WASHINGTON (July 14, 2004) — Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued this statement after the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Cloture would have ended the debate and permitted the Senate to vote on the Amendment.
"The Bishops of the United States are extremely disappointed that the Senate failed to close off the debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment, thereby preventing a vote on the substance of the amendment. Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, has always been recognized as the foundation of human society, but today marriage is sadly in need of protection. It is a shame that the Senate did not have the opportunity to vote on this amendment that is so necessary to the well-being of our nation."Bishop Gregory had urged the Senate to vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment and to turn back any attempt to prevent its consideration. The USCCB President also wrote to all Catholic Bishops asking them to urge their Senators to support the amendment and to encourage their local pastors to generate additional support for the amendment throughout the Catholic community.