PROBE CUTS TOO CLOSE

Catalyst May Issue 2007

Brian Brown, executive director of the Connecticut Family  Institute, recently testified before  some members of the Connecticut  legislature. The issue was same- sex marriage.

During the questioning,  Brown, known to the lawmakers  as a practicing Catholic, was subjected to an improper line of  inquiry. Bill Donohue sent a  strongly worded letter to the  entire legislative body.

Two members of the state legislature, Representative Michael  Lawlor and Senator Edwin  Gomes,  probed Brown’s religious  convictions as they pertained to  the issue. While it is entirely  legitimate to ask witnesses about  the source of their convictions,  religious or otherwise, a line has  been crossed  when the questions  become personal, intrusive and  persistent. “Separation of church  and state, it needs to be stressed,  cuts both ways: Just as it would  be illegitimate of me to ask Rep.  Lawlor and Sen. Gomes to go on  record explaining their personal  convictions about the wisdom of  Catholic teachings, it is equally  illegitimate of them to pepper  expert witnesses about their private beliefs,”  Donohue said.

Donohue concluded saying that “if this continues, my response next time will not be in the form of a letter.”


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Written by Bill