Thousands, including Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, will gather today for the now-annual national demonstration in favor of marriage between one man and one woman.
Defense of Marriage Act
The 1996 Pennsylvania law that recognizes marriage between one man and one woman is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in the state.
Reaction to the ruling in the Catholic community was swift and strong.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia in a statement called the decision by U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III to strike down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act "a mistake with long-term, negative consequences."
"Gay and lesbian individuals share the same capacity as heterosexual individuals to form, preserve and celebrate loving, intimate and lasting relationships," the judge said.
Four states have legalized same-sex marriage since the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. More are poised to join them.
Virginia Catholic bishops said they are disappointed that Attorney General Mark Herring will not defend Virginia's constitutional amendment defining marriage as "the union of one man and one woman" in upcoming lawsuits at federal district courts.
The Virginia Catholic Conference, the bishops' public policy arm, has encouraged constituents to call Herring's office.
The U.S. House should pass a bipartisan bill that would require the federal government to respect state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a U.S. archbishop said Friday.
Titled the State Marriage Defense Act, the bill "is a necessary piece of legislation that will prevent the federal government from unjustly disregarding, in certain instances, state marriage laws concerning the definition of marriage," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
The Supreme Court's ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the Senate's passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act put the legal defense of marriage "at a critical point in this country," said the archbishop who heads the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The Supreme Court's DOMA decision is now being used to judicially challenge marriage laws in more than a dozen states that still recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.