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Catholic Church Supports D.C. Gay Marriage Ban

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Via Politico comes news that the archdiocese of Washington D.C. has officially affirmed its support of the "Marriage Initiative of 2009," banning gay marriage in the District of Columbia. In effort to stress the definition of marriage under civil law as the union between a man and a woman, the archdiocese wrote letters to 300 priests to advance the Church's position.

The archdiocese's press release:

The Archdiocese of Washington today submitted a letter to the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics in support of the "Marriage Initiative of 2009." The initiative, filed by the Stand4MarriageDC.com Coalition, would define marriage in the District of Columbia, for the purposes of civil law, as the union between one man and one woman.

Also today, Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl sent a letter to 300 local priests regarding the significance of marriage and attempts being made to redefine marriage.

"A ballot initiative will give voters in the District of Columbia a voice on this critical issue. Earlier this year, the City Council pushed through legal recognition of same-sex marriages from other states without even giving their constituents an opportunity to have input," said Ronald Jackson, executive director of the DC Catholic Conference.

"It is ironic that at the same time the city is asking for voting representation in the U.S. Congress, its leaders are denying residents the opportunity to participate in the democratic process for an issue with widespread implications for children and families," he added.

"One challenge we see today is a lack of understanding by many people about what marriage is," said Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl. "Marriage simply recognizes a relationship that is fundamental to nature: the complementarity of man and woman. That relationship is not a creation of church or civil law. However, governments and faith groups recognize marriage as between a man and woman because the exclusive, mutual and lifelong gift of a husband and wife to each other is the most stable and secure foundation to create and nurture children."

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