There is “a growing sense among many people, including a wide range of religious leaders, that a Marriage Protection Amendment is the only federal-level action that will ultimately protect and preserve the institution of marriage,” observed Bishop Joseph Kurtz, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family.
The bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, was speaking May 25 at a Capitol Hill news conference, hosted by the Alliance for Marriage Foundation. Leaders of the House and Senate, civil rights leaders, and representatives of other major faith communities also attended. The Senate is expected to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment next month.
Bishop Kurtz said he supported the amendment based on the Church’s teachings of marriage and for social and anthropological reasons.
“The gift of marriage between one man and one woman is a natural right, one written in the hearts of human beings,” he stated. Marriage “is an essential building block of society,” which precedes state and Church law, he said. Marriage comes from God and therefore “we-church or state-are not free to alter the basic meaning and structure of marriage.”
“To defend it is not an act of unjust discrimination, but rather a stand in favor of what is right and just,” he said, urging the U.S. Senate to pass the amendment in early June.
The U.S. bishops are working with the Knights of Columbus on a nationwide postcard campaign in support of the federal amendment. To date approximately 10 million postcards have been received.