San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore
Cordileone believes a Supreme Court ruling striking down Prop 8 would
intensify the marriage debate.
The Supreme Court will next week hear
oral arguments in a case challenging California's 2008 voter-approved
constitutional amendment which defines marriage as a heterosexual
Cordileone, who leads the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee for the
Promotion and Defense of Marriage, explained the church's opposition
to gay marriage in an interview with USA
“No matter what the Supreme Court
rules, this debate is not over,” Cordileone said. “Marriage is
too important and the issues raised by treating same-gender unions as
marriages are too fundamental to just go away. Just as Roe v.
Wade did not end the conversation about abortion, so a ruling
that tries to import same-sex marriage into our Constitution is not
going to end the marriage debate, but intensify it.”
“We will have a bitterly polarized
country divided on the marriage issue for years, if not generations
After arguing that marriage was an
institution created to meet the needs of children, not adults,
Cordileone explained why marriage was appropriate for infertile
straight couples but not gay and lesbian couples.
“Our bodies have meaning. The
conjugal union of a man and a woman is not a factor to produce
babies; marriage seeks to create a total community of love, a 'one
flesh' union of mind, heart and body that includes a willingness to
care for any children their bodily union makes together.”
“Two men and two women can certainly
have a close loving committed emotional relationship, but they can
never ever join as one flesh in the unique way a husband and wife
do,” he added.