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San Francisco archbishop backs Lee’s push to let states define marriage

First Published      Last Updated Mar 03 2014 04:13 pm

Sen. Mike Lee has picked up an ally in his legislative quest to allow Utah and other states to define marriage as they see fit.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, has endorsed the State Marriage Defense Act.

"How a state should define marriage should be left up to the citizens of each state," Lee said in a previous Salt Lake Tribune story. "It is clear the Obama administration finds the principles of federalism inconvenient in its effort to force states to redefine the institution of marriage. The State Marriage Defense Act provides an important protection for states, respecting the right to choose for themselves how each will treat the institution of marriage under the law."

The U.S. Justice Department has decided to treat same-sex marriages as equal to heterosexual marriages.

Utah's freshman GOP senator is co-sponsoring the measure, introduced by his friend and congressional confederate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

"Marriage needs to be preserved and strengthened, not redefined," Cordileone told Cruz in a Feb. 28 letter, according to the U.S. bishops group. "Every just effort to stand for the unique meaning of marriage is worthy of support."