Bishops’ Defense Of Marriage Chair Decries Latest DOMA Ruling

October 19, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—In response to adecision on October 18 by a divided federal appeals court panel to strike downpart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone ofSan Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops'Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, issued the followingcomment expressing disappointment over the ruling.

"The recognition that marriage is and can onlybe the union of one man and one woman is grounded in our nature, being clearfrom the very way our bodies are designed. This recognition obliges ourconsciences and laws. It is a matter of basic rights—the right of every childto be welcomed and raised, as far as possible, by his or her mother and fathertogether in a stable home," Archbishop Cordileone said. "Marriage is the onlyinstitution whereby a man and a woman unite for life and are united to anychild born from their union. The public good demands that the unique meaningand purpose of marriage be respected in law and society, not rejected as beyondthe constitutional pale. Redefining marriage never upholds the equal dignity ofindividuals because it contradicts basic human rights. The ruling yesterday isunjust and a great disappointment."

OnOctober 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed, by a 2-1vote, a U.S. District Court decision striking down section 3 of DOMA asunconstitutional. Section 3 defines marriage as the union of one man and onewoman for purposes of federal law.

DOMAwas approved by a broad, bi-partisan majority of Congress in 1996, and signed intolaw by President Bill Clinton. DOMA recognizes for purposes of federal law thatmarriage is the union of one man and one woman, and it also protects the rightsof states to uphold this definition of marriage in the face of laws from otherstates that might be adverse to such definition.

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Keywords: DOMA, defense of marriage, President Bill Clinton,Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, marriage, gay rights, gay marriage

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