The head of the Family Institute of Connecticut told Democratic lawmakers Tuesday that he wanted the two Democratic chairmen of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee removed for proposing a bill that would have changed how the Catholic Church is managed.
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said emphatically Wednesday morning that “It’s not going to happen.”
He said a bill was raised at the request of a constituent and it was subsequently withdrawn. “We’re not going to take our direction from a right-wing group,” Donovan said as he left the Old Judiciary Room. He said in the General Assembly things are done democratically.
Peter Wolfgang, director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, said Wednesday morning in a phone interview that he didn’t expect legislative leaders to heed his call to remove Judiciary Committee co-chairmen Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, and Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford.
He said if Democratic leaders did heed his call it would be unusual. But he said it was also unusual that 4,000 to 5,000 Catholics were able to turn out for a rally at the Capitol last week on three days notice.
He said the thought that the proposed legislation was payback for the Catholic church’s opposition to same-sex marriage did not originate with him. He said Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, pointed it out on his blog.
Wolfgang said a day or two after the Catholic’s “political show of force and political strength” at the Capitol Lawlor and McDonald scheduled a public hearing on an assisted suicide bill. Wolfgang said McLachlan, a member of the Judiciary Committee, was the one who pointed out that the chairmen “should not be wasting state resources on a personal vendetta.’
McLachlan reports on his blog that the assisted suicide bill was accidentally put on the agenda because of a “clerical error.”
“Can someone in the Connecticut Democratic Party tell Senator McDonald and Representative Lawlor that we have a budget crisis and we need to focus on balancing the budget – not waste tremendous state resources on personal vendettas?” McLachlan wrote on his blog.