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Cardinal: Gay And Lesbian Couples Have Right To Happiness, But Not Marriage

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (credit: CBS 2)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At the end of a week in which the U.S. Supreme Court considered two landmark cases, Timothy Cardinal Dolan said in interviews this Easter Sunday that gay and lesbian couples have a right to “happiness” and “friendship,” but not marriage.

Dolan appeared on multiple Sunday morning news programs Sunday, including “Face the Nation” with CBS News’ Bob Schieffer. He rebuffed a question on whether the Church would temper some of its traditionalism to keep pace with recent changes in public opinion such issues as gay rights.

“I think what we can’t tamper with what God has revealed, and you mentioned some of the issues,” Dolan said in the interview, adding that the Church “can try to do better in the way we present them with more credibility and in a more compelling way.”

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Dolan said he had a message for gays and lesbians who feel unwelcome in the Church.

“The first thing I say to them is, ‘I love you too, and God loves you,’” Dolan said. “And you were made in God’s image and likeness. And we want your happiness and you’re entitled to friendship.”

But as CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported, Dolan made it clear that he believes gay rights stop there.

“We also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that especially when it comes to sexual love, that is intended for a man and a woman in marriage where children can come about naturally,” Dolan said.

“We try our darnedest to make sure we’re not anti-anybody,” Dolan said on the program. “We’re in defense of what God has taught us about marriage, that it’s one man one woman, forever, to bring about new life.”

But the cardinal admitted that he is not sure how to do just that.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on cases the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

On Sunday, gay activists stood in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, protesting the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

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