The United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling on Catholics to “pray, fast and
sacrifice” that the U.S. Supreme Court upholds two laws which
define marriage as a heterosexual union.
The cases involved the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents federal agencies from recognizing
the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, and Proposition 8,
California's 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban. The high court
heard the cases in March and is expected to hand down rulings next
“A broad negative ruling could
redefine marriage in the law throughout the entire country, becoming
the Roe v. Wade of marriage,” the group wrote in a
nationwide bulletin insert being shared with all U.S. bishops.
The bulletin's “lead messages”
against marriage equality state that “sexual difference is
essential to marriage,” “mothers and fathers … aren't
interchangeable” and “redefining marriage in the law says [that]
... what adults want trumps what a child deserves and has a basic
The bulletin's reference to Roe v.
Wade has become a popular mantra among social conservatives and
is meant to suggest that instead of settling the issue, striking down
the laws would create a tremendous backlash. However, the same could
be said of rulings which uphold the laws considering that a majority
of Americans support marriage equality.