.- Two U.S. bishops leading efforts to defend and promote marriage offered their support for this year’s national March for Marriage and invited their fellow bishops to do the same.
“We are very grateful for this opportunity to express our support for the March for Marriage and to encourage participation in this event,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco.
In an April 7 letter, they encouraged their fellow U.S. bishops to promote the march in their respective dioceses.
Bishop Malone is the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop Cordileone chairs the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The 2014 March for Marriage will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2014. It is the second national demonstration to support the institution of marriage existing as a unique union between a man and a woman.
The first March for Marriage was held March 26, 2013, during the first day of arguments before the Supreme Court concerning the federal definition of marriage and states' ability to define marriage.
In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government should accept the definitions of marriage offered by each state rather than holding its own definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
The court also discarded a case defending a California amendment approved by voters to defend the definition of marriage. The high court dismissed the case on procedural grounds, allowing a lower court’s ruling that the amendment was unconstitutional to stand.
The bishops said that this year's march will be held days before the third annual Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer, education and advocacy in support of religious liberty both at home and abroad.
The 2014 march, the bishops said, “will provide an ideal occasion for participants to celebrate and give public witness to the unique meaning of marriage,” particularly “at a time when the religious liberties and conscience rights of those who promote and defend marriage are increasingly threatened.”
“The March for Marriage will be an important means to promote and defend marriage for the good of our culture, to pray for our federal and state governments, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will,” they added. “It also complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.”
“This is a critical time for marriage in our country, as marriage amendments are being struck down by federal courts and appeals of these decisions are being made. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this march,” they told their brother bishops.