The Catholic Church’s “Marriage Unique for a Reason” page has posted a round-up of various bishops’ disappointed reactions to the marriage equality victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington this week. The Church was one of the single biggest funders of the anti-equality campaigns and a partner in all four states. These reactions reveal how Church leaders continue to condemn homosexuality and ostracize same-sex families while simultaneously claiming not to discriminate. As Cardinal Dolan indicated this week, they remain committed to fighting equality moving forward:
Bishop Richard Malone (formerly of Portland, Maine): “I trust that those who voted for such a radical change did so out of concern for our brothers and sisters who struggle with same-sex attraction.”
Archibishop William Lori (Baltimore, Maryland): “[We need to] redouble our efforts to defend marriage, to preach about what marriage is, and to help people understand it as a unique relationship that does not discriminate against anyone, but is for the good of children and for the good of society.
Maryland Catholic Conference: “The ballot language they encountered masked the fact that this law does not simply assign civil benefits to gay and lesbian couples, but drastically dismantles in our state law the fundamental family unit of mother, father and child.”
Minnesota Catholic Conference: “Our position on the amendment was never ‘anti’ anyone, but ‘for’ marriage. We continue to emphasize that everyone, including those with same-sex attraction, must be treated with charity, dignity, and respect.”
Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis: “The Church’s public advocacy of support for the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment has always been rooted in our commitment to advance the common good for human society. […] We will continue to work to strengthen marriage, and defend it against all forms of its weakening, for the good of all society.”
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain (Seattle, Washington): “I am disappointed that so many voters failed to recognize marriage between a man and a woman as the natural institution for the permanent, faithful covenant of love for a couple, for bringing children into the world, and for nurturing and educating those children. This change in civil law is not in the best interest of children or society.”
Though the Catholic Church strives to create a society where same-sex couples simply do not exist, they will increasingly have to co-exist with a nation that recognizes and welcomes these families into its communities.