DATE:   June 14, 2011


FROM: Sean P. Dolan, Director of Communications.

Bishop William Murphy urges New York State lawmakers to stand firm in opposition to the Governor and legislature in Albany seeking to redefine marriage. 

Quoting from the 2008 statement of the New York State Bishops, the statement reaffirmed that "marriage always has been, is now and always will be a union of one man and one woman in an enduring bond.  This is consistent with natural law, and should be obvious to all, no matter what their religion, or even if they have no religion at all. 

Common sense and empirical evidence tell us that children's welfare is best served in most cases by their being reared in a stable home with their mother and father.  Encouraging marriage between a man and a woman, therefore, serves the state's interests.  On the other hand, there is no compelling state interest in granting legal recognition to same-sex relationships. 

The simple fact that two people have a committed relationship is not a reason for the state to confer upon it the status of marriage.  Our Church teaches, and we affirm, that we must treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with dignity and love, as we would all God's children.  Indeed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church warns that any form of prejudice and hatred - 'every sign of unjust discrimination' – against homosexual people should be avoided."

Marriage is the fundamental building block of our society.  The state has always had a compelling interest in recognizing marriage for reasons of elementary biology, as was recognized by Judge Robert Smith in the 2006 NYS Court of Appeals decision, Hernandez v. Robles.  Marriage is not simply a mechanism with which to provide people with benefits.  By creating same-sex 'marriages,' the state is endorsing the notion that procreation is completely disconnected from marriage and that a nontraditional family structure serves a child as well as a traditional one.  We [The New York State Catholic Conference] firmly believe that this is terribly misguided."

Bishop Murphy calls on lawmakers in the New York State Assembly and Senate in the strongest terms to reject this radical social experiment and continue to recognize marriage for what it has always been and always will be - the permanent union of one man and one woman.

Catholics can and should express their opposition to this legislation through the NYSCC.  By logging on to its Web site, and clicking on Take Action Now, they will find a convenient and effective way of reaching our public officials in Albany with their message of opposition.  They can also contact their state senator by telephone through the New York State Senate switchboard (518-455-2800) and New York State Assembly switchboard (518-455-4100).

CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
  Director of Communications
  (p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
  (c) 516-510-0473
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.