Virginia Bishops File Brief to Support Marriage

Episcopal Conference Official Notes Nation's Prelates United in Efforts

Washington, D.C., (Zenit.org) | 534 hits

The bishops of Virginia, represented by the Virginia Catholic Conference, filed an amicus curiae brief Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in an attempt to defend a legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

In January, District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down the provision in Virginia’s constitution that affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The brief filed on behalf of the Virginia Catholic Conference explains, “Virginia’s interest in marriage is based in the Commonwealth’s foresight that changing the legal definition of marriage would unavoidably change the way Virginia’s citizens view marriage and make the Commonwealth’s marriage laws adult-focused rather than child-focused. If the message and function of marriage is changed in concept, the cultural significance attached to marriage will also change.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, voiced his support of the legal action.

“The Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States are united in their desire to preserve the institution of marriage, and we support the Virginia bishops in their effort to defend Virginia’s recognition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman," he said. "For the good of children, it is critical that society preserve the true meaning of marriage.”

With the Virginia Catholic Conference, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will also be filing an amicus brief in Bostic v. Schaefer, along with four other institutions. Oral arguments in this case will be heard on May 13, 2014.

On the Net:

The amicus brief can be found at www.vacatholic.org.