Marriage amendment gets Catholic support
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Pittsburgh Catholic) - Clergy and other diocesan personnel have received information packets on a proposed Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment.
With the legalization of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts and the creation of “civil unions” in six other states, it is thought to be crucial that Pennsylvania join 27 other states that have voted to amend their constitutions to protect the institution of marriage.
“We need now what is best for children, families and society. Today, more than ever, we need a concerted effort to strengthen and uphold the sacred gift of marriage and family.”
The Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment would allow voters to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It would protect the commonwealth from having to legally recognize civil unions as “marriages,” and from having to recognize alternative or non-traditional “marriages” performed in other states.
It would also protect Pennsylvania’s current marriage law — the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act — from court challenge.
Marriage between man and woman ‘a natural human reality’
In their 2004 question-and-answer booklet, the bishops of Pennsylvania noted that the challenges to human sexuality have the potential to alter the way we have always lived.
“Our understanding of marriage as a life-long covenant between a husband and wife is not the exclusive teaching of any one church or religious communion,” they wrote.
“Rather, we are dealing with a belief that is abundantly evident as a natural human reality.”
They stated that marriage is the foundation of the family. In turn, the family is the basic unit of society.
In God’s plan, they added, a man and woman come together to form a permanent life-giving union. Civil law cannot legitimately redefine this human reality.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference strongly supports the amendment and asks Catholics to contact their local representatives on the issue. Contact information for legislators is available at: www.pacatholic.org.
Catholic voter support will be crucial
Representatives of Pennsylvania for Marriage outlined strategies for promoting the amendment during two presentations Jan. 8 at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton.
Eleanor Rossman, executive director, pointed out that the Catholic vote will be critical to the process.
“It’s a tough sell,” she said. “People don’t have this on their radar screen. They don’t understand the eventuality of redefining marriage.”
Rossman noted that something as simple as a five-minute call to a legislator can make a difference.
She also pointed to the efforts of Bishop Zubik, who she said was instrumental in helping to get a similar measure passed in Wisconsin while he was the bishop of Green Bay.
“He really understands what needs to happen here,” she said. “He’s very knowledgeable about it.”
In a letter to those attending the Jan. 8 presentation, Bishop Zubik noted that a constitutional amendment is the only way to protect the Defense of Marriage Act from being overturned.
“Amending the Pennsylvania Constitution is no small task,” he wrote. “In order to win, we must be prepared to mount a monumental grassroots advocacy effort. Proponents of non-traditional marriage are highly motivated and heavily financed.”
Information on the packets is available by contacting the Office for Family Life and Catechesis at 412-456-3160. Information is also available at: www.youranswermatters.com, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of the Pittsburgh Catholic(www.pittsburghcatholic.org), official newspaper of the Dicoese of Pittsburgh,Pa.
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