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Catholic bishops reject gay marriage law

LOS ANGELES, June 16 (UPI) -- As California officials prepared for gay nuptials Monday, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and other bishops said marriage should be between and man and woman.

In a statement, the Roman Catholic officials said marriage "has a unique place in God's creation, joining a man and a woman in a committed relationship in order to nurture and support the new life for which marriage is intended," the Los Angeles Times reported.

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"The meaning of marriage is deeply rooted in history and culture, and has been shaped considerably by Christian tradition. Its meaning is given, not constructed," their statement said.

The earliest time gay and lesbian couples in California were to be allowed to marry was 5:01 p.m. PDT Monday.

A handful of counties were to begin issuing marriage licenses at that time, but most will begin Tuesday, the newspaper said.

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