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PHOENIX -- Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix Wednesday released the following statement Wendesday after the Supreme Court said a California ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

The statement has not been altered in any way.

The U.S. Supreme Court had the chance to uphold the importance of marriage and its fundamental role in providing for our children and the future of the United States. By striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and failing to uphold California's Proposition 8, the Court has succumbed to our culture's radical efforts to redefine marriage and, in a very real sense, is now engaged in the ongoing battle against families, society and people of faith.

God has a plan for marriage, which He wove into the very fabric of human nature. This plan is so deeply embedded in our human nature that every culture in history has recognized it, and enshrined and protected it in law and custom. Marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman was not an idea created by these cultures but, rather, a truth received by them as something handed down from a higher authority.

Marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. It is important to point out that everyone deserves love and respect, including those who experience same-sex attraction. But society is not served by marriage redefinition. Our children deserve the truth as instilled by one mother and one father in marriage as a family unit.

Despite the bad news from today's rulings we are fortunate that the Court did not hold that the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize so-called same-sex "marriage." Accordingly, Arizona's constitutional marriage amendment that was approved by voters in 2008 will thankfully remain in place.

While we are saddened by today's tragic Court decisions, we will continue our efforts to promote, strengthen and defend marriage in the face of this grave injustice handed down today. I ask for your prayers and support as we seek to build up a culture of life, respect, dignity and truth.

KTAR Newsroom,

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