Catholic Elders Decry Calif. Marriage Ruling

by Steve Weinstein

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday May 28, 2008

The archbishop of San Francisco, one of the most senior positions in the American Catholic Church, is decrying the decision by the state's highest court to legalize gay marriage in the Golden State.

The Catholic News Service reports that Archbishop George H. Niederauer and other California Catholic leaders condemned the May 15 ruling as a decision that "takes California in the opposite direction" of what he said was the unambiguous teaching of Jesus--that God "made them male and female" and "for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife."

The archbishop didn't address the fact that Jesus never specifically discusses homosexuality. He did, however, add that "this action challenges those in society who believe in the importance of the traditional understanding of marriage to deepen their witness to the unique and essential role that marriage between a man and a woman has in the life of society."

Catholic groups have joined other religious conservatives in backing a measure on the Nov. 4 ballot that would amend the state Constitution to limit marriage to man and woman.

Bill May, chairman of the Bay Area-based Catholics for the Common Good, told Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper, that protecting traditional marriage is a "matter of social justice."

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).