(Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Sixty-three former Roman Catholic priests in Washington state will announce on Thursday that they support Referendum 74, which would make Washington the nation’s seventh state to legalize marriage between same-sex couples.

The stand comes as the state’s four Catholic bishops intensify a campaign of pastoral statements and videos urging parishoners to vote against marriage equality.

In the latest pastoral letter, Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of the Diocese of Yakima told his 41 parishes that Referendum 74 “jeopardizes freedom rather than expands it” and “endangers our religious liberty and the rights of conscience.”

“Once marriage is redefined as a genderless contract, it will become legally discriminatory for public and private institutions such as schools to promote the unique meaning of marriage . . .This law will challenge our right to educate about the unique value of children being raised by his or her own mother and father in a stable home,” Tyson wrote.

The 63 former priests, with collectively more than 800 years of service to the Church, beg to differ.

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