On Monday, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz praised the efforts of the recent New Jersey State Senate vote to preserve the traditional definition of marriage on Jan. 7, expressing gratitude for the “courage” the senators displayed.
“On behalf of the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee, I am grateful for the courage of those New Jersey Senators who stood for the truth of marriage as a bulwark of the common good,” said Archbishop Kurtz, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.
Last Thursday, the New Jersey Senate voted 20-14 to reject a same-sex “marriage” bill. The New York Senate rejected a similar measure on Dec. 2, voting by a 38-24 margin, and both of these Senate votes echo the recent “people's veto” in Maine during the November mid-term elections last year which also succeeded in maintaining the traditional definition of marriage, a statement from the U.S. Bishops noted.
“Preserving marriage between one man and one woman is a matter of justice,” Archbishop Kurtz stated on Monday, saying “indeed, it is one of the premier social justice issues of our time. It does not deny but rather supports basic human rights – especially the rights of children.”
“The recent New York Senate vote and the vote in New Jersey witness to this fact.”
Archbishop Kurtz also said that the these recent efforts to preserve the definition of traditional marriage should serve to encourage. “The recent decisions in Maine, New York and New Jersey are signs of hope and sources of encouragement,” he said, adding that “We are in a pivotal moment in this country on the issue of marriage, as more and more people recognize that protecting the basic rights of persons need not and should not come at the expense of the unique truth and value of marriage.”
The prelate concluded his statement, urging that “The good of the love between husband and wife, the vital responsibilities of mothers and fathers, and the rights of children all deserve unique protection under law – all of these are indispensable to a just society that serves the dignity of all people and the common good.”