News Release


FRONT ROYAL, VA, January 5, 2000-“Marriage is a sacrament. It is founded by God Himself. It is
holy. Courts and legislatures are trying to destroy marriage, and religious leaders must end
their silence and start speaking up in defense of it.” So said Fr. Richard Welch, CSSR, JCD,
president of Human Life International, in response to a recent ruling by the Vermont Supreme
Court.“Vermont’s high court ordered the legislature to confer upon active homosexuals, who affirm
that they reside together and commit sodomy together, all of the legal prerogatives, rights
and protections that pertain only to a husband and wife in marriage,” stated Fr. Welch.“Religious leaders and the public need to realize that this ruling does not apply to people
who reside together only as roommates instead of as partners in sodomy,” Welch added. “The
Vermont Supreme Court ruling makes an act that until recently was a crime everywhere – sodomy
– the qualifier for receiving the legal privileges of marriage.”“Yet the Church teaches that sodomy is a sin and a vice,” said Fr. Welch. “There can be no
right to do wrong, and no rights based upon a sin. This ruling devalues and diminishes
marriage’s legal and moral footing and makes sodomy its equal.”“Furthermore, the Vermont high court edict will make citizens – taxpayers – pay for the
benefits granted to the active homosexuals. Where are the rights of taxpayers? The rights of
individual Christians, Jews and Moslems who oppose sodomy? The rights of the Church?” asked
Fr. Welch. “It is profoundly evil and a grave injustice to make people subsidize sins and
violate their conscience.”“These arrogant and elitist judges are not interpreting existing law, they are inflicting
politically correct rules on society,” continued Fr. Welch, who is a canon lawyer. “This
edict is legally baseless, and therefore lawless and tyrannical.”“Religious leaders must recognize that this decision, and others like it, are nothing less
than a ruthless and totalitarian assault on religion itself, as well as on marriage, the
family, all society and the law,” said Fr. Welch. “This is an example of government usurping
the right of the Church to define and guard morality.”“If this Vermont ruling stands, courts and legislatures will not only start to cite it as an
iron-clad precedent, they will expand its meaning so as to infringe farther upon the rights
of the Church,” Fr. Welch explained. “Make no mistake, they will declare it a hate crime for
the Church to call sodomy a sin, to quote Scripture against sodomy and to affirm that
marriage is possible only between a husband and a wife.”“These courts and legislatures no longer will defer to the Church’s teaching authority or to
Scripture. They will persecute the Church for refusing to grant active homosexuals the
sacrament of marriage. They are determined to criminalize the way Christians and Americans
have always believed, taught and acted.”“What can we do about the Vermont court’s judicial tyranny, and about similar laws and
edicts?” asked Fr. Welch. “The first thing is to pray to God for help, and for the personal
strength, wisdom, holiness and charity necessary to stand up for what is right.” Fr. Welch
suggested seeking the intercessory help of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions, the holy
martyrs who an African king murdered in the 19th century because, as Catholics, they refused
to commit sodomy with him.“The next thing we can do is to understand the nature of current developments. The homosexual
activists have their own lobby and agenda for social change. One of their most effective
tactics is to manufacture lawsuits in the hope of obtaining victories such as the one the
Vermont high court handed them.”“Another highly effective tactic of the homosexual lobby is to call everything it wants a
‘right’ and to term itself a ‘minority’ and ‘community.’ No Christian should use the term
‘homosexual rights,’ because that dignifies the wish list of homosexual activists as ‘rights’
and gives them the moral high ground,” said Fr. Welch. “Nor should we legitimize individuals
who commit sodomy by equating them with actual minority groups and communities.”“No Christian should ever be taken in by another tactic of the homosexual lobby, which is to
chastise and smear everyone who defends morality, marriage, the family and religion,” Fr.
Welch continued. “It is neither ‘hate,’ ‘intolerance,’ ‘homophobia’ or ‘discrimination’ to
love active homosexuals enough to urge them to repentance and conversion to Christ, or to
point out the overwhelming flaws in their schemes to remake society and to oppose and subvert
religion and morality.“No court or legislature can ever alter nature and the natural law. God determined those
things, and mankind is powerless to change them. God is the One Who grants our rights. No
human being can invent new rights, or claim that any sin is a right. And in any case, what
would make our era so special that somehow we could suddenly overrule God about what is right
and wrong?”“What else can we do to oppose the Vermont court decision and others like it?” asked Fr.
Welch. “Our religious leaders must take a stand. They can sponsor letter-writing campaigns.
They can hold Masses in defense of marriage and the family, as well as large-scale prayer
rallies, marches, vigils and other events.”“Our religious leader also can demand that the state and federal legislatures and executive
branches use their legitimate powers to stop courts from committing judicial tyranny such as
the Vermont decision,” Fr. Welch added. “After all, the Church has always taught that an
unjust law carries no force, that an unjust law is no law at all and that Christians may not
assent to, uphold or obey an unjust law.”“Finally, our religious leaders can tell government bodies and the homosexual lobby that they
are serious – that they are willing to undergo persecution to stand up for what is right and
to defend the rights of God and the Church. The enemies of God, the Church and morality are
determined to have their way,” Fr. Welch concluded. “As bad as it is, the Vermont decision is
only a shadow of the persecution to come. It is high time that our religious leaders recognize
this situation for the extreme danger that it is.”