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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Rainbow Sash Movement Responds to the California Bishops Support of Proposition 8

(RSM News, August 5, 2008)-- Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Catholics respond to the endorsement of the Catholic Conference of California in support of Proposition 8 defining marriage only between a man and a woman. Supporting this position are the Archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco; Dioceses of Fresno, Monterey, Oakland, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton; Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys; and the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles.

Law and private morality must never be confused. The Law is for the common good of the whole community and should not be used to impose private morality of any religious group. This is a blatant attempt to coerce private morality by public rule. The Catholic Conference of California does not give a sufficient rational basis for saying that marriage is only restricted to a man and women under the Constitution.

Irrational statements such as: "that the ideal well-being of children is to be raised by both a mother and a father in a traditional marriage has no basis in fact. The American Psychiatric Association Position Statement on this matter states:

"Numerous studies over the last three decades consistently demonstrate that the children raised by gay and lesbian parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as children raised by heterosexual parents. This research indicates that optimal development for children is based not on sexual orientation of the parents, but on the stable attachments to committed and nurturing adults. The research also shows that children who have two parents, regardless of the parent's sexual orientations, do better than children with only one parent."

The idea being promoted by the Bishops in a surreptitiousness manner is a definition of marriage's primary purpose as being procreative, and the love purpose being secondary. This comes directly from Pope Paul VI, encyclical letter Humane Vita, 26th July 1968, no.12. We feel the Bishops need to think again on this matter, and not become ensnared in homophobia rendering them unable to resist the dominant culture of bigotry. In this matter the Church does not speak for all of Christianity.

The Catholic Bishops of California are guilty of fuzzy thinking.The Church's task is to clearly articulate its position in an unbiased way, moving beyond the prison dogmatic propaganda. It is not the Bishops place to tell people how to vote. One wonders what has happened to the edge of Christian conscience. How has it become so badly blunted since the milieu of homophobia?

Because the Bishops are in the middle of an immature emotional reaction against Gay Marriage it has not been possible to hold an intelligent conversation with them that would allow for a dialogue. Their fixation on same sex auto erotic sexuality can only harm rational discussion and blind individuals to the Civil Rights of Gays and Lesbians to marry. No one is saying the Church has to recognize these marriages, or even perform them. Certainly many Catholics get divorced and remarried and the Church is not trying to change the law on that matter under the mantle of "Freedom of Religion".

The Catholic Bishops of California have clearly not presented the facts. Their arguments on Gay Marriage are based on authority, and not the power of argument with objectified facts. They have also misrepresented the Catholic Church's Teaching on a moral conscience. There continues to be ambiguity in Church on this matter, and it would be wrong for them to promote the idea of consistency in the matter exclusively based on the Teaching Magisterum. Like the issues of contraception and woman's ordination, Catholic Californians will have to decide and take adult responsibility for the decisions they make on the fairness of Gay Marriage before God, other people, and their own deeper selves.

To find out more about the Rainbow Sash Movement please visit our web site at www.rainbowsashmovement.com.


Contact Person

Joe Murray
US Convener
Rainbow Sash Movement


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