Statement on Same-Sex Marriage

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Statement on Same-Sex Marriage

June 9, 2008

 Recently, proposals have been put forth in our state to recognize so-called “same-sex marriage,” a radical step that would remove from marriage its most basic, fundamental characteristic, thereby altering its very essence.  Our Governor has ordered recognition of such unions from other states as “marriages” in New York. This redefinition defies reason. Additionally, the state Assembly last year approved a measure to permit such “marriages” here, though to date the Senate has not.

Such actions, whether the legal union is called “marriage” or “civil union,” represent a destructive development for our state.

The joining of man and woman in the bond of marriage is a constant and visible reminder of God’s goodness and the beauty of the Divine plan for humankind.  The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ himself raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament.  And, indeed, all of the world’s great religions rightfully recognize marriage as a holy union of a man and a woman.

Numerous theological and religious arguments could be advanced as to why same-sex unions should be rejected.  However, this is not simply a matter of theology, and religious values are not the sole source of opposition to this plan.

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 biology and natural law, and should be obvious to all, no matter what their religion, or even if they have no religion at all.  It is a mutual personal gift between the two that serves the individual couple in many ways, allowing them to grow in love and, through that love, to bring forth children.

Just as importantly, this union also serves the larger society.  Marriage provides a stable family structure for the rearing of children and is the ultimate safeguard so that civil society can exist and flourish.  That is why civil society through the ages has recognized its duty to foster and respect marriage between a man and a woman.

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