The nation’s top Catholic bishop issued a stern challenge to the Obama administration’s decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage, and warned the president that his policies could “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.”
In a letter sent Tuesday, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he and other prelates have grown increasingly concerned since the administration announced last February that it would no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in court.
The Obama administration says it believes the law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.
Dolan said the bishops are especially upset that the administration and opponents of DOMA are framing their argument as a civil rights issue, which he said equates “opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination.”
He also argued that traditional marriage is best for society, and that treating gay marriage as a civil right would lead to discrimination against believers and against church agencies that could not, for example, accommodate gay couples as adoptive parents.
“The administration’s failure to change course on this matter will … precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions,” Dolan warned.
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SOURCE: Religion News Service