Washington, DC — The Leadership of Dignity/USA criticized the effort of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to write discrimination against same-gender couples into the U.S. Constitution through their support of a Federal Marriage amendment.
“[A June 25,2004] statement by Bishop Gregory is another sign that the bishops are misguided in their role as pastors and teachers, said Matthew Gallagher, Executive Director of DignityUSA. “They need to focus on the faith of the Church, instead of these hot-button election year political issues.”
“Earlier this year, the Catholic Bishops in Massachusetts spent more than a million dollars in an attempt to prevent same-gender marriage in their state,” continued Gallagher. “This raises the question of why they did not direct those resources to protecting children from abuse. The bishops are stepping further into the political arena and it is unclear if their goal is to support partisan political efforts or if they continue to seek ways to deflect attention from their massive failure to protect children, or both.
DignityUSA has joined scores of civil rights and religious organizations in opposing the Federal marriage amendment as an unprecedented discriminatory action with sweeping consequences. The leaders and members of DignityUSA adopted a resolution on same-gender marriage in August 2003, stating:
“As Americans, we remind our fellow citizens of a foundational principle of our form of government: all are created equal. Consistent with the pursuit of liberty and justice for all, same-sex couples should have full and equal access to the rights and responsibilities bestowed by civil marriage.
“As Catholics, we remind our Church of a foundational conviction of our faith: God is love and all who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them. The love that brings and binds two people of the same, or opposite sex, together has a divine source. It is therefore sacramental in nature and should be celebrated as such by our Church.”
“This effort by the bishops seeks to make some Americans second-class citizens by denying them the full benefit and protection of the law,” explained Gallagher. “By enshrining discrimination in the U.S. Constitution, all citizens of this country will suffer, not just gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens. The bishops are ignoring Jesus’ call to respect all people and work for unity. The bishops need to teach the love of Jesus instead of the politics of discrimination.”