Bishop recommits to Maine anti-gay marriage campaign

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Bishop Richard Malone

Bishop Richard Malone of Maine is boasting about his campaign against the legalization of gay marriage in the state.

The letter from the bishop was in response to a report in The New York Times.

Malone, who is being transferred to Buffalo, N.Y., in August, wrote:

“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.”

Previously, Malone's pastoral document was seen as an indication the Church would not campaign against the November ballot measure to legalize gay marriage but instead would educate churchgoers about marriage.

Maine is one of several states with marriage-related questions on the ballot.

In Washington and Maryland, voters will be asked whether they want to repeal recently approved legislation legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. In Minnesota, voters will be asked whether they want to amend the state constitution to ban marriage for same-sex couples.

Since the mid-1990s, the Catholic Church has put a lot of pennies and preaching into fighting marriage equality at the polls. The Church was especially influential in defeating gay marriage in Maine in 2009.

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