The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tried to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court, arguing that there is no such thing as sexual orientation, only homosexual “conduct.” Responding to today’s decisions essentially overturning both, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archibishop Salvatore Cordileone claimed that the spread of marriage equality will threaten “the common good of all.” Here are some notable excerpts:
Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. [...]
The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance. [...]
Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters.
Dolan and Cordileone seem to be predicting some form of doomsday for society, which suggests they were unaware that there are already — as Justice Kennedy noted — “tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.” And as research continues to demonstrate, same-sex parents do a phenomenal job raising children. The archaic gender norms the Catholic Church continues to promote are truly wrong: the difference between a mom and dad does not matter. What is ideal is when families stay together and committed to taking care of children, a quality not unique to any particular sexual orientation or gender pairing of parents. If the Catholic bishops truly cared about children, they’d stop dreading the downfall of society and celebrate that more families will be able to access important protections.
Read similar reactions from other bishops and archdioceses.