WASHINGTON (CNS): Saying that marriage between a man and a woman “is the bedrock of any society,” Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, denounced the August 4 decision of a federal judge to overturn a California voter-backed initiative that essentially banned same-sex marriage.
“The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good,” he said.
“It is tragic that a federal judge would overturn the clear and expressed will of the people in their support for the institution of marriage. No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”
The 2008 voter initiative, known as Proposition 8, was approved by voters by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
In overriding a May 2008 California Supreme Court ruling that enlarged the definition of state-sanctioned marriage to include all couples, the initiative defined state-sanctioned marriage as limited to a man and a woman.
The California Catholic Conference also weighed in on the case, calling US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision a disappointment.
“That the judge should find marriage – civilisation’s long-standing public policy – irrational and discriminatory does a great injustice to the institution itself and ultimately will further encourage the disintegration of mother-father families,” the conference’s executive director Edward E. Dolejsi said.
“Homosexuals certainly have every right to the love, companionship and support of another person, but the courts do not have a right to distort the meaning of marriage.”
Proponents of the initiative said they planned to appeal the decision by Walker, chief judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
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