Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci of the
Roman Catholic diocese of Manchester is asking Catholics to pray for
the repeal of New Hampshire's 2-year-old gay marriage law.
Republican lawmakers have said they
will consider state Rep. David Bates' bill that would make New
Hampshire the first state to legislatively overturn a gay marriage
law soon after the January 10 presidential primary.
Bates' bill would replace the law with
civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives, and would
allow anyone to refuse to recognize such unions.
Approximately 2,000 gay and lesbian
couples have married since the law took effect.
In an open letter posted on the
diocese's website, Libasci suggests that the marriage law needs to be
repealed because it has negatively affected society.
“Although many children are raised
with great love and sacrifice in situations other than the
traditional two-parent family, we would be deceiving ourselves if we
thought that society has not felt the impact of these developments,”
wrote. “Our parishes, schools, government agencies, charitable
organizations are reeling under the weight of dealing with the
results of the breakdown of family life.”
“In this regard, I am encouraged that
the New Hampshire General Court will have the opportunity in this
coming year to vote to restore the traditional understanding of
marriage, and I sincerely hope that the General Court will accomplish
this important task. … May the year 2012 be a year in which we
recapture the age-old knowledge of the place of marriage and the
family as the foundations of society.”
He then offered Catholics a “Prayer
for the family.”