U.S. Catholic bishops and CNSNews.com declared today that they had “refuted” the Ninth Circuit federal ruling on the constitutionality of Californians’ equal access to civil institutions such as marriage.

The bishops consistently argued that facts are less important in a court of law than “faith” and evidence-free “reason” (prejudice).

Cardinal Francis George, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), rejected [Judge Vaughn] Walker’s claims, stating that “no court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”

The Aug. 4 ruling, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put an emergency stay on this week, stated that, “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

With this statement, the bishops lied about the core reasoning of the ruling, which was:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.

The bishops didn’t stop there. Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the bishops, said in an e-mail to CNSNews.com that “Judge Walker, in his decision, backed his bigotry with errors, including the misstatement that the ‘Catholic Church views homosexuality as sinful.’ The fact is, the Catholic Church sees homosexuality as a condition, an inclination in a person, something not intrinsically sinful.”

According to Walsh, Catholic autocrats are unbigoted for imposing their antigay prejudices upon all the civil institutions that couples of all faiths or no faith may require — and meanwhile, Walsh contends, courts that defend civil law and constitutional equality are bigoted for rejecting false Catholic claims to authority over civil society and for rejecting Catholic false distinctions between sin and supposedly-unholy-disorders-that-cause-one-to-sin. The spokeswoman is also quoted projecting the bishops’ own desire to “upend the U.S. Constitution” onto the targets of the bishops’ bigotry.

Among other highlights of the CNS press release:

  • Francis de Rosa, a Virginia church administrator, attaches a qualifier to human rights, arguing that no one has the “special” right to be who they are, if that happens to be “gay.” de Rosa further argues that material facts are unnecessary in a court of law — only a politically correct faith and factually unsupported “reason” (theology) are required: “Vaughn Walker’s ruling asserts that the Catholic argument against homosexual acts is without a ‘rational basis,’ yet that teaching is not based solely upon principles of faith. It is certainly possible to argue from pure reason that it is against the nature of the human person to engage in homosexuality.”
    Without a shred of evidence, de Rosa and other bishops falsely state — only when not under oath — that “homosexuality is a pyscho-sexual disorder that harms the person and society.”
  • Without a single study in existence to support his claim, William Donahue of the Catholic League chimes in — falsely stating, “All the psychological data show that children need a father and a mother” — no matter how abusive, incompetent, or unavailable said pairs happen to be.
  • Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, makes the heretical suggestion that perhaps voters — not the Vatican — can somehow define marriage for Catholics and every other faith. “Citizens of this nation have uniformly voted to uphold the understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman in every jurisdiction where the issue has been on the ballot.”
  • Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, projects his own “hysteria” onto the Northern California federal circuit.