Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is facing a constitutional challenge in Federal Court in Philadelphia. Attorneys for a lesbian woman who was “married” to her partner in Canada have petitioned the court to declare Pennsylvania’s marriage law to be unconstitutional. (COZEN O’CONNOR, P.C. v. TOBITS Case Number 2:11-cv-00045) A very similar case led the high court in Iowa to legalize same-sex marriage there in 2009.
A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
Pennsylvania legislators are considering legislation which would pave the way for citizens to vote on a constitutional amendment protecting marriage. Voters in 30 other states have already enacted such constitutional amendments.
In order for a marriage amendment to be added to the state constitution, it must pass the state legislature in two consecutive sessions of the state legislature before it can go to voters in 2014 for passage.
“This court case is a real and present danger to marriage in Pennsylvania,” said Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Council. “It’s time our legislature act on a constitutional amendment to allow the people a voice on this important issue.”
After millennia of human experience and ethical reflection, history has shown the family to be the foundation of society. The institution of marriage plays an essential role in the continuation of the human race, the full and proper development of each person and the establishment of a society rooted in personal dignity, social stability and mutual respect. Marriage is the foundation of the family. In turn the family is the basic unit of society. Thus while marriage is a personal relationship it also has public significance.
The Church’s vision of human sexuality in marriage is a great truth entrusted to us by God as reflected in the way he created us. Jesus Christ also revealed to us what God’s plan is for our sexuality and for marriage. We not only cherish this great truth but we must also speak up in its defense because we hold marriage to be a sacred reality.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your state legislators to encourage them to support a Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment.
LEARN MORE: Read more about what the Church teaches and why we should work to protect the civil definition of marriage with these resources.
- Marriage & Society
- Marriage & Children
- Respecting Sexuality
- Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality: Respecting Human Dignity
- USCCB: Unique for a Reason