OLYMPIA, Wash. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The lieutenant governor of Washington has decided to quit politics and become a Catholic priest of the Jesuit order — while taking his support for abortion, same-sex "marriage" and "transgender rights" with him.
Cyrus Habib has spent two years in the state's House of Representatives and two years in the Senate, as well as the past four years as the state's lieutenant governor. Seen by supporters as a young and promising politician, many had higher hopes for his future in politics. Habib, however, was influenced to make a dramatic change.
A priest at the Cathedral of St. James in Seattle recommended that Habib read The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, written by pro-gay cleric Fr. James Martin, S.J. Habib said this started him on his path towards the Jesuit order.
Habib, an Iranian-American, became fully blind due to childhood cancer at 8 years old. Since his father died in 2016, just before his ascendency to the second-highest office in the state of Washington, Habib became more introspective. He wrote that his decision to seek public office in 2012, 2014 and 2016 were "firmly rooted in Catholic social teaching, which places the poor, the sick, the disabled, the immigrant, the prisoner and all who are marginalized at the center of our social and political agenda."
However, Habib also has been a firm supporter of abortion, same-sex "marriage" and "transgender rights." He also supported contraception funding in the state of Washington.
Habib enjoys a 75% "B" rating from NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and listed on his website the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington during his 2016 campaign for lieutenant governor. He was endorsed by NARAL during his 2014 campaign for the legislature as well.
During Habib's relatively brief career in the state's House of Representatives and the state Senate, the lawmaker co-sponsored several bills to expand access to abortion.
In 2015 he co-sponsored the Washington Reproductive Health Act, which mandated that insurance cover abortion, sterilization and contraception. The bill did not pass.
That same year, he co-sponsored the Washington Employee Reproductive Choice Act, which would have declared as discrimination failing to provide contraceptive coverage in employer-provided health insurance. The bill would have established as a "human right" access to birth control in Washington state. That anti-life bill also did not pass. Similar legislation mandating abortion coverage in insurance plans was eventually passed in Washington state in 2018, once Habib had already become the state's lieutenant governor.
In 2017, when the Trump administration announced it would alter the HHS mandate to exempt some employers from covering contraceptive services in their health care plans "based on sincerely held religious beliefs," Habib called the announcement "disgraceful." Using the rhetoric of the progressive pro-death Left, Habib tweeted that "to those who are anti-choice, please recognize that this will increase abortions as well as economic insecurity."
While running for the state legislature in 2012, Habib said he "absolutely support[ed]" a referendum to recognize same-sex "marriage." "I am proud that Washington will lead the way in passing marriage equality at the ballot box," Habib proclaimed during his 2012 campaign.
While serving in the state's legislature, he voted against a bill that would have required people to use the bathroom that corresponded to their biological sex. During the debate regarding "transgender" bathroom access, Habib tweeted "Wish you'd been on the right side of history when marriage equality first came up? Here's another chance: equal transgender bathroom access."
As recently as last month, Habib posted on his Twitter page a speech given by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It was her response to the decision of a Catholic hospital network in California to refuse a "gender-transition" hysterectomy on a woman who identifies as a man.
"The only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination," complained Cortez. "There is nothing holy about rejecting medical care to people, no matter who they are, on the grounds of what their [gender] identity is. There is nothing holy about turning someone away from a hospital."
Habib called the speech "a great articulation of Catholic social teaching."
With regard to any incongruence between himself and the teaching of the Church in which he desires to be ordained, he said "the Catholic Church has wrestled with difficult social and moral questions for 2,000 years, and while I can be as impatient as anyone when it moves too slowly, I know from personal experience how much we can all benefit from a moral vocabulary that insists on the dignity of each and every person."
This perspective displays a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches with regard to the dignity of the human person and what it considers intrinsic evil in relation to the natural law.