Heads Of Military Archdiocese, Subcommittee For Promotion, Defense Of Marriage Object To Defense Department Same-Sex Domestic Partners Policy
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio ofthe Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, and Archbishop SalvatoreCordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for thePromotion and Defense of Marriage, voiced concern February 15 about a newDepartment of Defense (DOD) policy on ";<p>WASHINGTON—Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio ofthe Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, and Archbishop SalvatoreCordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for thePromotion and Defense of Marriage, voiced concern February 15 about a newDepartment of Defense (DOD) policy on ""same-sex domestic partners"" and aboutrelated comments made by President Obama in his State of the Union address.</p><p>Archbishop Broglio questioned howthe department could set a policy that undermines the federal Defense ofMarriage Act (DOMA) and said the new policy could threaten conscience rights ofmembers of the military. Forcing an officer ""to violate his conscience wouldnot be fair,"" he said.</p><p>Archbishop Cordileone highlightedthe policy's potential effect on children. </p><p>""Children, who are our future, havea right to be raised by their mother and father together,"" he said. ""For thesake of our nation, and especially for the sake of our children, marriageshould be promoted and protected at every opportunity, never undermined.""</p><p>The full response follows.</p><p>Today, ArchbishopTimothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services USA, and ArchbishopSalvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommitteefor The Promotion and Defense of marriage, responded with concern to a newDepartment of Defense Policy issued this week regarding ""same-sex domesticpartners"" and to related comments made by President Obama in his State of theUnion address.</p><p>The DOD policyallocates marriage-like benefits to persons in same-sex relationships. In anapparent reference to the new policy, President Obama said, ""We will ensureequal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families– gay and straight.""</p><p>In response to thePresident's remarks and the new policy, Archbishop Broglio said, ""This newpolicy under the guise of 'equal benefits' undermines marriage as the union ofone man and one woman because it treats two persons of the same sex as spouses.Can the Secretary of Defense establish a policy that undermines federal law asestablished by DOMA?"" Noting the possible negative effects on religiousliberty, Archbishop Broglio asked, ""Could a JAG officer choose, out ofreligious or moral convictions, not to give legal advice on marital and familyissues to same-sex 'partners' without being subject to discipline? Forcing theofficer to violate his conscience would not be fair.""</p><p>ArchbishopCordileone also expressed concern over the new policy. ""For one thing, itundermines the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law of the land,"" he said.He added: ""There is no question that all service members should be treatedequally, but it is not discrimination to treat different things differently.Only a man and a woman can bring children into the world, and so marriage, asthe foundation of the family, by its very nature can only be between a man anda woman. In fact, by singling out two people of the same sex in a sexualrelationship for special consideration, the policy excludes other possibletypes of relationships between two adults, thus treating the same thingdifferently. Actually, then, it is rather this policy that discriminates. Moreimportantly, children, who are our future, have a right to be raised by theirmother and father together. For the sake of our nation, and especially for thesake of our children, marriage should be promoted and protected at everyopportunity, never undermined.""</p><p>The new Departmentof Defense policy memorandum was issued by Secretary of Defense Leon Panettaearlier this week. The policy entitled ""Extending Benefits to Same-Sex DomesticPartners of Military Members"" must be implemented by the military services nolater than October 1, 2013. Under the new policy, all that is required for a""domestic partnership"" is a committed relationship between two adults of thesame sex who are not in a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership withanyone else. In many respects, ""same-sex domestic partners"" of military memberswill be treated like spouses. For instance, the ""partner"" of the militarymember will be entitled to a dependent military ID card, legal assistance fromthe military, and base exchange and commissary privileges. If both ""partners""are in the military, they would be eligible for a joint duty assignment – whatwas customarily referred to as a joint spouse assignment. President Obama madehis remarks on Tuesday in his State of the Union address before a joint sessionof the United States Congress.</p><p>February 15, 2013</p><p> </p><p>Keywords: Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archbishop SalvatoreCordileone, Department of Defense, same-sex domestic partners, President BarackObama, same sex spouses, military</p><p align=""center""># # # # #</p><div>MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:</div><div>Sr. Mary Ann Walsh</div><div>O: 202-541-3200</div><div>M: 301-325-7935</div><div><a style="""" id=""mailto:MWalsh@usccb.org|"" href=""mailto:MWalsh@usccb.org"">Email<br></a></div> "