According to news reports, senior officials in the New York Republican party have determined that the Republican party gubernatorial nominee must fit a certain demographic mold. The candidate must be Catholic, pro-choice and fiscally conservative. The plain effect of this test is to exclude people like Herb London, who is both Jewish and pro-life, from consideration for public office. Responding to these reports is William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
“The Catholic League is appalled that any religious test would even be considered, never mind seriously so, by high-ranking operatives in either the Republican or Democratic parties. That a Catholic would be the beneficiary of this GOP calculation makes it no less acceptable. The Catholic League condemns all religious litmus tests as unconstitutional.
“Just as disturbing is the audacity of Republican power-brokers to assign a pro-choice status to their hand-picked ‘Catholic’ representative. Anyone is free to dissent from Catholic teaching on abortion, but no one has the right to falsely appropriate the Catholic label just to score quick political points. Moreover, abortion is the exercise of one person’s choice at the expense of an innocent person’s life, and that is not the kind of ‘choice’ that the Catholic Church recognizes as legitimate.
“Whether Herb London deserves the nomination of the Republican party should turn on a host of criteria, among them being his position on abortion. But under no circumstances should his candidacy be determined by his religious and ethnic identity.”
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends the right of Catholics–lay and clergy alike—to participate in American life without defamation or discrimination.