May 27, 2009

U.S. Bishops praise decision by California Supreme Court to uphold definition of marriage

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops publicly praised yesterday’s decision by California Supreme Court to uphold the definition of marriage as "the union of one man and one woman" contained in California’s Proposition 8 as approved by the voters last November.

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage,expressed the bishops’ satisfaction with the decision.

"We are pleased that yesterday the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. The Court has thus respected the eminently reasonable decision of the California electorate to retain the perennial definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman," Archbishop Kurtz said.

"This respects the uniqueness of the marital relationship and its service to the common good by respecting the value of procreation and the good of children as well as the unique complementarity of man and woman. Advancing the truth and beauty of marriage enhances, rather than diminishes, the intrinsic dignity of every human person."

On the other hand, the bishops expressed disappointment and concern that the court failed to apply this definition to the nearly 18,000 same-sex unions formed between May and November 2008.

"Attempts to change the legal definition of marriage or to create simulations of marriage, often under the guise of ‘equality,’ ‘civil rights,’ and ‘anti-discrimination,’ do not serve the truth. Such attempts undermine the very nature of marriage and overlook the essential place of marriage and family life in society," Archbishop Kurtz said.

"The state has a responsibility to protect and promote marriage as the union of one man and one woman as well as to protect and promote the intrinsic dignity of every human person, including homosexual persons." There are ways to do that but "sacrificing marriage is not one of them," said Archbishop Kurtz.

For more information, contact Mar Muñoz-Visoso at (202) 541-3202.

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