Church in US Capital Fights for Marriage

Asks Authorities to Let the People Decide

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 3, 2009 ( The Archdiocese of Washington is taking several steps to block a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in the U.S. capital.

An archdiocesan press release reported Tuesday that Archbishop Donald Wuerl sent a letter to the 300 local priests to reinforce the significance of marriage, and to inform them of the government’s efforts to at redefining it.

He stated, «One challenge we see today is a lack of understanding by many people about what marriage is.»

«Marriage simply recognizes a relationship that is fundamental to nature: the complementarity of man and woman,» the prelate explained.

He continued: «That relationship is not a creation of church or civil law.

«However, governments and faith groups recognize marriage as between a man and woman because the exclusive, mutual and lifelong gift of a husband and wife to each other is the most stable and secure foundation to create and nurture children.»

The archdiocese also sent a letter to the District of Columbia’s Board of Elections and Ethics, in favor of an initiative to allow voters to express their support for defining marriage in that city as the union between one man and one woman.

Ronald Jackson, executive director of the DC Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the archdiocese, stated, «A ballot initiative will give voters in the District of Columbia a voice on this critical issue.»

«Earlier this year,» he explained, «the City Council pushed through legal recognition of same-sex marriages from other states without even giving their constituents an opportunity to have input.»

Jackson continued: «It is ironic that at the same time the city is asking for voting representation in the U.S. Congress, its leaders are denying residents the opportunity to participate in the democratic process for an issue with widespread implications for children and families.»

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