Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of
the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wants President Barack Obama
to push the reset button on gay marriage.
Dolan, who as the archbishop of New
York actively lobbied lawmakers against legalizing gay marriage, on
Tuesday called on the president to enforce and defend in court the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bans federal
agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
Currently such unions are legal in six
states, New York being the latest, and the District of Columbia.
Earlier this year, Obama instructed the
Department of Justice to no longer defend DOMA in court. House
Republicans have taken on that responsibility. Since then, the
president has announced support for a bill that would repeal DOMA.
Dolan expressed “grave concerns”
about the moves which “escalate the threat to marriage and imperil
the religious freedom of those who promote the defense of marriage.”
“Mr. President, I respectfully urge
you to push the reset button on your Administration's approach to
DOMA,” Dolan wrote. (Read
the full letter.)
After New York legalized gay marriage
in June, Dolan apologized for calling such unions an “ominous
threat” to society and “a violation of what we consider the
natural law that's embedded in every man and woman.”
“To the gay community, I love you
very much. If anything I ever said or did would lead you to believe
that I have anything less than love and respect for you, I
apologize,” Dolan said.