Statement on Supreme Court Same Sex Marriage Decisions
June 26, 2013
Bala Cynwyd, PA— Board President John I. Lane, M.D., speaking on behalf of the members of the Catholic Medical Association, issued the following statement in light of the Supreme Court’s decisions on same-sex marriage issued today:
We are profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which served to support the institution of marriage in the provision of federal benefits, and to refuse to protect the rights of the citizens of California to defend authentic marriage through legal means. These decisions not only are wrong, they are tragic, for they will substantially undermine the health and well-being of countless men, women, and children for years to come by undermining the institution of marriage. Marriage is a divinely instituted, time-tested institution which binds a man and a woman together for life, and binds parents to their children. No other institution in human civilization can better serve these fundamental goods. As a physician-led association of healthcare professionals who have witnessed the effects of other harmful social trends, including the rise of no-fault divorce, we are deeply worried about the impact that this decision will have on our patients and fellow citizens.
Catholic Medical Association members are also deeply concerned about the effect of these Supreme Court decisions on religious freedom and the rule of law. Not only did the majority of Justices inappropriately strike down laws passed by overwhelming majorities of federal legislators (in the case of DOMA) and a clear majority of citizens over the course of two state-wide initiatives (in the case of California); rather, they also unjustly impugned the motives and beliefs of millions of American citizens by stating, in part: “[DOMA] is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” This statement is untrue, unfair, and will provide a potential pretext for opponents of religious freedom to continue their attacks on people of faith.
It is important to note that, while today’s decisions are deeply wrong and destructive, they are limited in scope. The Supreme Court did not find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and citizens in states with laws protecting authentic marriage will continue to enjoy the protection of those laws. In the uncertain days ahead, members of the Catholic Medical Association will continue to offer high-quality care for their patients in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and to publicly defend the authentic nature of marriage.
Founded in 1932, the Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic physicians in North America.
For more information, go to http://www.cathmed.org.
CONTACT: John Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L., Executive Director & Ethicist