Today The New York Times published Bishop R. J. Malone’s response to an article written on June 25th, namely “Second Time Around, Hope for Gay Marriage in Maine.” The article stated: “the Roman Catholic Church plans to be less active than it was in 2009, when church officials were criticized for being too involved.”

In his response, Bishop Malone clarified:

I have not backed down in the church’s defense of marriage. Although not a member of the current political action committee, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is playing a crucial role in November’s vote, launching a communication and educational effort based on my pastoral letter. This document is intended to educate all people of good will about the truth and beauty of marriage as it has been preserved for millenniums by society and various religions. Objectively, the essence of marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman open to the new life of children, whom they nurture in their irreplaceable roles as father and mother. Faithful Catholics will continue to defend God’s plan for marriage through its preaching and teaching and in the public square.

Among other things, “Second Time Around” mentioned that a decision on the wording of the ballot is due at the end of July. Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine and a board member of Protect Marriage Maine stated:
When it’s framed as ‘Should people be able to marry regardless of sexual orientation?’ you see a significant change from five years ago,” he said. “But if you ask, ‘Should marriage be defined as one man, one women?’ we don’t see significant changes.

The way in which wording affects voters (specifically those who remain undecided on the issue) comes to the fore in canvassers’ attempts to explain that it is about “love and family”; it is ultimately a matter of “humanizing” the issue. Perhaps the implication being that those who vote against same-sex marriage are against such values?

Articles by Sasha Tatasciore

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