Hosted by Group Whose Founder Is Suing City over Same-Sex Partnerships
Associated Press, May 20,
By David B. Caruso
PHILADELPHIA—U.S. Supreme Court
Justice Antonin Scalia attended a $150-per-plate dinner Tuesday hosted by the
Urban Family Council, a group whose founder is suing to stop the city from
recognizing same-sex partnerships.
The council said the dinner was not a fund-raiser and
that the ticket price would cover only the cost of the banquet, held in honor
of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Federal judges are barred from raising money for
political, charitable or civic organizations, or permitting the use of the
prestige of their office for that purpose.
“We just thought, ‘What better way to honor Cardinal
Bevilacqua than to have a sitting Supreme Court justice up to speak?”‘
said the council’s founder, William Devlin. “It’s nice to be able to say
you have a friend like Justice Scalia.”
About 125 guests were expected at the dinner at the
highbrow Union League of Philadelphia. The event was closed to reporters.
The Urban Family Council opposes abortion, advocates
abstinence from sex before marriage and seeks to promote two-parent families
by offering training programs for young fathers.
Devlin is battling to overturn a Philadelphia ordinance
allowing same-sex couples to register as “life partners.” City officials
said the law’s primary purpose is to allow the partners of gay city
employees to qualify for health benefits.
A state appeals court ruled in Devlin’s favor last
year, saying the city had usurped the state’s power to regulate marriage.
The city appealed to the state Supreme Court, which hasn’t yet indicated
whether it will take the case.
The Urban Family Council maintains on its Web site that
homosexuality is an immoral lifestyle choice, not a genetic predisposition,
and that gays should be encouraged to repent and seek help to become straight.
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