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Attacks on DOMA Threaten Marriage, Church-State Relations, Warns Archbishop Dolan in Letter to President

 
September 22, 2011
Seeks dialogue with President on definition of marriage as union of a man and a woman
Objects to Justice Department comparing support for marriage definition with racism
Archbishop to President: Push the reset button on approach to DOMA

WASHINGTON—The Obama Administration’s fight against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, will undermine marriage and create a serious breach of Church-State relations, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote in a September 20 letter to President Barack Obama,

The Administration’s assault on DOMA, Archbishop Dolan said, will “precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.”

The letter with its accompanying analysis of the Administration’s threats to marriage can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/dolan-to-obama-doma-letter-sept-20-2011.pdf

Archbishop Dolan especially objected to the Justice Department’s legal arguments that equate those in favor of DOMA to racists. It is “particularly upsetting,” he said, when the Administration attributes to those who support DOMA “a motivation rooted in prejudice and bias.It is especially wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination, as your Administration insists on doing,” he said.

He underscored the Church’s position recognizing “the immeasurable personal dignity and equal worth of all individuals, including those with same-sex attraction” and said “we reject all hatred and unjust treatment against any person.”

“Our profound regard for marriage as the complementary and fruitful union of a man and a woman does not negate our concern for the well-being of all people but reinforces it,” he said. “While all persons merit our full respect, no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides.The law should reflect this reality.”

Archbishop Dolan advised President Obama: “push the reset button on your Administration’s approach to DOMA.”

“Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman.Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense—but this will happen if the Justice Department’s latest constitutional theory prevails in court.”

Archbishop Dolan asked President Obama to “end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom.”

“Please know that I am always ready to discuss with you the concerns raised here and to address any questions that you may have.” he added. “I am convinced that the door to a dialogue that is strong enough to endure even serious and fundamental disagreements can and must remain open, and I believe that you desire the same.”

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Keywords: Barack Obama, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Jesus, Christianity, DOMA, Justice Department, USCCB, Church-State, Catholic Bishops

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Media Contact:

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh
O:202-541-3200
M:301-325-7935




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