Catholic Bishop Urges Congress at Hearing to Defend Religious Liberty, DOMA


A press release from the U.S. Bishops:

The head of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) called on Congress to defend the American legacy of religious liberty on October 26, during a hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

The chairman, Bishop William C. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, noted several recent actions by government entities that mark the erosion of the freedom of religion, often called the nation’s “First Freedom.” [Read his testimony here.]

... He also urged the House to reject the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 1116), which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA, which was signed by President Clinton in 1996, defines marriage as between one man and one woman for purposes of federal law and leaves states free to define marriage as they see fit. Bishop Lori added that the U.S. bishops “applaud the decision of the House to take up the defense of DOMA,” which the U.S. Department of Justice has refused to defend in court. He called on the House to continue that defense “for as long as necessary to obtain definitive confirmation of [DOMA’s] constitutionality.”

He added that the Department of Justice’s decision to abandon DOMA seems to “warrant congressional inquiry.”