August 21, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The following is a statement from the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to the ruling by Judge Robert L. Hinkle in the consolidated cases of Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley v. Scott:
We are sadly disappointed by the court's decision to reject marriage as the union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife. The decision fails to adequately consider that marriage unites a man and a woman with any children born from their union and protects a child's right to both a mother and a father.
Our affirmation of marriage between a man and a woman is not motivated by unjust discrimination or animosity toward anyone. Human dignity is manifested in all persons; and all have the capacity for and are deserving of love. This is especially true of children, who should be given the opportunity, to the greatest extent possible, to be raised and loved by the mother and father who conceived them.
Only the union of a man and a woman in and of itself can bring forth children and thus is the very origin of society. With its unique beauty and goodness revealed, the public has a worthy interest in protecting this institution in law as a means to ensure humanity is both nurtured and strengthened.
The judge's ruling negates marriage as identified in our state constitution and approved by nearly 62% of the electorate in a 2008 ballot initiative. Despite this decision, we will continue to promote the truth of marriage, its foundational significance to society, and its importance to children. We are hopeful that ultimately the courts will recognize the true nature and meaning of marriage.
The FCCB filed an amicus curiae brief in the consolidated case of Brenner v. Scott with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The brief can be found here: http://www.flaccb.org/socialconcerns/marriageandfamily/140512AmicusBriefBrennervScott.pdf
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The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.