Archbishop Cordileone calls Minnesota’s redefinition of marriage the ‘height of irony’


A week ago yesterday Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton turned his back on children across his state by signing into law a bill that allows same-sex couples to participate in the institution of marriage. Dayton signed the bill during a ceremony held on the steps of the state Capitol Tuesday following its passage in the Minnesota State House (75-59) and Senate (37-30). 107 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

Although Governor Dayton told those in attendance that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness certainly includes the right to marry the person you love,” there was no indication that he nor the thousands of ‘marriage equality’ supporters in attendance were cognizant of the fact that the law discriminates against polygamists, pedophiles and relatives who just want to “marry the person(s) they love.”

Perhaps this embarrassing oversight didn’t cross the minds of those who voted for the law, which now defines marriage as a contract between “two people.” Then again, maybe it was intentional. Maybe those who voted in favor of the law are just a bunch of bigots. Regardless, as it stands today, Minnesota is now the 12th state in the union and 1st in the Midwest to ignore science, cast aside the biological differences between men and women, and redefine marriage along gender neutral lines.


“It is the height of irony,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, “that the Minnesota legislature decided, and the governor signed into law, the redefinition of marriage just after we celebrated the unique gifts of mothers and women on Mother’s Day.”

“Instead of strengthening [motherhood and fatherhood]the Minnesota legislature’s decision to redefine marriage weakens motherhood and fatherhood, and so strikes a blow to all children who deserve both a mother and father.”

The decision of gay rights activists to pressure Minnesota lawmakers into supporting a law they know will lead to the total loss of religious freedom and, as some LGBT activists contend, the eventual destruction of marriage all together, comes a mere six months after Minnesotans narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Although opponents of that amendment said it wasn’t necessary because Minnesota law already supported the traditional definition of marriage, their innocent-sounding claims were nothing more than duplicitous entreaties meant to trick marriage supporters into staying home and not voting.

Noting the surreptitiousness of their arguments, Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, issued a press release last week. In it, Brown claimed that marriage redefiners “always intended to redefine [marriage]at the soonest possible moment.” He later argued that “legislators who voted to redefine marriage were foolish to do so. They cast a terrible vote that damages society, tells children they don’t deserve a mother and a father, and brands supporters of traditional marriage as bigots.”

Recognizing that defenders of marriage are now facing an uphill battle, Archbishop Cordileone encouraged people to work even harder. “We know that now is the time to redouble our prayers, efforts and witness. The truth of marriage is not going away.”

“We know what it takes to work toward a culture of life even in the midst of laws that work against us,” he added. “The same is true for rebuilding a culture of marriage. No matter what the horizon may bring, we will continue in charity and truth to stand for justice and for the most vulnerable among us.”

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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