By Gudrun Schultz

Archbishop BrunettSEATTLE,  Washington, July 25, 2006 ( – Permitting same-sex “marriages” could lead to a serious loss of religious freedom, Seattle Archbishop Alexander Brunett warned Thursday in a legal brief filed in the ongoing battle over the state’s ban on homosexual “marriages.”

  The court hearing the case, however, rejected the brief on account of the fact that it comes over a year too late; oral arguments were heard in the state Supreme Court in March 2005. The archbishop was finally convinced to file the brief after witnessing the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in other states and its possible legal ramifications on religious institututions, reports The Seattle Times.

“The state would be in the position of establishing socially acceptable public theology…Such an intrusion into religious practice should not be permitted,” wrote Archbishop Brunett.

  He warned that overturning the ban would set up “an inevitable collision with religion,” saying the church would be in danger of losing the civil authority to perform marriages and could be vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits for refusing to conduct homosexual “marriages.”

  Earlier this year Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo caused a stir when he similarly warned religious leaders worldwide that the current secularist direction the West is taking could see the Church hauled before an international criminal court. He explained that “speaking in defense of life and for the rights of the family is becoming in some societies a type of crime against the State, a form of disobedience to the Government, a discrimination against women.”

  While the brief marks Archbishop Brunett’s first contribution to the legal battle underway in the state, in September 2005 he issued a pastoral letter clarifying the Church’s teaching on marriage. Entitled The Gift of Marriage, A Union Most Sacred, the letter responded to “challenges to the understanding of marriage commonly held in our society.”

  Calling on the faithful to witness to the sanctity of marriage, the Archbishop said, “By upholding marriage as a union between a man and woman…we place before others the reality that marriage is more than a legal agreement and should not be changed by civil authority.”

“It is important to remember that the bond between husbands and wives in marriage and their fruitfulness as parents is the essential building block of society. This is a common good that government exists to serve and uphold. It also is the reason the Catholic Church opposes attempts by proponents of same-sex unions to overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act.”

“Irrespective of our background, our social status, our race, our culture or our economic standing, we are all here as a result of the union of a man and a woman.”

  The battle over the state’s ban on homosexual marriage has been in the courts since 2004, when Seattle King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marriage violated the state constitution. Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens said Thursday the decision on the same-sex “marriage” case would likely come September 19, according to the AP.

  Read Archbishop Brunett’s pastoral letter on marriage:

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Judge Legalizes Same-Sex “Marriage” for Washington State