U.S. Court Sidesteps Same-Sex "Marriage" Issue

But Catholic Conference Maintains Its Objective

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BOSTON, NOV. 29, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to sidestep a dispute over same-sex «marriages» hasn’t changed the goal of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, which wants citizens to have a say in the matter.

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined, without comment, to overturn the year-old decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalizing same-sex «marriage.»

In the past year, at least 3,000 gay Massachusetts couples have gone through a wedding ceremony, although voters may have a chance next year to change the state Constitution to permit civil union benefits to same-sex couples.

In a statement, the Massachusetts Catholic Conference said: «The decision by the United States Supreme Court not to take up the appeal in Largess v. Supreme Judicial Court of [Massachusetts] is disappointing but not surprising.»

«The appeal raised the issue of whether last year’s ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court redefining marriage, and usurping the legislature’s power to regulate marriage, violated a clause in the U.S. Constitution requiring the states to maintain a ‘republican form of government,» the conference added.

«The lower federal courts in the appeal decided that this clause did not apply to separation of powers violations,» the Catholic conference said. «They also concluded that the people in Massachusetts still retained the power to overturn the SJC through a constitutional amendment. Appeals based on this clause are difficult to win.

«The goal remains — the people of Massachusetts should have the opportunity to reaffirm marriage as the union between one man and one woman. A constitutional amendment reversing the SJC, and giving marriage the strongest protection possible, should be brought to the people for their consideration.»

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