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How the U.S. Catholic Bishops Reacted to Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

Michael Hernandez / Anadolu Agency

Zelda Caldwell - published on 07/06/15 - updated on 06/08/17

"The Supreme Court today released what was not a completely unexpected decision with regard to same-sex marriage. While this decision is obviously not in keeping with the Church’s teaching that marriage is a life-long commitment between a man and a woman, it reflects a changing attitude in our country and in many places around the world, such as the recent vote in Ireland permitting same-sex marriages in that country.

There are many marriages performed by the state that are not recognized as sacramental marriages by the Church. Clearly, that lack of recognition would pertain to civil marriages of same-sex couples. In light of the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld the right of same-sexed persons to marry, we now expect the Supreme Court to uphold religious liberty and the right of conscience for members of faith communities to live according to their conviction that marriage is a unique union between a man and a woman that brings new life into the world.

The Church will continue its pastoral outreach to people of same-sex orientation. Since the Church believes that every person is made in the image of God, it follows that each person is to be treated with dignity and respect. The Church rejects the ill treatment of any person and will continue to uphold the dignity of all."

• Bishop Joe S. Vásquez,  Diocese of Austin: 

I am deeply saddened by the Supreme Court’s decision to require States to recognize same-sex marriages, because the opinion is based on the court’s belief that the culture has changed its views of marriage. This causes confusion among those who are faithful to the Gospel and erodes rights of persons in each State.

Regardless of the court’s decision, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable.  We will remain true and faithful to the Gospel and we will continue to call people to look deeply into the beauty and understanding of our theology of marriage."

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