Loading
Archbishops decry military gay benefits plan
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
By Adelaide Darling
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Two U.S. archbishops involved in defense of marriage efforts and the military spoke out against a new Pentagon policy giving gay couples many of the benefits of military spouses.

“This new policy under the guise of 'equal benefits' undermines marriage as the union of one man and one woman because it treats two persons of the same sex as spouses,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services.

In a statement released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Feb. 15, Archbishop Broglio voiced concern over a new military policy treating same-sex partners as if they were married.

He was joined by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, who is the chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The archbishops responded to a Feb. 11 announcement by the Department of Defense on a policy change that will soon allow gay domestic partners of armed service members on active duty to receive many of the same benefits as military spouses, including legal assistance and counseling, ID cards and recreational privileges.

Some benefits, such as health care and housing allowances, are banned under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal purposes.

However, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said these benefits will also be expanded to include same-sex couples if the Supreme Court rules against the Defense of Marriage Act in an upcoming case this summer.

In his State of the Union address on Feb. 12, President Barack Obama referenced the policy change, saying that he plans to “ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight.”

However, Archbishop Broglio argued that the policy undermines the Defense of Marriage Act, which is still the law of the land, despite Obama’s 2011 announcement that his administration would no longer defend it in courts.

Furthermore, the archbishop warned, the policy change threatens the freedom of conscience and religious liberty of members of the armed services.

“Could a JAG officer choose, out of religious or moral convictions, not to give legal advice on marital and family issues to same-sex 'partners' without being subject to discipline?” he asked. “Forcing the officer to violate his conscience would not be fair.”

Archbishop Cordileone echoed these concerns and stressed the institutions of marriage and family.

“There is no question that all service members should be treated equally,” he said, “but it is not discrimination to treat different things differently.”

The archbishop explained that because only “a man and a woman can bring children into the world,” marriage “as the foundation of the family” is unique from other adult relationships and must be reserved for opposite-sex partners.

The new policy, he added, actually discriminates because it designates only “two people of the same sex in a sexual relationship for special consideration,” treating other types of adult relationships differently.

“More importantly,” Archbishop Cordileone added, “children, who are our future, have a right to be raised by their mother and father together.”

“For the sake of our nation, and especially for the sake of our children, marriage should be promoted and protected at every opportunity, never undermined,” he said.

Tags: Gay Marriage, Military Archdiocese, Same-sex unions, Military

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
19

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14