ROME — “We are gravely disappointed that the misnamed Respect for Marriage Act passed the Senate and continue to call for its rejection,” wrote the chairman of Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth in a statement Thursday.
This week the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404), which had passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July. The legislation will codify the “nationwide redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples in federal statute for the first time,” noted the website of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB).
The bill will “heighten the threats to religious liberty that have persisted after the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision of 2015,” the USCCB added.
In his statement, Winona-Rochester Bishop Robert Barron asserted that marriage “is a lifelong and exclusive union, a complete and mutual gift of the husband and wife to each other for their good and for the procreation and education of children” and is “essential to the common good.”
Decades of social and legal developments “have torn sexuality, childbearing, and marriage from each other in the public consciousness,” Bishop Barron stated. “Much of society has lost sight of the purpose of marriage and now equates it with adults’ companionship.”
Moreover, the bishop added, the bill “fails to include clear, comprehensive, and affirmative conscience protections for religious organizations and individuals who uphold the sanctity of traditional marriage.”
The impact of this bill “will only contribute to the diminishment of the sacredness and integrity of marriage in our society,” he lamented.
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