The Catholic Bishops say they are against employment discrimination. They say that they would like to protect gays from persecution and violence. But they want to continue to discriminate against gays in employment in Catholic institutions because they are opposed to gays acting on their sexuality in any way.
Andrew Sullivan points out that they don't mind hiring straight people who are divorced or who might use contraception or masturbate or who in other ways might violate Roman Catholic Church teaching, but they do want to discriminate against gays.
So the church that emerged from a man who preached the story of the good Samaritan, is now in the business of identifying Samaritans and ensuring they remain the targets of discrimination in the workplace. It does not matter whether they are good at their job; their orientation, even if no one even knows it results in sodomy, is sufficient to allow them to be fired and no law be broken.
The Bishops also argue against non-discrimination laws for gays because the laws imply that gay people are equal citizens and if they are equal citizens, the right to civil marriage will not be far behind.
And so we have a prudential political argument in defense of an obvious evil - persecuting people for something that they cannot change. The bishops say they'd like to protect gay people, but only if they can be seen as in no way endorsing sexual acts. But you can't do that. You can't enact a law protecting some gays from discrimination while omitting others, the distinction being whether they are engaged in non-procreative acts. It would be unenforceable, as the Bishops seem to imply.
And so they have a choice: favoring a civil society to protect individuals from unjust discrimination or not. When it comes to gays - and only gays - the Bishops have taken a stand. It is a de facto endorsement of obvious injustice. It is a profound betrayal of the core message of Jesus: that the already despised should be embraced not stigmatized, that the victims of discrimination be protected not marginalized.
Here is a portion of the letter from USCCB to members of Congress concerning the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA):
Just as every other group in our society, the Catholic Church enjoys the same rights to hold to its beliefs, organize itself around them, and argue for them in the public square. This is guaranteed by our Constitution. This includes the right to teach what it holds to be the truth concerning homosexual conduct—and to act as an employer consistent with that truth—without the threat of government sanction.
The USCCB continues to oppose “unjust discrimination” against people with a homosexual inclination, but we cannot support a bill – such as ENDA in its current form – that would legally affirm and specially protect any sexual conduct outside of marriage....
...While we regret we cannot support ENDA for the above stated reasons, the Conference would, however, be interested in discussing legislation that would protect persons with a homosexual inclination from unjust discrimination, without protecting homosexual conduct. We therefore invite further discussion with you and your staff on how ENDA might be amended to correct the various flaws discussed in this letter.