Prelate Criticizes Obama Insinuation of American Bigotry

Says Voter Defense of Marriage Can’t Be Likened to Racism

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 22, 2011 ( The leader of the U.S. bishops has told Barack Obama that the federal government should not be presuming the majority of its citizens are morally blind.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said this in a letter to the president Tuesday regarding the administration’s move to attack the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and it defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

“Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to push the reset button on your administration’s approach to DOMA,” the archbishop wrote.

He called it “particularly upsetting,” that the administration “attributes to those who support DOMA a motivation rooted in prejudice and bias. It is especially wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination, as your administration insists on doing.”

“Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman,” Archbishop Dolan insisted. “Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense.”

Mom and Dad

The New York prelate pointed out that Obama has shown support for the value of marriage. He referred to the president’s messages for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, calling them “perceptive and heartening statements,” in which the president “correctly emphasize(s) the critical role played by both a mom and a dad in a child’s life.”

“I believe therefore that you would agree that every child has the right to be loved by both a mother and a father,” the prelate continued. “The institution of marriage is built on this truth, which goes to the core of what the Catholic bishops of the United States, and the millions of citizens who stand with us on this issue, want for all children and for the common good of society.”

Archbishop Dolan reiterated the Church’s rejection of “all hatred and unjust treatment against any person.”

“Our profound regard for marriage as the complementary and fruitful union of a man and a woman does not negate our concern for the well-being of all people but reinforces it,” he said. “While all persons merit our full respect, no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides. The law should reflect this reality.”

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