* Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki has issued a statement on the DOMA ruling….
As in the case of Roe v. Wade striking down abortion laws 40 years ago, the United States Supreme Court has again usurped its legitimate prerogative through a raw exercise of judicial power by giving legal protection to an intrinsic evil, this time by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in the case of U.S. v. Windsor and in refusing to take up the defense of Proposition 8 in California in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry.
These hollow decisions are absolutely devoid of moral authority. It is becoming increasingly and abundantly clear that what secular law now calls “marriage” has no semblance to the sacred institution of Holy Matrimony. People of faith are called to reject the redefinition of marriage and bear witness to the truth of Holy Matrimony as a lasting, loving and life-giving union between one man and one woman.
Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki
Bishop of Springfield in Illinois
Despite the rhetoric, the Bishop may have actually stumbled onto a revelation: “It is becoming increasingly and abundantly clear that what secular law now calls ‘marriage’ has no semblance to the sacred institution of Holy Matrimony.”
Well, yeah. That’s the point here. And that’s why folks like Sen. Mark Kirk have taken to referring to it as “civil marriage.” Holy Matrimony is blessed by the church, not the state - never the state. So the concept of Holy Matrimony is untouched by a gay marriage bill.
*** UPDATE *** The Catholic Conference of Illinois was far more reserved…
“The Catholic Conference of Illinois regrets the U.S. Supreme Court’s wrong decision to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act. Marriage comes to us through God’s nature as the union of one man and one woman,” the group said in a prepared statement.
“The ruling, however, does not mandate a redefinition of marriage across the nation, so the citizens of Illinois can still preserve marriage by telling their state lawmakers to honor the natural truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” the group said. “The Catholic Church in Illinois and across the world will continue to promote this truth.”
A “natural truth” does not necessarily translate into a “legal truth.” This whole debate has been one side talking past the other.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From the Illinois Family Institute…
And the reason the state is involved in marriage is to protect the needs and rights of any children that may result from the particular type of sexual union that is marriage.
Well, if it’s all about protecting needs and rights of children, then what’s the big deal here?
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
* And here’s the Heritage Foundation’s response to the DOMA decision…
In its ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Court struck down Section 3, declaring that the federal government cannot define marriage for its own federal policies and federal laws but must accept whatever the states decide about marriage. The Court’s ruling, however, does not affect Section 2, which provides that no state is required to give effect to another state’s recognition of same-sex marriages.
Here, the Court got it wrong. The Court ignored the votes of a large bipartisan majority of Members of Congress. It is absurd for the Court to suggest that Congress does not have the power to define the meaning of words in statutes that Congress itself has enacted. Just as the states have constitutional authority to make state policy about marriage, so too Congress has constitutional authority to pass a federal statute defining a term for federal programs created by federal law.
DOMA imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon the individual states, and the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government. This is a serious loss for federalism and democratic self-government. We must work to reverse it and to defend the rights of all Americans to make marriage policy. And we should promote the truth about marriage between a man and a woman and why it matters for children, civil society, and limited government.
Nothing in the text, history, logic, or structure of the U.S. Constitution requires redefining marriage. Indeed, in a Heritage Legal Memorandum, John Eastman explains why marriage laws are constitutional:
Nothing in the Court’s jurisprudence suggests that the right of same-sex couples to have their relationships recognized as marriages is so fundamental as to be protected by the Constitution’s Due Process Clause. Nor does the Equal Protection Clause require that result, given the societal purpose and value of marriage as furthering procreation and child-rearing. Because the Constitution does not speak to this question, it is one that is left to ordinary political processes, not to judicial fiat.
Marriage policy should be worked out through the democratic process, not dictated by unelected judges. The American people and their elected representatives have constitutional authority to make marriage policy.