RC Church To Step Up Anti-Gay Marriage Fight

Sat. August 30, 2003 12:00 AM by 365gay.com

Southern Illinois Bishop Leads the Fight

Chicago, IL - The Roman Catholic Church has vowed an all out war to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The president of the US Bishops conference, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, Friday said that one of the things being discussed is official endorsement of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The church, Gregory said, is seeking "the best, most effective and surest means" for protecting marriage. "At this point, everything is on the table," he said.

Gregory accused Canada of forcing the hand of the US bishops. They "brought this close to us," he said.

This summer courts in Ontario and British Columbia struck down a Canadian law barring same-sex couples from marrying. The federal government is now working on legislation to legalize gay marriage across the country.

Gregory pointed to the Vatican's July denouncement of same-sex marriages and he said the bishops were looking at the best way of forcing the government to implement it.

"We believe the government has an obligation to protect marriage as an institution," and U.S. Catholic leaders will cooperate with "others who are similarly concerned with preserving the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious understanding of marriage in society."

Some Republicans in Congress are calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriages nationwide. President Bush has not endorsed that proposal but has said marriage is between a man and a woman, and "we ought to codify that one way or the other."

by Steph Smith
365Gay.com Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©365Gay.com® 2003

Bishop Wilton D. Gregory is the first African American to be made Bishop in the small Illinois town of Belleville. The 54 year-old Gregory has pushed for reform as the Catholic Church attempts to restore trust following the revelations that hundreds of priests had sexual abused young boys. Gregory was named Time Magazine "Person of the Week" in August 2002.

Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Diocese of Belleville
222 South Third Street
Belleville, IL 62220

This article originally appeared on 365gay.com. Republished with permission.