The following is the text of a statement of Catholics opposing California’s Proposition 8, with a link to sign on to the statement. Check out California Faith for Equality for more.
CATHOLIC STATEMENT SUPPORTING THE FREEDOM TO MARRY IN CALIFORNIA
As Catholics and citizens of California, we believe the right of each person to freedom of religion is based on respect for the dignity of each person. Without that basis, we would all stand in danger of being subjugated to beliefs or practices to which we do not subscribe. Fairness and equality must be living truths in a just society; therefore we oppose the proposal to amend the California Constitution to ban same-gender marriage.
In taking this position, we stand on principle:
- Under the State and U.S. Constitutions, Church and State are separate, to ensure that no particular religious viewpoint can be imposed on our pluralistic society.
- Recalling that we Catholics were once denied our civil rights, treated with suspicion, ridiculed because of our liturgical practices, and questioned as to our patriotism, we recognize that we Catholics in particular are challenged to remain vigilant against any bigotry or injustice entering civic life or public discourse.
- Catholic teachings on social justice call upon all to work for a just society, for creating awareness of diversity in the human family, and for showing genuine respect for others, not merely for showing a grudging tolerance for those who are different.
- As Catholics, we differentiate between sacramental marriage and civil marriage; and our Church has long done so. We therefore can clearly perceive that same-gender civil marriages pose no threat to our Church.
- Civil marriage of same-gender couples does not coerce anyone to change his or her religious beliefs; nor does it coerce any religious organization to change its own teachings or beliefs.
Our position also stands on experience, especially in welcoming same-gender couples into our community life, reminding us that God is a most gracious and wonderful Creator. Witnessing of these marriages is a source of joy and celebration for family and friends.
We value the love and commitment that these couples have for each other. While committed same-sex relationships have long existed in fact, the civil recognition of these relationships provides protection for both the dignity and equality of all. As our nation proclaimed from its very birth, each person has been endowed by the Creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Grateful for the gift of our faith and the multitude of ways that it has nourished us in our lives and grateful for our citizenship in the United States of America and the great State of California, we proudly sign this statement as Catholic citizens of California: