The New York State Catholic Conference is speaking out against the state Assembly’s May 12 passage of a controversial bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages.
The bill, A7732/S4401, was introduced by Gov. David Paterson April 16 and would amend the state’s Domestic Relations Law to allow same-sex couples to marry. It also would make all provisions of state law applicable to such marriages. The bill has not yet come up for vote in the Senate.
The Catholic conference, which is the public-policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, last month joined several other organizations in speaking out against the current proposed legislation. The conference’s director, Richard Barnes, released another statement of opposition to the bill May 12 after it passed in the Assembly.
Barnes’ statement described the latest effort to redefine marriage in the state as disappointing if not entirely surprising. He noted that marriage is a fundamental building block of society, and that “the state’s sole interest in giving legal recognition to a sexual relationship between two individuals is to encourage the stable rearing of children.”
“Marriage leads to the creation of families and allows children to be raised in the same home by both their mother and father,” Barnes further stated. “It should be obvious to all that men and woman bring vastly different gifts to their roles as parents, and that children are best served in the overwhelming number of cases when they are raised by their mother and their father.”
By allowing same-sex civil marriages, New York state is endorsing the notion that procreation is disconnected from marriage, and that nontraditional family structures serve children as well as traditional family structures do, Barnes asserted.
“We firmly believe that this is terribly misguided,” his statement said of the bill. “We call on the state Senate in the strongest terms to reject this radical social experiment and continue to recognize marriage for what it has always been and will always be — the union of one man and one woman.”
The Coalition to Save Marriage also released a statement in the wake of the bill’s Assembly passage. The coalition comprises members of the Conservative Party of New York State, Marriage and Family Savers Institute, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and Concerned Women for America of New York.