Bishop's Statements arrow 2012 Statement on Civil Unions by Catholic Bishops of Colorado arrow
2012 Statement on Civil Unions by Catholic Bishops of Colorado

January 2012 - Proposals have been, and will be, put forward in our state to recognize so-called “civil unions.” The major flaw with civil union legislation is that in its language and practical effect it creates an alternative, parallel structure to marriage using explicitly spousal language. The Catholic Church teaches that the union of man and woman in the bond of marriage is a constant and visible reminder of God’s love and the beauty of the Divine plan for humankind

Marriage and the family are cornerstones of every culture. Marriage has long been recognized as a lifelong relationship between one man and one woman that benefits children and protects women. This is consistent with human biology and the natural law. Civil unions may attempt to mirror the marital relationship, but they lack the essential fruits of marriage. The marital relationship ensures the future of society through the creation of new human life. Upholding this truth of marriage advances the dignity of all people by promoting a culture where children can profit from the unique an complementary gifts of a mother and a father.

In Colorado we have enshrined in our Constitution the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It does little good to protect marriage in our state constitution, on the one hand, and legally recognize other unions, such as civil unions, that compete with it for equality. Civil unions are essentially marriage under another name and all implications of these types of unions have not been fully discerned or discussed.

To be clear, in opposing civil unions we have no desire to deny anyone his or her fundamental civil rights. Nearly every benefit being sought by this legislation is already legally available to Coloradans. The truth is the movement for recognition of “same-sex marriage” and “civil unions” is less about benefits and rights and more about societal acceptance and approval of homosexual relationships.

The Catholic Church in Colorado is sensitive to the pastoral needs of homosexual persons in our communities, families and churches. At the same time, our role as Catholic bishops requires that we speak the truth with charity. Our opposition to civil union legislation or any legislation that seeks to redefine marriage should not be misconstrued as a condemnation of homosexual people or an attack on fundamental human rights.

We affirm what our Church teaches – namely that we must treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with dignity and love, as we would all God’s children.

As Catholics we have a duty to protect and preserve marriage as the union of one man and woman in our laws and policies. Any attempts to weaken or redefine marriage will serve only to deteriorate the family structure of our society. We strongly urge all Catholics in Colorado to contact their elected officials and ask them to protect marriage in Colorado.


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