marriage and family

Action Alert: Ask Representatives to Vote No on HB 1386, the Sexual Orientation and Transgender Bill

The House Human Services Committee has given a “do not pass” recommendation for House Bill 1386. That means it will now head to the full House for a vote.

The Catholic Church rejects unjust discrimination, but HB 1386 would provide special legal recognition based on sexual acts and expressions as well as infringe upon religious freedom.

Contact your Representatives and ask them to vote NO on HB 1386.

Contact them here:…/pub…/publicviewpointormessage.htm

New Testimonies Posted

Two new testimonies have been posted to the North Dakota Catholic Conference website.

House Bill 1383 – is an anti-loitering bill. The conference is concerned that it could be used a tool to harass pro-life prayerful persons, sidewalk counselors, the homeless, persons with mental illnesses, and religious minorities.

House Bill 1386 – is a bill to give enhanced legal rights to persons based on sexual orientation and “gender identity.”



Contact your House Representatives NOW and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 1163.

HB 1163 would repeal the state’s Sunday closing laws.

Setting aside a common day of rest and recreation puts families and communities first.  It is part of the “North Dakota Way of Life” that makes this state great.

Contact your Representatives

Labor Day Statement Focuses on Importance of Work in Building and Supporting Families

57Creating sufficient, decent work that honors the dignity of families is a necessary component of the challenge facing all Catholics, and it is the Catholic way, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami cited the importance of work in supporting families in the 2015 Labor Day statement, which drew on Pope Francis’ June encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si’.

“We must not resign ourselves to a ‘new normal’ with an economy that does not provide stable work at a living wage for too many men and women,” Archbishop Wenski said. “We are in need of a profound conversion of heart at all levels of our lives.” Archbishop Wenski challenged Catholics to “recommit ourselves to our brothers and sisters around the world in the human family, and build systems and structures that nurture family formation and stability in our own homes and neighborhoods.”

Archbishop Wenski noted that even though work is meant for the sake of family, “Wage stagnation has increased pressures on families, as the costs of food, housing, transportation, and education continue to pile up.” He added that “the violation of human dignity is evident in exploited workers, trafficked women and children, and a broken immigration system that fails people and families desperate for decent work and a better life.”

Archbishop Wenski said that, in Laudato Si’, Pope Francis challenges people to see the connections between human labor, care for creation, and honoring the dignity of the “universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.”

The full text of the 2015 Labor Day statement is available online.



Bishop Folda Statement in Response to SCOTUS Decision on Same-Sex Unions

fargodiocese-bishopfolda-mThe following statement is released on behalf of Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo:

I am deeply saddened by the Supreme Court’s decision to mandate the redefinition of marriage in every state of our nation. This ruling, which fails to uphold the truth of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, is a tragic error that will have long-lasting consequences for generations to come. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the morality of abortion more than 40 years ago, the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling will not settle this question of marriage today. Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court has declared, the truth of marriage as found in natural law and as taught by Jesus Christ has not changed and remains unchangeable.

The Supreme Court’s decision will have a significant impact on the first amendment right to religious liberty. It sets the beliefs of millions of Americans about marriage in opposition to the law and will create innumerable conflicts between the state and religious people and institutions. In light of this decision, I urgently ask government officials of our state and throughout the country to implement measures that will protect the religious freedom of individuals and institutions who uphold the authentic meaning of marriage.

The Catholic Church will continue to teach and defend the goodness, beauty and truth of marriage given to us by our Lord. As Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, I urge all Catholics to witness more fervently to the truth about marriage. I also ask all people of good will and those in positions of authority to join in affirming this truth and to respect the freedom of those who seek to live according to it.

Bishop Kagan Statement Regarding Court Ruling on Marriage

1_0_677971BISMARCK, N.D. (June 26, 2015) – The following statement is being released on behalf of Bishop David Kagan, Diocese of Bismarck.

We are saddened and disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning the recognition of same-sex relationships. As St. John Paul II said, “The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.” Our defense of the truth is not over despite this erroneous decision. With great respect for the rule of law in the United States, we will continue to teach and practice God’s truth that marriage is a union between one man and one woman for a lifetime.


We join with the Archbishop Kurtz and the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) in calling this decision a “tragic error.” We will stand united and “move forward with faith” as he has asked of us.

The Catholic Church continues to affirm the inherent dignity of persons with a same-sex attraction. At the same time, it is my fervent hope and expectation that the right of religious liberty and freedom of conscience of all persons will be respected and defended by the government without exception.

Supreme Court Decision on Marriage “A Tragic Error” Says President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference

1934701_106085432284_2617810_nJune 26, 2015
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The full statement follows:
Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.
Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.
I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.
Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.

Faith Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Marriage and Religious Liberty


A few days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the rights of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, more than 30 religious leaders representing diverse faith communities throughout the United States have reaffirmed their shared commitment to marriage and religious freedom. An open letter entitled “The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness” was issued to all in positions of public service on April 23.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), signed the open letter and was joined by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty; and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

“We hope this letter serves as an encouragement to all of us, especially those dedicated to public service, to continue to promote both marriage and religious freedom as integral to a healthy and free society,” said Archbishop Kurtz. “Marriage as the union of one man and one woman provides the best context for the birth and rearing of children and should be specially protected by law. The law, when it upholds the unique meaning of marriage, is simply recognizing an objective reality, not constructing one: children always have a mother and a father and deserve to be loved and raised by both of them. Society should work to strengthen the unique bond between husband and wife, knowing that strong marriages build stronger communities.”

The religious leaders stressed the need for civility and mutual respect, writing, “Government should protect the rights of those with differing views of marriage to express their beliefs and convictions without fear of intimidation, marginalization or unwarranted charges that their values imply hostility, animosity, or hatred of others.”

The leaders close with a statement of their duty and love towards all: “In this and in all that we do, we are motivated by our duty to love God and neighbor. This love extends to all those who disagree with us on this issue. The well-being of men, women, and the children they conceive compels us to stand for marriage as between one man and one woman.”

The letter is available at: and follows two previous open letters: “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment,” issued December 6, 2010, and “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together,” issued January 12, 2012, which are available at


Committee Gives “Sexual Orientation Discrimination” Bill Do Not Pass Recommendation

1280px-2009-0521-ND-StateCapitolThe House Human Services Committee overwhelmingly voted against SB 2279, a bill that would give sexual acts outside of marriage special legal protection while restricting religious freedoms.  The vote was 11-2 for a Do Not Pass recommendation.

The committee made an amendment to the problematic “religious exemptions” in the bill which the conference is still analyzing.

The “Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Bill” is not about sexual orientation discrimination.

1280px-2009-0521-ND-StateCapitolThe state House is considering SB 2279, often called the “sexual orientation non-discrimination” bill.  A vocal campaign in favor of the bill has tried to make the bill a referendum on how a person feels about sexual orientation discrimination.  According to them, if discrimination based on sexual orientation is “bad,” you must support the bill.  Opposing the bill, to them, means that you endorse such discrimination.

The truth is that the bill is not about how one feels about sexual orientation.  The truth is that the bill gives special legal protection – the right to sue – based on an individual’s sexual-related acts.

In addition, the bill is a direct attack – some would say a right to harass – on individuals and organizations with sincere religious beliefs about those sexual acts.

For more information, see the testimony of the conference against SB 2279.