Archbishop Chaput: ‘Same-Sex Unions, Whatever Legal Form They Take, Cannot Create New Life’

By Alissa Tabirian | June 28, 2013 | 3:23 PM EDT

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, head of the Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia. (AP)

( -- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, head of the Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia, said on Wednesday in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that “same-sex unions, whatever legal form they take, cannot create new life.”

“Same-sex unions, whatever legal form they take, cannot create new life,” said the archbishop.  “They cannot duplicate the love of a man and woman. But they do copy marriage and family, and in the process they compete with and diminish the uniquely important status of both.”

“The legal battle about marriage will continue,” he said.  “And the Church’s commitment to promote the authentic meaning of marriage and family will be vigorously pursued.”

The Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA in a 5-4 ruling on Wednesday. This decision enables same-sex married couples to claim the federal benefits which, under DOMA, had been reserved for marriages between one man and one woman.

In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The principal purpose is to impose inequality, not for other reasons like governmental efficiency.”

Utah Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, proposes to Stephen Justesen, his boyfriend of over twenty-five years, during a party at Club Sound Wednesday June 26, 2013 in Salt Lake City. Dabakis said the proposal was a spur-of-the-moment decision and a wedding date has not been set.  (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Chris Detrick)

In his dissent, Justice Scalia said, “We have no power to decide this case. And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America.”

Remarking further on the court’s ruling, Archbishop Chaput noted that Justice Samuel Alito, in his dissent, explained that there is no federal “right” to gay marriage, the “Constitution simply does not establish one.”

There are about 1.5 million Catholics in the archdiocese of Philadelphia and 267 parishes.