Statement by Bishop Michael Burbidge on the House passage of the misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act”

Today the United States House of Representatives voted 258 to 169 to pass a bill that would create a federal statute that attempts to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. 

We believe that all people have inherent God-given dignity and are worthy of our love and respect. That belief is inextricably linked to another foundational understanding: that marriage, as the lifelong, exclusive union of one man and one woman, is also given by God and cannot be redefined. This deeply held belief is also held by millions of well-meaning and sincere people - both people of faith and people who ascribe to no faith - throughout the country.

While the act was named the Respect for Marriage Act, it in fact shows grave disrespect for the institution of marriage as written in natural law. Marriage between a man and a woman is an institution understood throughout history as the foundational building block of society.

I urge people of faith and those of goodwill to continue to pray that marriage, as it was intended by our Creator, will continue to be honored and supported throughout our country.

To read the statement by Bishop Robert E. Barron of Winona-Rochester, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, click here: