Home / Pastoral / Public Policy / Defend Marriage

Defend Marriage

Supreme Court Decision

On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that part of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.  That decision meant that the federal government would have to recognize same-sex "marriages" that are permitted under the laws of the states or foreign governments.  The Court also refused to uphold California's Proposition 8, which defended the authentic definition of marriage.

For more information about the effect of these decisions, see this statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and these blog posts:
You can also download this briefing paper with a summary of the threats to religious liberty presented by the redefinition of marriage.
For more information, see the United States Bishops' background on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, and their campaign to defend marriage.
Resources for Clergy and Parishes
The effort to defend marriage continues around the nation.  It is vitally important the we continue to educate the faithful on the real nature of marriage.  The following resources, which were developed during the battle to defend marriage in New York, may be helpful:
Here are some other resources that contain useful information and background on same-sex "marriage" bills:
We would also recommend articles and homilies by:
  • "The Joint Defense of Marriage and Democracy"
  • "Strengthening Marriage"
Defend Marriage -- A Campaign from the U.S. Bishops
The institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman, dedicated to their well-being and to the procreation and education of children, is under constant attack in our nation.  Efforts in legislatures and courts threaten this institution by seeking to fundamentally re-define it.   In response, the U.S. Bishops have begun a new initiative, the “Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage” with many resources on this issue.  Please check out their website: www.marriageuniqueforareason.org
General Background and Resources
Here is a video presentation from the Knights of Columbus on the issue of same-sex "marriage" and how it would affect the common good: 
It is often heard that the authentic definition of marriage is "indefensible", "irrational", or "discriminatory".  Yet courts -- both federal and state -- have consistently upheld the definition of marriage as one man-one woman, with only a few exceptions.  For more information, see this legal analysis on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and this legal analysis of state marriage laws.
You may also wish to consult two documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
Prayer for Marriage
The defense of marriage must always be rooted in prayer.  Here is a beautiful prayer for marriage, from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (which is also available in Spanish)
God our Father,
we give you thanks for the gift of marriage:
the bond of life and love, and the font of the family.

The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.

The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the request of the Blessed Mother.
May your Son, through the intercession of Mary,
pour out upon us a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers in the lives of their children.

Father, we ask that our prayers be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.


Sign up for the Catholic Advocacy Network
The most effective tool we have to influence our legislators is the Catholic Advocacy Network.