The bishops of Arizona on Thursday released a statement encouraging voters to support Proposition 102, an amendment on the November ballot that would establish a legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. “We believe Proposition 102 is in alignment with our deeply held moral beliefs regarding marriage,” they said.
Bishop of Phoenix Thomas J. Olmsted and Bishop of Tucson Gerald F. Kicanas explained that they backed the amendment because they believe that without “constitutional protection,” the state’s present law on marriage could be changed “to the detriment of society.”
“Without constitutional protection, the legal definition of marriage as we understand it today in Arizona is subject to redefinition,” they argued.
According to the bishops’ letter, the proposition states: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.”
“Our support is based upon our Church’s teaching on the sanctity of marriage as a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love,” the bishops wrote in their statement.
Bishops Olmsted and Kicanas also encouraged Catholic voters in their dioceses and all Arizona voters to read their 2006 pastoral letter “Why is Marriage Important to the Catholic Church?”
The letter can be read at http://www.azcatholicconference.org