Volunteers at Catholic churches will collect donations to oppose Washington's gay marriage law


Barbara Guzzo is a lifelong Catholic and says she’s appalled that fundraising against Washington’s same-sex marriage law will be allowed in Catholic churches.

“I have been Catholic since birth, and I love my church and I love what it stands for, and what’s hard for me about this is I think it’s not what our gospel teaches,” she says.

Envelopes will be distributed in Catholic parishes in Eastern Washington next month in an effort to collect donations for Preserve Marriage Washington, a group that opposes the law.

“The parishes that participate in Yakima and Spokane will designate a Sunday…and then we will have a volunteer on the ground there at each parish to collect those at the end of the services,” said Chris Plante with Preserve Marriage.

For churches, the state’s Public Disclosure Commision says, the designated campaign volunteer is key to keeping within the law, since churches themselves are not allowed to bundle parishioners’ donations.

“We would have argued that the church could have collected that, but we’re not going to pick a battle that we don’t need to pick,” Plante said. “We have tens of thousands of volunteers across the state.”

For Guzzo, the PDC’s stance is a symbolic victory.

“My hope with this is that it’s caused not only the bishops, but all of us who are Catholic to say, ‘What are we about? What do we want to promote?’” she said. “Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington wants to promote love and inclusiveness and fairness for all of Washington’s citizens.”

We’re told that so far, there are no plans to put those envelopes in Catholic churches in Western Washington.