WASHINGTON (EWTN News)—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling on citizens to urge the U.S. Senate to reject a bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
“Protecting marriage as the faithful and lifelong union of one man and one woman is critical to the common good,” said a recent action alert posted on the website for the bishops’ conference, USCCB.org.
The alert warned of the “national impact” that would be felt if the Defense of Marriage Act, which is “essential to protecting marriage,” were to be repealed.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 by a wide bipartisan margin and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The act applies the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to all federal policies.
A new bill, the Respect for Marriage Act, S.B. 598, now threatens to repeal DOMA.
The bill is authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and supported by President Barack Obama.
Opponents of the bill charge that it would remove marriage from the context of children and family. They also voice concern that it may seek to prohibit religious organizations from promoting true marriage as being the union of one man and one woman.
Legislative debate on S.B. 598 will begin in a Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting on Nov. 3.
The bishops’ statement warned that repealing the Defense of Marriage Act “would allow the administration to redefine marriage as the union of any two adults and invite the courts to impose this new definition in the states.”
The bishops are urging Catholics to contact their senators and ask them to oppose the bill.