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USCCB Chairman Gives Strong Support to the State Marriage Defense Act of 2015

February 11, 2015
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave strong support for the State Marriage Defense Act of 2015 (H.R. 824, S. 435) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Randy Weber (R-TX) and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

In letters of support dated February 11 to Representative Weber and Senator Cruz, Archbishop Cordileone noted that agencies within the Executive Branch of the federal government have begun using a rule that, contrary to the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, allows a federal overruling of state marriage law. “By employing a ‘place of celebration’ rule, these agencies have chosen to ignore the law of the state in which people reside in determining whether they are married. The effect, if not the intent, of this choice is to circumvent state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Archbishop Cordileone.

The Archbishop further indicated how it is that these federal agencies are acting contrary to Supreme Court precedent. “The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, however, requires the federal government to defer to state marriage law, not disregard it.” He concluded that the State Marriage Defense Act of 2015 is necessary because it “would remedy this problem by requiring the federal government, consistent with Windsor, to defer to the marriage law of the state in which people actually reside when determining whether they are married for purposes of federal law.”

Archbishop Cordileone urged other members of Congress to join in supporting this legislation, saying, “Marriage needs to be preserved and strengthened, not redefined. Every just effort to stand for the unique meaning of marriage is worthy of support.”

The letter of support to Representative Weber is available at

The letter of support to Senator Cruz is available at
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Supreme Court, marriage, Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Randy Weber
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Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3202

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