STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M CAP.
In striking down Sec. 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor, the Court leaves intact – at least for now -- state constitutional definitions of marriage as an institution restricted to one man and one woman. As Justice Samuel Alito points out in his dissent, no federal “right” to same-sex marriage exists. The Constitution simply does not establish one.
As Catholics we believe marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. It is a great gift to men, women, children and society. Affirming the true definition of marriage denies no one his or her basic rights. On the contrary protecting marriage affirms the equal dignity of women and men and safeguards the basic rights of children.
Same-sex unions, whatever legal form they take, cannot create new life. They cannot duplicate the love of a man and woman. But they do copy marriage and family, and in the process, they compete with and diminish the uniquely important status of both. The legal battle about marriage will continue. And the Church’s commitment to promote the authentic meaning of marriage and family will be vigorously pursued.