New Sherwood

Central Valley rebellion

Here are a couple of encouraging articles:

Calif. clerk stopping marriages to resist ruling:

“As same-sex couples prepare to wed in California later this month, one county clerk in the conservative Central Valley plans to sidestep the state’s legalization of gay marriage by not performing any ceremonies.

Ann Barnett plans to stop performing ceremonies for all couples in Kern County as of June 14. She will issue the new gender-neutral marriage licenses as required by law on June 17, but refuses to preside over any ceremony because of space and staff constraints, she said in a statement.

Barnett’s announcement came after she received advice from county lawyers that she could not refuse to marry only couples of her choosing.

Barnett, who also got advice from the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian law firm, did not return multiple requests for comment on Friday from The Associated Press.

Another Central Valley clerk, Merced County’s Stephen Jones, said Friday he would end all ceremonies too, but he later retracted his statement after coming under pressure from county officials.”

“We fully expect to be sued”.

“The county clerk of Kern County has announced that, after June 13, her office will no longer provide civil marriages – same-sex or otherwise. Ann Barnett, who holds the multiple titles of auditor, controller and county clerk, had earlier tried to avoid performing same-sex ceremonies at all. She asked the county counsel to join in a motion filed by 10 states seeking a stay of the high court’s May 15 ruling legalizing same-sex marriages until after Nov. 4, when Californians will have a chance to vote on an initiative that would amend the state constitution to restrict marriage to between one man and one woman.

But when the state Supreme Court announced on June 4 it would not stay its decision legalizing same-sex marriages, Barnett decided to end marriage ceremonies altogether. ‘Because of long-term administrative plans, budgetary reasons, and the need to increase security for elections, the Clerk’s office will cease solemnizing weddings, which is discretionary on the part of the County Clerk,’ said a release issued by Barnett’s office on the same evening the high court refused to grant the stay.”

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The Diocese of Sacramento – the Central Valley’s largest diocese with over 900,000 Catholics – has issued the following statement:

“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The decision of the California Supreme Court in mid-May legalizing so-called same-sex ‘marriage’ is a profoundly disturbing matter. As your bishops, we want to offer you our pastoral support and guidance on this matter.

For Catholics, marriage is a reality authored by God in his very act of creating the human race, and the marriage relationship is only possible between one man and one woman. In Catholic teaching, the purposes of this relationship are (1) the mutual, loving support of husband and wife and (2) their loving service of life by bringing children into the world and raising them to be virtuous and productive. No government can change the irrevocable order which God has inscribed in our nature.

That a same-sex union is not a marriage is a conviction which all Catholics implicitly affirm when, in our baptismal promises, we profess that we share the Church’s faith that the ‘Father Almighty [is] the Creator of heaven and earth.’ The recent court action removed the language to speak of that which is an essential building block of society, the sacred union of a man and woman for the sake of creating a family. Our own values and vision about the family are, in effect, now deemed private. Yet, the Gospel we preach and the Gospel we are called to live is a Gospel of life. It is a Gospel that says ‘yes’ to life. Our ‘no’ to same sex unions is defined by our ‘yes’ to human life as God created it. We cannot be indifferent about something that ultimately will be detrimental to human life and society. As Pope Benedict recently reminded us, ours is a message of hope because it is ultimately rooted in the love of God made manifest, made public, through the person of Jesus.

Our understanding of marriage, while confirmed by faith, can be known also from reason. Therefore, efforts to enshrine this truth about marriage in the laws of our society are not an imposition of an ideology but a service of the truth which we make for the common good. This effort is not a form of discrimination. As Catholic disciples, we treat all people with respect, but we must live out and promote God’s plan for the human person.

We pledge to support you as you exercise your baptismal vocation to work to bring the civil order into harmony with God’s design for marriage. An important way of doing this is to join the statewide effort to promote and pass the initiative that has qualified for the November ballot which would amend the California constitution so as to restrict the institution of marriage to a man and a woman. As bishops of the Diocese of Sacramento, we will do our best to lead you in your response. Your parish clergy will do the same.

Let us keep in mind the encouraging words of the Holy Father during his recent visit to the United States: ‘Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of our lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming, power of the Gospel.’

Please join us in praying fervently and frequently, ‘Father…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

Sincerely in Christ,

WILLIAM K. WEIGAND
Bishop of Sacramento

JAIME SOTO
Coadjutor Bishop of Sacramento”

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Also, the Catholic organization “Tradition, Family, Property” ran a bold and unequivocal call for civil disobedience in the Los Angeles Times on June 5:

1) Catholics Have an Obligation to Oppose Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Considerations (very important Vatican document – Jeff) states that Catholics must do their utmost to oppose the legalization of homosexual unions. We are bound a fortiori to resist homosexual ‘marriage,’ taking into account the following points in Considerations:

* ‘The approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.’
* ‘One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws.’
* ‘Material cooperation on the level of their application’ must be avoided.
* One may even resort to the ‘right to conscientious objection.’
* Where homosexual unions have been legalized, ‘
clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.’ (No. 5)

2) Laws that Contradict Right Reason Do Not Bind in Conscience

Considerations explains the moral basis for this resistance, saying, ‘civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience’ (Evangelium Vitae, no. 72). Every law must be ‘consistent with the natural moral law recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.’[12]

The natural moral law binds all people, in all times. No State is above its precepts. State authorities who enact or enforce same-sex ‘marriage’ laws fail in their duty to uphold the common good. To them can be addressed the words of Saint John the Baptist to King Herod: ‘It is not lawful for thee.’ (Matt. 14:4; Mark 6:18)”

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Glenn County had the highest percentage of votes (82%) in California for Proposition 22, the initiative that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. I have asked our Clerk, Mr. Vince Minto, to tell me how Glenn County plans to respond to this crisis. Will keep you posted …

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June 10, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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