The Roman Catholic Church will intensify its efforts to prevent legalization of same-sex marriage, the president of the nation's Catholic bishops said Friday. Bishop Wilton D. Gregory said the bishops could endorse a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as only heterosexual,
though he stopped short of making such an endorsement himself. Gregory, of Belleville, Ill., said the church is seeking "the best, most effective, and surest means" for protecting marriage. "At this point,
everything is on the table," he said. The Vatican denounced same-sex marriage in a July doctrinal decree, while Canada's government is working to legalize it--a move that Gregory said "brought this close to us."
Some Republicans in Congress are calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage nationwide. President Bush has not endorsed that proposal but has said that marriage is between a man and a woman and that "we ought to codify that one way or the other." Gregory said, "We believe the government has an obligation to protect marriage as an institution" and that U.S. Catholic leaders will cooperate with "others who are similarly concerned with preserving the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious understanding of marriage in society."