Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. HodgesMost Reverend José H. GomezArchbishop of Los Angeles

June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court’s decision is not a surprise. But it is disappointing and troubling.

The Court expresses some beautiful and true thoughts about the “transcendent” purposes of marriage and the importance of marriage as a “keystone” of our social order. The Court acknowledges that marriage has existed “for millennia and across civilizations.”

So it is hard to understand how the Court can feel so assured that it has the power to discard and rewrite the definition of marriage that has existed since the beginning of history — as the lifelong union of one man and one woman.

This decision reflects a deep confusion about the meaning of marriage, the family and the human person; about individual liberty; and about the role of the courts and legislatures in our democratic system of self-government.

By their nature, court decisions cannot really resolve social questions that are rooted in deeply held values, history, and tradition. So the public conversation and debate about marriage will continue.

As Catholics living in this democracy, our first duty always is to love and to reflect the mercy of God to all of our neighbors.

Let us go forward in charity, confident in Jesus Christ and the truths of the Gospel. Let us continue to promote the dignity of all men and women, who are made in the image of our Creator and endowed with a transcendent value and destiny.

Let us continue to work for the good of our society and to create a culture of life and love.  Remember that holy lives, good marriages, and strong families can change the world.