DOMA Decision: Catholic, Episcopal Leaders In State Disagree

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Gay rights activists outside the U.S. Supreme Court building after Wednesday’s ruling. (AGP/Getty Images)

The bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut on Thursday praised the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, a day after the Roman Catholic archbishop of Hartford lamented it.

In a written statement Thursday, the Episcopal bishops said, in part:

We give thanks for the recognition of state and federal law enacted by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act.  In Connecticut that means that all married couples will have the same status before the law.  This is a move forward for equal justice for all and the civil rights of gay and lesbian people. We give thanks for the marriages of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and the voice of General Convention offering rites of blessing for their love.

The message was signed by the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, bishop diocesan; the Rt. Rev. James E. Curry, bishop suffragan; and the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, bishop suffragan.

On Wednesday, Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell released this written statement criticizing the decision:

“Marriage between a man and woman is one of the greatest gifts that God has given humanity. It predates both religion and government and is grounded in the nature of a human person. By striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Supreme Court is corroding this most sacred union, and sending the wrong message to society by saying that sexual difference doesn’t matter. It does. Marriage is an institution that needs to be strengthened and nourished—not devalued.”


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