WASHINGTON—In response to theNovember 6 statewide referenda results in Washington State, Minnesota,Maryland, and Maine regarding marriage, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of SanFrancisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommitteefor the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, called for renewed efforts tostrengthen and protect marriage and family life and expressed gratitude tomarriage protection supporters.
"Yesterday, November 6, was adisappointing day for marriage, as the effort to preserve the unique meaning ofmarriage in the law lost by only a narrow margin in four states, even thoughvastly outspent by those who promote the redefinition of marriage," ArchbishopCordileone said.
"The meaning of marriage, though,cannot be redefined because it lies within our very nature. No matter what policy,law or judicial decision is put into place, marriage is the only institutionthat unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of theirunion. It is either this, or it is nothing at all. In view of the fact thatevery child has a mother and a father, our society either respects the basicright of every child to be raised by his or her mother and father together andso supports the true and unique meaning of marriage for the good of children,or it does not. In a society marked by increasing poverty and familyfragmentation, marriage needs to be strengthened, promoted, and defended, notredefined. I hope and pray that political leaders, judges, and all people willseek to honor this foundational and common sense truth of marriage," the archbishopsaid.
Earlier this year, the WashingtonState and Maryland legislatures voted in favor of bills to redefine marriageand the governors of these states signed the respective bills into law;however, before these laws could take effect, enough voters in each statesigned a petition to put these laws before the voters in yesterday's referenda.In Minnesota, the state legislature in 2011 voted to adopt a marriageprotection amendment to the state constitution, which went before the votersyesterday.
In Maine, earlier this year, supportersof marriage redefinition submitted a petition with enough signatures to have areferendum on marriage redefinition in an attempt to counter the 2009 vote ofthe people that protected the meaning of marriage. In Maryland and Maine,voters yesterday voted in favor of redefining marriage (votes are still beingconfirmed in Washington State, though it is projected that voters did the samethere as well). In Minnesota, voters rejected the proposed state constitutionalamendment, though Minnesota still protects marriage as the union of one man andone woman through state statute.
"I extend heartfelt gratitude to allthose who dedicated and sacrificed time, energy and resources to protectmarriage," Archbishop Cordileone said. "I especially call on all people to prayand to build a renewed culture of marriage and the family. This is afundamental task on which the future good and stability of our society, andparticularly that of our children, rest."
Keywords: USCCB, marriage, definition,state referendum, Maryland, Maine, Washington, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone,Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, U.S. bishops, U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, voters, November 6
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACTONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email
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