North Carolina's Catholic churches are urging parishioners to support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one woman and one man.
In a letter distributed Sunday, Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge and Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis ask church members to "become informed about our Church's teaching."
"We pray that you will see our position as a principled one based on eternal and divine truth and that you will vote on May 8 FOR protecting traditional marriage in North Carolina," the letter states.
The letter doesn't mention same-sex marriage. The amendment would put a constitutional ban on recognition of gay marriage and civil unions, which already are illegal in North Carolina.
To help inform their members, the state's Catholic dioceses plan to produce short videos and put inserts in church bulletins. "There will be much discussion on this issues, some of it quite strong," they write. "Because the debate will be intense, we want you to have as much factual information as possible about our Catholic teaching on marriage..."
The bishops ask for a debate that "never diminishes the inherent dignity of any person" and call for a "respectful" discussion.