Emphasizing that his stance is not “anti-anybody” or “anti-gay,” but purely “pro-marriage,” New York City Archbishop Timothy Dolan said Thursday that he is gravely concerned that his state's legalization of gay marriage might eventually give way to a justification of polygamy and infidelity.
In a statement posted on his blog, Dolan thanked and applauded members of the religious community for their fight against the Marriage Equality Act and for believing “that marriage is a given, at the very foundation of civilization, which the state has the duty to defend and protect, not to mutate.”
Dolan expressed worry that the state's definition of marriage no longer being between one man and one woman might lead lawmakers to “another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity.”
The archbishop mused also on threats to freedom of religion and the future possibility that “churches, and believers, will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world.”
Dolan, while coming down hard on gay marriage, embraces homosexuality, saying he is glad that many gays and lesbians have found a home “within our Catholic family.” In his blog post, he also apologized if his “strenuous defense of marriage” offended anyone.
The archbishop, who has been serving in his post in New York since 1999, is well known in the city for being an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage.
In March, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 45 percent of American Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian people to marry and that 31 percent favored allowing them to form civil unions.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law on June 24 after it received a 33-29 final vote in the state Senate.
Dolan is just the latest religious figure to voice disdain over the progression of same-sex marriage laws across the U.S. Recently, evangelical leader John Piper released a statement in which he mourned the “normalization” of homosexuality, calling it the “new calamity."