Governor helps agency that lost money over gay marriage

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program recently lost a major funding source when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland pulled it’s grant money because of Preble’s stance on last November’s gay marriage referendum.

Now the governor has announced he will host a spaghetti dinner next week to raise money for the program.

Officials with the diocese say they take no issue with the governor stepping in to help out and they still very much support all the good work Preble does helping the homeless in the community. What they do take issue with is Preble’s support for No on 1 back in November, the effort to keep Maine’s same-sex marriage law on the books.

They say Preble violated the terms of its grant agreement. In signing the agreement Preble agreed to uphold church teachings and not support things such as abortion, the death penalty and same sex marriage. Because Preble took a stance on that referendum it’s losing more than $17,000 in Catholic grant money.

Governor Baldacci, a supporter of same sex marriage and a practicing catholic, is now stepping in to help Preble offset the loss.

“First of all let me make clear that the bishop was within his rights with the contract and the diocese was within their rights with the contract, but i want to make sure that we as a community provide that safety net of services that Preble Street provided. It’s critical that they’re there and it’s important to the community”, the governor said.

The spaghetti dinner is set for Wednesday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.

The governor is suggesting a $5 donation or anything else that people can give.