Senator McLachlan Honored by Family Institute of Connecticut

December 8, 2009

FIC Presents Sen. McLachlan with 1st Annual Charles Stetson Award

Hartford, CT – State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) proudly announced today that he has been selected to receive the first annual Charles Stetson Award by the Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC). The award is given in recognition of courage and defense of faith and family.

“The Family Institute of Connecticut upholds many qualities and values that I hold dear like the importance of strong family bonds, honor and faith,” said Senator McLachlan. “To be recognized by such an effective group is a true privilege and I am grateful and humbled by their support.”

Senator McLachlan was chosen to receive this award for his efforts opposing SB 1098: An Act Modifying Corporate Laws Relating to Certain Religious Corporations. The bill was introduced in the 2009 legislative session by the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee, State Senator Andrew McDonald (D-Stamford) and State Representative Michael Lawlor (D – East Haven) and sought to remove all financial control from clergy of the Roman Catholic Church and install it in a board of directors comprised of lay members elected from within the parish. The bill also sought to expand the Attorney General’s authority to investigate church finances. The proposal of this bill unleashed a massive opposition movement, largely amongst the Roman Catholic community, and the Judiciary Committee ultimately tabled the bill.

Senator McLachlan called SB 1098 an attack on the Church’s constitutionally protected autonomy and questioned it being raised in the first place. “Although this bill was reportedly proposed at the behest of constituents who were concerned over allegations of financial abuse at Connecticut parishes, this bill should never have been raised. The criminal justice system should be allowed to work,” said Senator McLachlan.

“Fortunately, the bill was tabled but this could not have happened without the impassioned efforts of Catholics, and those of other religious traditions, concerned about its potential impact on the separation of church and state. I was proud to lend my voice to their efforts and will continue to follow my conscience in the legislature.”

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