Catholic Bishops Statement on Decision Overturning Michigan’s Voter Approved Marriage Amendment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 21, 2014

(Lansing, Mich.)—The seven arch/diocesan Catholic bishops in the State of Michigan released the following statement after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman issued a ruling that overturns the 2004 voter approved Michigan Marriage Amendment. The bishops write collectively under the name of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state:

“Marriage is and can only ever be a unique relationship solely between one man and one woman, regardless of the decision of a judge or future electoral vote. Nature itself, not society, religion or government, created marriage. Nature, the very essence of humanity as understood through historical experience and reason, is the arbiter of marriage, and we uphold this truth for the sake of the common good. The biological realities of male and female and the complementarity they each bring to marriage uniquely allows for the procreation of children.

“Every child has the right to both a mother and a father and, indeed, every child does have lineage to both. We recognize not every child has the opportunity to grow in this environment, and we pray for those single mothers and fathers who labor each day to care for their children at times amid great challenges and difficulties. They deserve our constant support and encouragement.

“Today’s decision from federal district court Judge Bernard Friedman to redefine the institution of marriage by declaring Michigan’s Marriage Amendment unconstitutional strikes at the very essence of family, community and human nature. In effect, this decision advances a misunderstanding of marriage, and mistakenly proposes that marriage is an emotional arrangement that can simply be redefined to accommodate the dictates of culture and the wants of adults. Judge Friedman’s ruling that also finds unconstitutional the state’s adoption law is equally of grave concern.

“As this case will likely move forward through the courts, it is necessary to state clearly that persons with same-sex attraction should not be judged, but rather accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. We rejoice with those brothers and sisters in Christ living with same sex attraction who have found great freedom through Jesus' call to chastity communicated through the Church. We equally encourage those who are struggling in good conscience to live in harmony with the Church’s teaching about sexuality, along with their families, to continue praying and to continue seeking the Lord with the help and guidance of the Church.

Going forward, we, the Catholic bishops of this state, working through the Michigan Catholic Conference, will collaborate with those who are upholding Michigan’s Marriage Amendment and adoption statute and will assist to the greatest extent possible efforts to appeal Judge Friedman’s most regrettable ruling.”

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  • Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
    Archbishop of Detroit
  • Most Reverend Earl A. Boyea
    Bishop of Lansing
  • Most Reverend Paul J. Bradley
    Bishop of Kalamazoo
  • Most Reverend Joseph R. Cistone
    Bishop of Saginaw
  • Most Reverend John F. Doerfler
    Bishop of Marquette
  • Msgr. Francis J. Murphy
    Diocesan Administrator, Gaylord
  • Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
    Bishop of Grand Rapids

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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