He said that laws which protect marriage ensure that families can provide children “the right to two parents, a mother and a father, who can love them and care for them.”
Marriage laws also require men to treat women with dignity, he noted, adding that the “exclusive and permanent bond” of a married man and woman cannot be redesigned by “legal dictate.”
Bishop Conley pointed to Church teaching that Catholics must treat individuals with same-sex attraction with “dignity and love.” Those who have homosexual inclinations are not evil, though the inclination is a “tragic distortion of the great gift of sexuality God has given us.”
The essentials problem with civil union laws, he explained, is that they “endorse and sanction that distortion by suggesting that homosexual relationships are equivalent to marriage.”
The Catholic bishops of Colorado have also stressed that opposition to civil unions is not voiced out of desire to deny fundamental civil rights and is not a condemnation of homosexual people.
“We affirm what our Church teaches – namely, that we must treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with dignity and love, as we would all God’s children,” they said in a joint statement.
In 2006, Colorado voters defeated a same-sex civil unions ballot measure by 52 to 47 percent.
Last year the Democrat-controlled Colorado Senate passed a civil unions bill for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples by a vote of 23-12. The bill died in a committee of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where the Republicans have a one-vote majority.
The bill is planned to be reintroduced in the new legislature.
In recent decades, the state has become a hub for homosexual advocacy movements. Its wealthy backers include multi-millionaire Coloradan Tim Gill, who is pursuing a strategy of targeting opponents of gay political causes at the local level to eliminate future leaders opposed to his efforts.
In April 2011, Gill’s lawyer Ted Trimpa told Denver’s Fox 31 News that Gill could spend as much as $2 million in 2012 state political contests to shift the state House to Democrat control.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
A group of Republicans called Coloradans for Freedom has also joined the push for civil unions.