Civil rights award

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The Congress of Racial Equal­ity, one of the na­tion’s old­est civil rights groups,hasan­nounced­itwill­p­re­sent an achieve­ment award to Bishop Robert Mor­lino of the Catholic Dio­cese of Madi­son, Wis.

The award rec­og­nizes Bishop Mor­li­no­forex­er­cis­ingh­is­freespeech and re­li­gious free-ex­er­cise rights in the­face­ofin­tense­pres­sure­designed tosi­lence­him—andthere­by­chillthe rights of oth­ers — in the weeks pre­ced­ingth­ere­cent­mar­riages­tate­con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment vote in Wis­con­sin.Bish­opMor­li­nowastar­geted be­cause he was the most vis­i­ble pro­po­nent of the amend­ment mea­sure ban­ning same-sex “mar­riage” in Wis­con­sin, the group said.

For years, those seek­ing to in­val­i­date Amer­ica’s mar­riage laws in court have at­tempted to ad­vance their cause by in­vok­ing analo­gies to civil rights, the group said. This award is the first time that a ma­jor civil rights or­ga­ni­za­tion has pub­licly ac­knowl­edged the re­al­ity that the ba­sic civil lib­er­ties of groups and in­di­vid­u­als in Amer­ica who be­lieve in the pro­tec­tion of mar­riage are in­creas­ingly be­ing chal­lenged.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@wash­ing­ton­

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