We, the Roman Catholic Bishops of Iowa, strongly disagree with the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court which strikes down Iowa's law defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. This decision rejects the wisdom of thousands of years of human history. It implements a novel understanding of marriage, which will grievously harm families and children.
This unwarranted social engineering attacks the good that marriage offers to society, especially the good of children, and weakens the critical relationship between marriage and parenting. We will resolutely continue to protect and promote marriage as a union between a man and a woman because of its unique and historical contribution to the common good.
We uphold the right of all people to be treated with respect and live in peace. This right, like the right to enter into a permanent, monogamous marriage of one man and one woman, derives directly from the intrinsic dignity of the human person. These are rights which the state has the duty to recognize and protect. They are not something that the state creates or may redefine. The citizens of every state who have been given the opportunity have voted to preserve civil marriage as it has been recognized and defined since the beginning of recorded history.
Therefore, we exhort Catholics and other citizens of Iowa to recognize the clear need for a constitutional amendment on marriage. We affirm that supporting the ideal of marriage as the stable union of one man and one woman is necessary to defend marriage, families, children, and the common good.
Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB, Archbishop of Dubuque
Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City
Most Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport
Most Rev. Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines
[For a fuller explanation of our position, check the "Statements" section on the website of the Iowa Catholic Conference, www.iowacatholicconference.org. An alert is available in the Action Center.]