Archbishop Coakley on ruling against state marriage amendments: “In season or out, the Church upholds the truth about marriage”

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 26, 2014) – Yesterday, by a vote of two to one, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state constitutional amendments that define marriage as between one man and one woman violate the U.S. Constitution.

While the decision came in a case from Utah, it presumably applies to all states in the circuit, including Oklahoma. The effects of the decision will be delayed as long as the ruling is under appeal, however, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has already said his office will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Today, Archbishop Paul Coakley expressed his disappointment at the appeals court ruling, urging a renewed societal sense of the immutable truth about marriage.

“This decision marks the first time that an appellate court has ruled that an amendment to codify the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional – and that’s very discouraging,” the archbishop said.


“Ultimately, though, as I have said in the past, no court decision can change underlying reality. The Church upholds the self-evident truth that men and women are different – and that that difference matters, especially when it comes to marriage and parenthood.

“Marriage bridges the divide between past and future, linking children to grandparents. Because only the union of a man and a woman brings forth children, all children have a mother and father – and we should seek to preserve their knowledge of and relationship with both father and mother whenever possible.

“It’s worth noting, however that the 10th Circuit decision was split. We are appreciative of the minority opinion of Judge Paul Kelly Jr., who soundly cautioned the courts not to overreach in this matter,” he added. “We hope and pray that, if and when this case reaches the Supreme Court, the justices will heed his advice, stop short of mandating a national acceptance of a false understanding of marriage and instead affirm the sacred and enduring truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”


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