the open letter released today, they
underlined marriage as "the permanent
and faithful union of one man and one
publication of this letter on "The
Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment"
is timely as today a federal court of
appeals in San Francisco began hearing
arguments on the Proposition 8 case.
8, known as the California Marriage
Protection Act, was approved by a majority
of voters in that state in 2008. Thus
it was added as a constitutional amendment
that "only marriage between a man
and a woman is valid and recognized
last August, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled
that the provision was unconstitutional,
and thus the case passed to the federal
court of appeals. The hearing began
Timothy Dolan of New York, newly elected
president of the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops, and a signer of the
open letter, stated, "Today is
the moment to stand for marriage and
its unchangeable meaning."
hope this letter will encourage just
that," he added.
prelate affirmed that "the
broad consensus reflected in this letter
-- across great religious divides --
is clear: The law of marriage is not
about imposing the religion of anyone,
but about protecting the common good
of any faith or no faith at all can
recognize that when the law defines
marriage as between one man and one
woman, it legally binds a mother and
a father to each other and their children,
reinforcing the foundational cell of
human society," he said.
fact, the religious leaders emphasized
this point in the letter, noting that
"marriage is an institution fundamental
to the well-being of all of society,
not just religious communities."
continued: "The preservation of
the unique meaning of marriage is not
a special or limited interest but serves
the good of all.
we invite and encourage all people,
both within and beyond our faith communities,
to stand with us in promoting and protecting
marriage as the union of one man and
text of letter: http://www.usccb.org/defenseofmarriage/shared-commitment.shtml