One day before the nation's first state-sanctioned same-sex marriages began, New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes declared his stand on two bills due to come before Louisiana legislators this week, including one seeking to define marriage in the state Constitution as the "union of one man and one woman." As clerks in Massachusetts prepared to hand out marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples today, Hughes held a news conference at the archdiocese offices Sunday to discuss same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research, two issues of moral concern to the Catholic Church that continue to divide politicians and voters around the state and country. "When the Catholic Church takes a stand on public policy, it's not because it's something the church teaches," Hughes said. "It's because it sheds light on and reinforces the truth present in the world. It is the natural law that transcends any differences in religious teachings or the teachings of any group." . . . [READ MORE] Source: "Archbishop Backs Gay Marriage Ban; Discusses Stem-Cell Research"
by Sarah Brown. Times-Picayune, Monday, May 17, 2004