Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dolan Joins N.Y. Marriage Fight

Posted by Tom McFeely

Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:23 PM

In one of his first actions as the Archbishop of New York, Archbishop Timothy Dolan has joined with the state’s other bishops in opposing a state bill that would legalize same-sex “marriage.”

The bill was introduced today by New York Gov. David Paterson.

The following is the text of an April 16 statement opposing the bill, released by the New York State Catholic Conference:

In light of Gov. David Paterson’s introduction today of a bill that would redefine in New York State the historic understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman, the New York State Catholic Conference points again to a statement from the Bishops of New York State from June 2008. The Conference calls on the legislature to defeat this proposal, for which there is no compelling state interest and which will weaken rather than strengthen the institution of marriage, which is so important to a stable society. Following are selections from the Bishops’ 2008 statement. The full statement is attached.

“Marriage always has been, is now and always will be a union of one man and one woman in an enduring bond. This is consistent with natural law, and should be obvious to all, no matter what their religion, or even if they have no religion at all…”

“To be clear, the state’s historic recognition of marriage is based on the biological fact that the physical union of a man and a woman tends to lead to children. Common sense and empirical evidence tell us that children’s welfare is best served in most cases by their being reared in a stable home with their mother and father…Encouraging marriage between a man and a woman, therefore, serves the state’s interests…On the other hand, there is no compelling state interest in granting legal recognition to same-sex relationships. The simple fact that two people have a committed relationship is not a reason for the state to confer upon it the status of marriage…”

“Marriage and family have worked well throughout history to promote the common good. ‘Same-sex marriage’ furthers a societal disconnect between procreation and marriage while promoting the notion that a nontraditional family structure serves a child as well as a traditional one. We are confident history will judge this notion harshly…”

“Our Church teaches, and we affirm, that we must treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with dignity and love, as we would all God’s children. Indeed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church warns that any form of prejudice and hatred — ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ — against homosexual people should be avoided.”

The Catholic Conference represents New York State’s Bishops in matters of public policy.

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