The bishops of Virginia responded to Monday’s decision by the US Supreme Court to decline to hear cases of states seeking to uphold their bans on same-sex “marriage.”
Bishop Paul S. Loverde and Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo spoke of the decision as an “injustice to over a million Virginia voters.”
Here is their statement:
With deep disappointment, we learned today that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of lower-court decisions that struck down Virginia’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage and similar laws in four other states. Because of the Supreme Court’s denial, marriages between couples of the same sex have begun today in Virginia. This occurrence reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the intrinsic nature of marriage and represents an injustice to over a million Virginia voters, whose decision was to enshrine the understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman into our state’s constitution.
Marriage has been affirmed by countless generations because it uniquely benefits the common good by recognizing the union of two equal but complementary individuals – that is, a man and a woman – who, by their life-giving union, may create a family. Marriage not only benefits the man and woman who enter it, but also best serves children because of the particular contributions that mothers and fathers bring to family life. Therefore, Virginia’s constitution rightly recognized the unique contributions marriage makes to children and to the common good.
As Bishops, we will continue to affirm the truth about marriage, the lifelong union of one man and one woman, as well as its essential importance to the common good. As pastors, teachers, and faith leaders, we can do nothing less. It is our fervent hope that the Supreme Court will reconsider this fundamental issue in the future.