Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s Final Push Against Marriage Equality: It Would Be ‘Perilous’, ‘Detrimental For The Common Good’

As the New York Senate prepares to take up legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan appeared on a radio show with the New York Post’s Fred Dicker this morning urging legislators to vote against the measure. “We’re realistic to know that this is an ongoing struggle,” Dolan, who recently compared marriage equality a dictatorial infringement of rights, admitted. He said that the Church had been working closely with lawmakers to draft provisions exempting religious organizations from recognizing civil same-sex marriages, but stressed that the carve-outs would still not influence religious leaders to support the measure:

DOLAN: This is just perilous, Fred, we feel, to have the state tamper in one of the sacred and established and constituent definitions in the human project, namely the definition of marriage. We just feel it would be detrimental for the common good. We’ve got to admit we come at this from the posture of religious belief, of biblical morality and we find it unjust and immoral from those grounds. But this goes a little bit beyond this. This is a very violation of what we consider natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman and we’re really worried as Americans that it’s going to be detrimental to the common good. […]

Even if there are so-called carve outs for religious freedom we still worry about the detrimental effect upon society, upon culture, and certainly upon our individual churches….And we worry, what the government gives, the government can take away so you may have very benevolent people now who say in no way are we going to force any religion to do something against their constituents and their beliefs and we will see that there are carve outs, but what about a term or two down the line, where you have someone who says, oh by the way, we’re going to take that carve out away from you.


Religious exemptions have served as a stumbling block for some Republicans. The measure already exempts religious organizations from recognizing civil same-sex marriages, but opponents of the bill say that these provisions don’t go far enough. They want to “protect individuals, businesses and nonprofit groups opposed to gay marriage from being charged with discrimination for refusing to provide their property or services to be used in a same-sex wedding.” The assembly passed marriage equality on Wednesday and the Senate could move the measure to the floor as early as today. [H/T: Joe Sudbay]