President Barack Obama's announcement that he is now in favor of same-sex marraige has drawn crticial reaction from Catholic Church leaders in the United States. During a May 9, ABC-TV News interview, the president said, ""At a certain point, I've just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec issued the following statement: "The president's decision to endorse same-sex marriage is not surprising, but nevertheless, it is disconcerting, as he joins those in this country who wish to redefine marriage. Marriage has always been between a man and a woman, which we believe comes from God and natural law, something we do not believe that the state, or even the Church, can change. Despite the president's pronouncement, we will not waver in our beliefs."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement:
"President Obama's comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better.
"Unfortunately, President Obama's words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons. "