WASHINGTON—The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, and the chairman of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, expressed serious disappointment at the October 6 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to consider current cases that strike down laws upholding marriage as between one man and one woman.
"Millions of Americans had looked to the Court with hope that these unjust judicial decisions might be reversed," Bishop Malone and Archbishop Cordileone said. "The Supreme Court's action fails to resolve immediately the injustice of marriage redefinition, and therefore should be of grave concern to our entire nation."
Bishop Malone and Archbishop Cordileone's full statement follows:
Upholding the inviolable dignity of every human person is a duty for all, and this duty entails the defense of the unique meaning of marriage as between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court's decision not to take up any of the cases striking down state laws reflecting the authentic meaning of marriage in five states is extremely disappointing and surprising. All of these state laws were democratically enacted, including most by the direct vote of large majorities within just the last decade. Millions of Americans had looked to the Court with hope that these unjust judicial decisions might be reversed. Instead, as a result of the Supreme Court's action today, those decisions are allowed to take effect. Furthermore, marriage laws in six other states are now in jeopardy.
Marriage is and can only be between a man and a woman—a unique relationship in which the state has a vested interest. It is the only institution that unites a wife and a husband together for life and unites them to any children that come from their union. This truth presumes and supports the equal dignity of all people, especially of children whose right to a mother and a father deserves the utmost legal protection. The Supreme Court's action fails to resolve immediately the injustice of marriage redefinition, and therefore should be of grave concern to our entire nation.
Globally, we are at a time of recognizing the decisive importance of marriage and the family when it comes to addressing challenges of poverty and serving the good of all. This is a time when marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. Our young people need encouragement to embrace the gift and responsibility of marriage as it truly is—a permanent, faithful, and fruitful gift of self between a man and a woman. May all of us continue to work to strengthen and protect marriage and stand for justice for all, especially children, who are the most vulnerable.