Catholic bishops: Equal marriage in Florida ‘threatens religious liberty’

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Florida’s Catholic bishops have blasted a federal judge’s decision to overturn a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The bishops claim it “threatens both religious liberty and the freedom of individuals to conscientiously object.”

Catholic Culture reports they said in a statement: “The conjugal nature of a marriage between a man and a woman has provided for millennia the basis for norms of marital exclusivity and permanence that made possible stable families necessary for human flourishing”.

The bishops continued: “How society understands marriage has great public significance. Because of this, redefining civil ‘marriage’ to include two persons of the same sex will have far-reaching consequences in society.

“Such a change advances the notion that marriage is only about the affective gratification of consenting adults. Such a redefinition of marriage does nothing to safeguard a child’s right to a mother and father and to be raised in a stable family where his or her development and well-being is served to the greatest extent possible.”

Couples began marrying in Miami-Dade County on 5 January, after a ruling only applying to that county took effect there.

A second ruling, made in August by US District Judge Robert L Hinkle declared the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

Judge Hinkle’s ruling was stayed until yesterday.