Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, today issued the following statement responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions striking down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
“The Supreme Court’s decisions to overturn Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act are the latest in a troubling trend of decisions by lawmakers, judges, and some voters which ignores the fundamental truth about marriage: it is the most valued, most important social unit in our society and as such is deserving of the protection and special recognition societies have afforded it throughout human history. Today’s decisions will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences, most especially for children, and are another serious blow to the institution of marriage.
“Sadly, the Courts have chosen to follow at a time when our Nation most needs strong leaders—leaders who wish to promote strong families instead of dismantling them. In a society such as ours, the Catholic Church may indeed be counter-cultural in its defense and promotion of a family built on the foundation of a healthy marriage between a man and a woman. Our consistent teaching on marriage is reflective of our respect for the dignity of the human person and the belief that children have the best chance to succeed when raised by both a father and a mother.
“Today’s decisions will also undoubtedly contribute to concerted efforts not just to redefine marriage but to dismantle it, efforts which represent a serious threat to religious liberty and conscience rights for countless people of faith. This threat to religious freedom is one of many, locally and nationally, that has prompted our current Fortnight for Freedom, which we hope will inspire people throughout the country to prayer, education, and action to preserve religious liberty.”