Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, a group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, called the Catholic Charities decision "appalling."
"It's a two-tier system among its workers," Ms. Duddy-Burke said. "It violates every principle of the dignity of work and justice for workers that the Catholic Church has stood for for years and it makes employees of Catholic Charities a sacrificial lamb to prove a political point."
Ms. Duddy-Burke said the choice to cut spousal benefits in these economic times imposes a burden on new Catholic Charities employees. She said this would cause "more damage to their families than a same-sex marriage."