In a statement issued Tuesday, Aug. 26 by the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the state’s Catholic bishops, the bishops reaffirmed their support for Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and for the voters who approved it, as the seventh circuit court hears a lawsuit on the legality of the state amendment.

“In approving the long understood truth that marriage is a union between a man and a woman the voters were not establishing a religious understanding of marriage as an institution,” the bishops said. “Rather they were recognizing a truth about human relationships and the nurturing of generations.”

Wisconsin’s voters approved the constitutional amendment defining marriage in a 2006 referendum that garnered 59 percent of the vote. The amendment has since been challenged in federal court and a judge for the Western District of Wisconsin held the measure to violate the U.S. Constitution. The ruling was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Appeals Court consolidated the case with a similar appeal from Indiana. The Court heard oral arguments on the case on August 26, 2014.

In addition to affirming their support for the amendment, the bishops also praised Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen for his defense of the amendment.

“The Attorney General is being true to his oath of office in which he swore to uphold the State Constitution. In doing his duty consistent with that oath he is reminding us all that we are governed by laws as they are, not as we want them to be. He deserves our respect for meeting the demands of his office and keeping faith with that solemn oath of office.”

The Court of Appeals will rule on the case at a future date. Whatever it decides, it is certain that the case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.