Same-Sex “Marriage” Bill Will Radically Change Nature of Marriage: Bishops to New York State Senate

Fri Jun 5, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

ALBANY, June 5, 2009 ( – The Catholic Bishops of New York have issued a letter urging the state senate to reject a bill, already passed by the New York State Assembly, that will legalize same-sex “marriage.” The measure is “ill-advised” and “would radically change the timeless institution of marriage,” the bishops’ letter said.

The letter, signed by every member of the New York bishop’s conference, comes after the claim by New York governor David Paterson that same-sex “marriage” is a civil right and the “right way” to go from a spiritual standpoint. Paterson put forward the measure on April 16 which was later passed in the Assembly by an 89-52 vote. 

The New York Senate has until June 22 to approve the bill. Its sponsor, state Sen. Thomas Duane, told the New York Daily News that he has the votes needed to approve the bill. However, his claim is disputed by the Senate’s foremost opponent of same-sex “marriage,” Ruben Diaz Sr., and a recent NY1 poll of senators.

The NY1 poll tallies only twenty committed “yes” votes – all Democrats, and only two of them upstate representatives. On the other hand, 22 Republicans and 6 Democrats have stated they will vote “no.”

“Throughout history,” the bishops’ letter said, “different cultures have had different customs regarding marriage. But the one constant has been the conviction that marriage is the union of a man and a woman in an enduring bond, ordered for the procreation and stable rearing of children,” they said.

“Nature and our common heritage,” and not simply Catholic teaching, defines the meaning of marriage, they said.

“The state has a compelling legal interest in promoting marriage between men and women in order to create stable families and provide for the safety, health and well-being of children.

“The state has no such compelling legal interest in recognizing a relationship between two people of the same sex,” the bishops said.

Governor Paterson was criticised by Sen. Ruben Diaz for having put his measure forward a day before the installation of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to the See of New York City.

Diaz told Catholic News Agency at the time, “If I were Governor Paterson, I would abstain from going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the welcoming ceremony and to celebrate Mass.”

Read related coverage:

NY Assembly Passes Same-Sex "Marriage" Bill

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