The U.S. Bishops are encouraging Catholics throughout the country to offer their Friday acts of sacrifice and penance for the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.
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Talking Point
Doesn't a religious exemption protect institutions and individuals if they believe that marriage can only be between a man and a woman?

A religious exemption may provide protections, but so far those protections have been drawn very narrowly and fail to cover known risks. Marriage so pervades the law, it is difficult to foresee all circumstances where religious freedom conflicts may arise. But even further, no religious exemption can justify a supportive or neutral position on the redefinition of marriage because redefining marriage  is always fundamentally unjust. 
Catechesis Corner 
" The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships...  it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family.

Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.

But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man's stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life-over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life. "

--Pope Paul VI,   Humanae Vitae , no. 2.
For Your Marriage

For news and current events pertaining to marriage, visit the
 page on the For Your Marriage website.
Quick Links
February 2018
National Marriage Week

February 7-14 is National Marriage Week (surrounding the celebration of World Marriage Sunday on February 11). Be sure to check out the new mobile website of For Your Marriage!

"Made for Love" Podcast

MUR's very own podcast  Made for Love debuted on January 8, 2018. It is available on iTunes (search for USCCBClips at the iTunes store and find all the USCCB audio) and on our website via SoundCloud!

Made for Love highlights the joys and struggles of real people when it comes to love, marriage, and sexuality. Episodes will surround various teachings of the Church and show how people deal with various situations in real time.

These are the episodes out now:
1. The Baptism Reversal
2. When Love Meets Silence
3. When Love is Not Love

Today, we released the episode:  When Love Means Leaving (on domestic violence) and for National Marriage week we will put out  The Power of the Table (about eating together as a family) .

If you have a story idea, please contact Sara Perla at
First Freedom Podcast

Also check out the Religious Liberty podcast!  Current episodes feature the work of USCCB Government Relations , the wisdom of Archbishop Lori of Baltimore, Montse Alvarado from Becket, and more! Click here to listen to all the episodes!
Legal Updates

U.S. Supreme Court
On January 8, 2018, The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of the Mississippi conscience protection law Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523), thus allowing the law to take effect. This law expressly protects persons who maintain that marriage is the union of one man and one woman from government discrimination.

On December 20, 2017, a federal district court ruled  that the city of Atlanta's requirement for employees to submit non-work-related texts for review before publishing are unconstitutional. These rules had led to the termination of the employment of former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who sued the city.

North Carolina
On December 27, 2017, a "transgender" man in North Carolina, Charlene Bost, sued Sam's Club for harassment and wrongful firing.

On January 2, 2018, a federal judge in Chicago denied an injunction to the plaintiffs of the Students & Parents for Privacy v. U.S. Department of Education who were asking that the district's policy of allowing "transgender" students access to spaces according to their "gender identity" be suspended. Judge Jorge Alonso cited the 7th Circuit ruling in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District .

On January 9, 2018, the Kenosha school board voted to settle the "transgender" student lawsuit Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District and pay the student $800,000. The Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of the student on May 30, 2017 but the school district had earlier planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On January 9, 2018, two Utah residents petitioned the Utah Supreme Court to appeal a ruling of a state judge who denied their request to change the sex designation on their identification cards. The judge allowed name changes, but not change of their sex, for the two "transgender" individuals. 
International News

In January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that same-sex "marriages" should be recognized by all the countries who have signed the American Convention on Human Rights. According to the BBC, this means that Bolivia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, and Peru will be expected to change their laws accordingly.
Also in January, the advocate general of the EU's European Court of Justice recommends that all its member states be forced to recognize the same-sex "marriages" of persons from other states, even if the state does not have marriage redefinition. He wrote that the word "spouse," must be, "interpreted autonomously and uniformly throughout the EU."
Legislation in the 115th Congress

The USCCB continues to support the First Amendment Defense Act, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, and the Healthy Relationships Act in Congress. 

Take Action Now! by visiting this link and urge your representatives to support and co-sponsor this vital legislation.
Marriage: Unique for a Reason is an initiative of the United St ates Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB ). It offers resources to assist with the education and catechesis of Catholics on why marriage is unique and why it should be promoted and protected as the union of one man and one woman. Questions or comments, contact: