Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, Maine (formerly an auxiliary bishop in Boston) on Sunday asked all of his state's parishes to read a letter opposing same-sex marriage in the Pine Tree State. From the AP story:
"The leader of Maine's Roman Catholic diocese issued a letter opposing gay marriage, to be read at weekend Masses. 'To redefine marriage to include same-sex couples is to strip marriage of an essential component, namely the ability and obligation to procreate,' Bishop Richard Malone (left) said in his letter. The letter appeared days after the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry in Maine, a group of Maine ministers from different faiths, announced their support for gay marriage. It also follows referendums in California, Arizona, and Florida in which same-sex marriage bans were imposed. The advocacy group EqualityMaine said it gathered more than 33,000 names on Election Day in support of marriage for same-sex couples."
Here's an excerpt from Malone's homily:
"Marriage, as it has been known and lived for millennia, is under attack in our country, and now, in our own state. Much of the argument to legalize so-called 'same sex' marriage is motivated by a concern, and a sincere one, I am sure, to secure certain legal benefits for people in same sex relationships. The Diocese of Portland has been unwavering in its support of hospital visitation rights or the sharing of health insurance benefits between household members, people choosing to live together whatever their sexual orientation. That only seems fair. However, to insist that complementarity of sexes is a fundamental prerequisite for marriage is not to be unfair."
(Photo, from 1999, by Pam Berry of the Globe staff.)