Washington, DC — DignityUSA applauds the U.S. Senate, which today voted 49-48 to block further debate on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. This vote was far from the 2/3 support required to begin the process of amending our Constitution. Sponsors of the amendment had expected to have several more favorable votes than the 48 votes in their 2004 consideration of this issue but, significantly, this failed to materialize. In response to what DignityUSA leaders characterized as “clearly a mean-spirited partisan and discriminatory attempt to rally conservative voters,” the measure was widely opposed by many senators, including moderate Republicans. The amendment, frequently referred to as an act to “defend marriage,” ironically would have significantly limited future marriages by preventing gay and lesbian couples from making their life-long marriage commitments. In addition, it probably would have voided the legal marriages of some same-sex 8,000 couples in Massachusetts.
For those truly interested in “defending marriage,” DignityUSA suggests they focus their energies on increasing support for families in tangibles ways, including improved marriage counseling resources to help couples and families restore communication, fidelity, trust and love. Experts agree that there are many factors leading to the high divorce rate among heterosexual couple, but same-sex marriage is not one of them.
Furthermore, DignityUSA calls on states around the country to follow the lead of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and California in extending marital rights and other forms of legal recognition to gay and lesbian families. Marriage equality is clearly working in Massachusetts, which has the lowest divorce rate among the fifty states. Marriage equality for all Americans is essential in dealing with the social ills of the country we so love.
Just as we did in 2004, DignityUSA calls for fairness and justice in civil society and the Church.
“As Americans, we remind our fellow citizens of a foundational principle of our form of government: All are created equal. Consistent with the pursuit of liberty and justice for all, same-sex couples should have full and equal access to the rights and responsibilities bestowed by civil marriage.
“As Catholics, we remind our Church of a foundational conviction of our faith: God is love and all who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them. The love that brings and binds two people of the same, or opposite sex, together has a divine source. It is therefore sacramental in nature and should be celebrated as such by our Church.”
DignityUSA is the nation’s foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and chapters across the country. DignityUSA works for full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and Society. www.dignityusa.org