Bishops Take US Marriage Debate to YouTube

Says Traditional Definition Benefits All

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 30, 2008 ( Days before several states will vote on legislation to define marriage as being valid only between a man and a woman, two U.S. bishops are taking the debate to the video-sharing Web site YouTube.

The videos, appearing in both English and Spanish, were posted Wednesday by the U.S. episcopal conference’s Defense of Marriage Ad Hoc Committee.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the committee, narrates the English-language video. Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, narrates in Spanish.

Proposed marriage protection amendments in Florida, California and Arizona would define a valid marriage in the state constitution as between a man and a woman. The latest polls in Florida show that nearly 60% of likely voters are in favor of the amendment. Polls coming out of California and Arizona show the amendment carrying only a slight lead.

Earlier this month, Connecticut’s Supreme Court made that state the third one to legalize marriage for same-sex couples, joining Massachusetts and California. In all three cases the courts overturned laws that banned same-sex marriages.

In their videos, the bishops state that the Church defends, promotes and protects marriage «for the gift that it is, and for the blessings that only it can bring to the world.»

«Certain groups and individuals are trying to make same-sex unions the equivalent of marriage,» they continue. «This is a false idea being proposed and, in some cases, imposed by a minority. This is nothing less than the radical redefinition marriage — denying the truth that it is exclusively the union of a man and a woman.»


The bishops warn that if successful, «this effort of redefining marriage to include same-sex unions will bring confusion to what marriage actually means. This confusion could spread and have enormous legal consequences for the rearing of children, public education, employment, and religious freedom. Children would be forced to learn that marriage is merely one kind of loving relationship among many.

«Churches would be prevented from witnessing to and teaching about the necessary and singular role of love between a man and a woman.»

«Same-sex unions and marriage are completely different realities,» the bishops say. «Reaffirming the traditional understanding of marriage is neither discrimination nor the denial of rights. Like all people, homosexual persons have the right to be treated with respect and to live in peace with the support of their loved ones.

«But it is to the benefit of all members of society that the institution of marriage be preserved as the relationship of a man and a woman that serves the common good in a distinct way. Society needs marriage in order to establish and sustain that basic unit of society in which men and women love each other and transmit life to their children who are the fruit of that love.»

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On the Net:

Bishop Kurtz:

Bishop Gomez (Spanish):

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