The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) praised as “eminently reasonable” the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8, a successful ballot measure that restored the definition of marriage to “the union of one man and one woman.”
Archbishop of Louisville Joseph E. Kurtz, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, spoke on behalf of the U.S. bishops in a Wednesday statement.
He said the court’s decision has respected “the eminently reasonable decision” of California voters to retain “the perennial definition of marriage.”
“This respects the uniqueness of the marital relationship and its service to the common good by respecting the value of procreation and the good of children as well as the unique complementarity of man and woman. Advancing the truth and beauty of marriage enhances, rather than diminishes, the intrinsic dignity of every human person.”
Archbishop Kurtz expressed concern and disappointment that the court failed to apply this definition to the nearly 18,000 same-sex “marriages” contracted between May and November 2008 after the California Supreme Court mandated their recognition.
The court ruled that Proposition 8 did not apply retroactively and could not invalidate the legal unions.
“Attempts to change the legal definition of marriage or to create simulations of marriage, often under the guise of ‘equality,’ ‘civil rights,’ and ‘anti-discrimination,’ do not serve the truth,” the archbishop said, charging that such attempts “undermine the very nature of marriage and overlook the essential place of marriage and family life in society.”
“The state has a responsibility to protect and promote marriage as the union of one man and one woman as well as to protect and promote the intrinsic dignity of every human person, including homosexual persons,” he added, saying that “sacrificing marriage” does not promote that dignity.