On National Marriage Week, Equally Blessed celebrates all marriages

In response to the Bishop’s National Marriage Week campaign, the Equally Blessed coalition urges US Catholics to pray for the inclusion and celebration of same-sex couples in the Catholic Church.

Boston, MA., February 6, 2014—Today, the Equally Blessed coalition released the following statement regarding the US Conference of Catholic Bishop’s call for Catholics to participate in “National Marriage Day” on February 9 and “National Marriage Week” on February 7-14:

The National Marriage Week campaign’s limited scope creates an unwelcoming Church for the thousands of US Catholics in same-sex marriages who live their lives as shining examples of love in the face of discrimination. By encouraging local parishes to observe “National Marriage Day” during Sunday mass, the bishops are once again using the liturgy as a weapon to further alienate LGBT Catholics and their supporters.

This campaign only serves to show how out of touch the bishops are with the values of everyday Catholics. While the bishops continue to abuse their power by pouring money and effort into thinly veiled anti-equality campaigns like National Marriage Week, the majority of US Catholics continue to support equality for LGBT families. Catholics know that all marriages based on love and respect are sacred and we implore the bishops to follow the laity’s lead and cease this attack on LGBT families.

Equally Blessed calls on all Catholic parishes, faith sharing groups, families and individuals to celebrate the holiness of all marriages– including same-sex marriages. During National Marriage Week, Equally Blessed supporters across the country will unite their voices to pray this prayer in celebration of same-sex couples in our Church:

A Prayer for All Marriages
Loving God,
You who created each of us in Your own image
and who called us together in community,
We give You thanks for the gift of marriage
and for the many couples
whose love and commitment to each other reminds us
of Your never-ending love for humanity.
We thank You for all the different types of marriages in our world:
young couples beginning a life together, as well as couples celebrating decades of love,
re-married couples and those who found each other later in life,
couples whose marriages are recognized by our state and our Church,
and same-sex couples who are denied that recognition
but who continue to bravely model love and commitment in the face of discrimination.
We thank You for the many kinds of families that are strengthened by these marriages:
families of biological children and adopted children,
blended families and families of choice,
as well as couples without children who work together to nurture communities of love and justice.
This week, as many are observing National Marriage Week,
we ask You to pour Your blessings onto every marriage
regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Make each marriage one of love, respect and peace.
Guide each couple as they strive to be an example of your love in the world
and surround them with family and friends who honor and celebrate their commitment.
Help us support marriage and family in all of its diversity
and guide us as we speak out against oppression in our Church.
Lead us toward the day when all loving unions will be seen as sacred
and all couples will have the support and recognition of their faith communities.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, who called us to love one another as we love You,

Equally Blessed is a coalition of four Catholic organizations that have spent more than 120 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. Collectively and individually, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry are devoted to informing, supporting and giving voice to the growing majority within the Catholic Church in the United States that favors equality under law for LGBT people.

Contact: Christine Haider-Winnett, coordinator@equallyblessed.org

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