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WASHINGTON—A federal appeals court decision May 31 to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act is a matter of “grave injustice,” said Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
He voiced his disappointment following the May 31 decision of the federal appeals court in Boston to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is the cornerstone of society,” Bishop Cordileone said. “It is also the foundation of a just society, as it protects the most vulnerable segment of the population, children. Every child longs for and deserves a mother and a father, and marriage is the only institution that insures that children grow up knowing and being known by their mother and father. The public good demands that this truth of marriage be respected in law and society, not rejected.”
On May 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston, upheld an earlier U.S. District Court decision claiming section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. Section 3 defines marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of one man and one woman.
Bishop Cordileone noted, “The federal appeals court in Boston did a grave injustice yesterday by striking down that part of the Defense of Marriage Act that reasonably recognizes the reality that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. DOMA is part of our nation’s long-established body of law rooted in the true meaning of marriage. Hopefully, this unjust ruling will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, for the benefit of our nation’s children, and our nation as a whole.”
DOMA was approved by a broad, bi-partisan majority of Congress in 1996, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. DOMA recognizes for purposes of federal law that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and it also protects the rights of states to uphold this definition of marriage in the face of laws from other states that might be adverse to such definition.
Keywords: Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, President Bill Clinton, marriage, Bishop Salvatore Cordigleone
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