WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The chairmen
of two U.S. bishops' committees March 14 called the First Amendment Defense Act
"a modest and important measure" because it protects those who believe marriage
is "the union of one man and one woman."
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, recently reintroduced
the measure in the Senate.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops "has been vocal in support of the legislation since its inception,"
said a joint statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky,
chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of
Lincoln, Nebraska, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense
In welcoming its reintroduction, they said the First Amendment
Defense Act "is a modest and important measure that protects the rights
faith-based organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who
that marriage is the union of one man and one woman."
believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman, they said, "are
increasingly having their religious freedoms jeopardized and even forfeited."
"In a pluralistic society," they
continued, "faith-based charitable agencies and schools should not be excluded from
participation in public life by loss of licenses, accreditation or tax-exempt
status because they hold reasonable views on marriage that differ from the
federal government's view."
In a 5-4 decision in June 2015,
the U.S. Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have the right to marry
in all 50 states.
The Catholic Church's leadership
will continue "to promote and protect the natural truth of marriage as foundational
to the common good," they said. "The church will also continue to stand for the
ability of all to exercise their religious beliefs and moral convictions in
public life without fear of government discrimination."
"In a climate of increasing
intolerance, these protections are urgently needed," Archbishop Kurtz and Bishop
"The teaching of the Catholic
Church about marriage is based on both faith and reason. Using right reason,
one can know that given the nature of the human person, created as male and
female, marriage is the union of one man and one woman," they said.
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The text of the
letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2paKqVK