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Delegates setting the resolutions for the Knights of Columbus (K of C) again voted to defend traditional marriage and the "sacredness of human life" at the group's 129th Supreme Convention held in Denver this week. With both controversial issues seen as the most important topics to many of the delegates, some secular and Catholic groups are concerned their agenda is a step in the wrong direction for civil rights.
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal society founded in New Haven in 1881, does a lot of good work detailed in a lengthy report on its charitable giving in 2009. Add to that list a donation of a whopping $1.4 million in 2009 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting same-sex marriage.
Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family gave $727,250 in cash and services to the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 campaign in California, according to records released by the California secretary of state, including a $100,000 check in late October, just days before the evangelical media empire announced it planned to lay off nearly 20 percent of its employees. While there has been public scrutiny of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its attempts to influence the campaign to reverse a California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, Focus on the Family and related donors pumped more than six times as much as the Mormon church did into the ProtectMarriage.com campaign, records show.