Archbishop Schnurr: While High Court decisions disappointing, neither requires states to change laws barring same-sex ‘marriage’
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr made the following statement about the U.S. Supreme Court decisions of June 26, 2013.
The Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act is deeply disappointing. It means that the federal law government will recognize same-sex “marriages” in states that provide for it, extending spousal benefits to the couples involved.
Importantly, however, the Court did not hold that the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex “marriages,” thus redefining marriage. Neither the DOMA ruling nor the Court’s refusal to consider California’s Proposition 8 means that Ohio and 31 other states with provisions in their constitutions barring same-sex “marriage” will have to change. Nor should they.
Traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman for life, is the cradle of the family, which is the basic building block of society. Not every married couple has children, but every child has a mother and father. Both parents are important, and they are not interchangeable. As a society we should be working to improve the chances that children are raised by both parents, together. That is not unjust discrimination against homosexuals. The Church teaches that all people, regardless of their family make-up, deserve God’s love and mercy according to the Gospel. The Church teaches that marriage is between two individuals, one male and one female.
The Church is not trying to enshrine her theology of marriage into secular law, however. Rather, the Church seeks to uphold the understanding of marriage that has been shared for thousands of years by virtually all cultures until just recently. Traditional marriage, it must be admitted, is an institution under stress in today’s world. We should redouble our efforts to support it, not redefine it.