PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Deliver Petition to Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson

Posted November 21, 2012

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This afternoon, lay Catholics delivered a 5,000-signature petition organized by Catholics United Education Fund to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus at their international headquarters. The petition asks the Knights of Columbus to focus on helping the poor and vulnerable and stop using funds on divisive wedge issues like opposing civil same-sex marriage.

According to a report released by Equally Blessed, a Catholic coalition dedicated to fighting for civil marriage equality for LGBT Americans, the fraternal organization and its affiliated insurance company spent more than $6.25 million opposing civil same-sex marriage since 2005. This includes more than $600,000 spent in the last election cycle in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

Recent polls from the Pew Research Center and Gallup show that a majority of Catholics support civil same-sex marriage.

“As a young Catholic, I want my Church to focus on serving the marginalized, not fighting for far-right political issues,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United. “Polls show young Catholics are leaving the Church because of its mistreatment of the LGBT community. The Knights of Columbus should refocus on their mandate: helping the poor and vulnerable, the least of these.”

Salt emphasized the Knights of Columbus are an important organization that, when organized properly, can bring hope to millions.

“The Knights of Columbus play an important role in our Church and are well-known for their charitable works,” Salt said. “They should continue this tradition and stop this emphasis on partisan political issues. Simply put, these political activities are hurting the Church.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition. For more information about Catholics United, follow us on our Facebook page ( or on our blog at