednesday - 2/6/2013, 7:19pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Roman Catholics and evangelicals who have been calling for immigration reform could end up opposing the legislation if it includes same-sex partners among those who would be eligible for visas.

That proposal is backed by President Barack Obama, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other liberal Latino groups.

But Catholic bishops, with the support of evangelicals and other theological conservatives, have sent a letter to Obama protesting his proposal. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bishops, says recognition of gay couples "jeopardizes passage of the bill."

Galen Carey, public policy officer for the National Association of Evangelicals, which has been lobbying for new immigration laws, said, "Our view is immigration reform is not the place to have this discussion."

The theologically conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod also signed the Catholic bishops' letter.

Sound:

%@AP Links

248-a-04-(Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in AP interview)-"his own legislation"-Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says President Barack Obama recognition of same-sex couples would make immigration reform harder to pass. (6 Feb 2013)

<> 00:04 "his own legislation"

249-a-07-(Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in AP interview)-"to derail it"-Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says the bishops favor immigration reform, but don't believe it should include recognition of same-sex couples. (6 Feb 2013)

<> 00:07 "to derail it"

247-a-04-(Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in AP interview)-"to the bill"-Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says the bishops don't believe immigration reform should make same-sex partners eligible for visas. (6 Feb 2013)

<> 00:04 "to the bill"


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