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ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis has issued a statement in response to four same-sex marriage ceremonies performed in Mayor Francis Slay's office Wednesday night.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who personally supports same-sex marriage, says he is seeking an injunction preventing St. Louis officials from issuing more same-sex marriage licenses because it conflicts with state laws.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is disappointed in the decision by the City of St. Louis to grant civil marriage licenses to four same sex couples on Wednesday night. It is disheartening to see our wonderful city, named after the great Catholic civil leader St. King Louis IX, so eagerly cast aside the laws of our state and disregard the laws of nature. The fact is, the union of two men or the union of two women is not the same as the union of a woman and a man.
Loving a person does not mean accepting all their behaviors. The Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. Persons who struggle with same-sex attraction must be loved with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. At the same time, the Catholic faith teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality -- whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, priest or lay person. Part of that responsibility means understanding that sex is to be reserved for marriage, and that marriage between a man and a woman is the only kind of union from which children can come.
The Catholic faith teaches that we are defined by something far deeper than sexual orientation: we are defined by our identity as children of God. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he said, 'Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord's loving heart.' We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to pray that our culture will grow in the love of God, and that our actions and laws will respect the laws of nature and its creator.
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