BOSTON, June 2, 2003 ( – The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts requested their pastors to read a statement in all parishes this past weekend regarding the probability of marriage being redefined by the State Supreme Court to include same-sex couples.

In their letter the bishops urge strong political action by Catholics and others to support House Bill 3190, the Marriage Affirmation and Protection Amendment, which would amend the state constitution to define marriage as only a union between a man and a woman and which would reverse any court decisions contrary to that definition.  The bishops write that they are “very concerned about what the court may do this summer” in the in the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health case in which the plaintiffs are attempting to have the restriction of a marriage license to a man and a woman struck down.

The statement continues that “Many experts on both sides of the debate think the odds are high that the plaintiffs will get what they want, a ruling redefining marriage” and that “Such an outcome will have devastating consequences here and nationally”. The bishops warn that “The Catholic Church and other private institutions with moral objections will be forced to change their employment and other policies to recognize other relationships as marriage, or face discrimination lawsuits”.  The bishops conclude “The stakes are very high.  Marriage as we know it will be irreparably harmed if we don’t respond quickly”.

See the bishops’ statement at