Seattle Catholic Bishops Join Campaign to Repeal Gay Marriage
The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle announced that it will support Referendum 74 -- a measure that would repeal gay marriage in Washington State, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
Washington State is the most recent state to recognize same-sex marriages, in February. Almost immediately, forces marshaled against the measure to bring it to voters.
Archbishop J. Sartain and Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo are working to ban same-sex marriage in the state by collecting signatures for Referendum 74. In a letter, the clergymen said that the issue was "critically important and that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples is not discrimination.
"Treating different things differently is not unjust discrimination. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman because of its unique ends, purpose and place in society. The word ’marriage’ isn’t simply a label that can be attached to different types of relationships."
"Instead ’marriage’ reflects a deep reality -- the reality of the unique, fruitful, lifelong union that is only possible between a man and a woman. There is nothing else like it, and it can’t be defined or made into something that it isn’t."
Democratic State Sen. Ed Murarry is gay and Catholic. One of the principal backers of the marriage-equality bill in Washington State, Murray called the bishop’s tactics "fairly reprehensible."
"To use church resources, in advancing a measure that promotes discrimination, is incredibly disappointing," Murray said. "As a gay person, and a Catholic, I can understand their refusal to perform (gay) marriages. Using the church in promoting a referendum . . . is very disappointing."
A week after Washington state lawmakers voted to approve marriage equality, Gov. Chris Gregoire (herself a professed Roman Catholic) signed the measure, which made it the seventh state in the country to recognize same-sex marriage.
"We’re here to make history here in the great state of Washington..This is a very proud day...A day that we did what was right, what was just, what was fair," Gregoire said. "Here in our state we have taken a long and difficult journey, and this is the last step."