PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Catholic diocese will not actively campaign against a same sex referendum which is expected to be on the ballot this fall.
At a news conference Friday, Bishop richard Malone says the diocese instead is focusing on teaching the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. The announcement is a big reversal from three years ago when the diocese contributed a little more than half a million dollars to Stand For Marriage Maine to defeat same sex marriage.
The Bishop also unveiled a 'pastoral letter' which is the cornerstone's of the diocese's platform on gay marriage. The letter will be discussed in catholic churchs, schools, in the diocese's magazine and on catholic radio.
'This pastoral letter is to promote and good and healthy understanding of marriage as well as to respond to the need to better educate our people with the vote coming in,' said Bishop Malone.
Officials with Equality Maine a gay rights group which supports same sex marriage, says the church may be playing a different role this time. Equality Maine is expecting the national organization for marriage, or NOM, to lobby against the gay marriage law.