“Same-Sex” Marriage Legislation: What’s at Stake?
#1

From Crisis Magazine:



January 7, 2013
“Same-Sex” Marriage Legislation: What’s at Stake?
by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I



At the beginning of the New Year, 2013, a law is being proposed in the General Assembly to change the legal definition of marriage in Illinois to accommodate those of the same sex who wish to “marry” one another.  In this discussion, the Church will be portrayed as “anti-gay,” which is a difficult position to be in, particularly when families and the Church herself love those of their members who are same-sex oriented.  What’s at stake in this legislative proposal and in the Church’s teaching on marriage?

Basically, the nature of marriage is not a religious question.  Marriage comes to us from nature.  Christ sanctifies marriage as a sacrament for the baptized, giving it significance beyond its natural reality; the State protects marriage because it is essential to family and to the common good of society.  But neither Church nor State invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Nature and Nature’s God, to use the expression in the Declaration of Independence of our country, give the human species two mutually complementary sexes, able to transmit life through what the law has hitherto recognized as a marital union.  Consummated sexual relations between a man and a woman are ideally based on mutual love and must always be based on mutual consent, if they are genuinely human actions.  But no matter how strong a friendship or deep a love between persons of the same sex might be, it is physically impossible for two men, or two women, to consummate a marital union.  Even in civil law, non-consummation of a marriage is reason for annulment.

[html]Sexual relations between a man and a woman are naturally and necessarily different from sexual relations between same-sex partners. This truth is part of the common sense of the human race. It was true before the existence of either Church or State, and it will continue to be true when there is no State of Illinois and no United States of America. A proposal to change this truth about marriage in civil law is less a threat to religion than it is an affront to human reason and the common good of society. It means we are all to pretend to accept something we know is physically impossible. The Legislature might just as well repeal the law of gravity.[/html]

What is, then, at stake in this proposed legislation?  What is certainly at stake is the natural relationship between parents and children.  Children, even if they are loved and raised by those who are not their biological parents, want to know who their parents are, who are their natural family.  The fascination with genealogical tables and the opening of adoption records are evidence of this desire to find oneself in a biological succession of generations.  No honest “study” has disproved what we all know.  Stable marriage between a husband and wife has safeguarded their children, surrounding them with familial love and creating the secure foundation for human flourishing.  This natural desire, already weakened in a seemingly more and more promiscuous society, will no longer be privileged in civil law.  It will be no more “normal” than any other “family” arrangement.  If the nature of marriage is destroyed in civil law, the natural family goes with it.

[html]As well, those who know the difference between marriage and same-sex arrangements will be regarded as bigots. This is where the religious question does come into play. Including “religious freedom” in the title of the proposed law recognizes that religious teaching based on natural truths will now be considered evidence of illegal discrimination and will be punishable by law. The title of the law is ironic if not disingenuous. Those who know that marriage is a union between a man and a woman for the sake of family will carry a social opprobrium that will make them unwelcome on most university faculties and on the editorial boards of major newspapers. They will be excluded from the entertainment industry. Their children and grandchildren will be taught in the government schools that their parents are unenlightened, the equivalent of misguided racists. Laws teach; they express accepted social values and most people go along with societal trends, even when majority opinion espouses immoral causes.[/html]

The legalization of abortion is a good example of how an immoral procedure that kills babies in their mother’s womb is first permitted legally in limited circumstances as a necessary evil and then moves in forty years to become a condition of human freedom, necessary to be preserved at all costs, an essential part of “reproductive health care.”  We are on the same trajectory with marriage.  Model laws creating same-sex unions as civil marriage have been part of legal education for decades.  The media have engaged in a campaign on this issue for almost as long a time, desensitizing people to accept as normal something that had previously been recognized as problematic.  We are at the end of a tremendous propaganda effort by those secure in their conviction that they are at the cutting edge of human development.  But what we’re seeing is not particularly new.  Two thousand years ago, the Church was born in a society with the values now being advanced as necessary for a fair society today.

Why this law?  Since all the strictly legal consequences of natural marriage are already given to same-sex partners in civil unions, what is now at stake in this question for some homosexually oriented people is self-respect and full societal acceptance of their sexual activities.  Because fair-minded people cannot approve of hatred or disdain of others, “same-sex marriage” becomes for many a well-intentioned and good-hearted response to help others be happy.  But marriage is a public commitment with a responsibility that involves more than the personal happiness of two adults.  Inventing “civil rights” that contradict natural rights does not solve a problem of personal unhappiness.

Vox Wrote:Not only that, but homosexuals already have the exact same rights as heterosexual people: they are perfectly free to marry someone of the opposite sex, just as "straight people" are.

[html]Some religious people have framed their acceptance of this proposed law as an exemplification of compassion, justice and inclusion. As attitudes, these sentiments have been used to justify everything from eugenics to euthanasia. If religion is to be more than sentiment, the moral content of these words has to be filled in from the truths of what human reason understands and God has revealed. Same-sex unions are incompatible with the teaching that has kept the Church united to her Lord for two thousand years. [/html]

The Catholic Church in this Archdiocese has consistently condemned violence or hatred of homosexually oriented men and women.  Good pastoral practice encourages families to accept their children, no matter their sexual orientation, and not break relationships with them.  The Archdiocese offers Mass and other spiritual help to those who live their homosexuality anonymously (Courage groups) and also to those who want to be publicly part of the gay community (AGLO, which celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year).  People live out their sexual identity in different fashions, but the Church consistently offers the means to live chastely in all circumstances, as the love of God both obliges and makes possible.

Vox Wrote:But apparently that's not good enough. Loving homosexuals, wishing them happiness, speaking out against true bigotry and violence against them are not good enough. Homosexual acts must be accepted as normal and not sinful, and equating a union of two homosexuals with marriage are necessary in order to not be a "hater." And as Cardinal George said, these sorts of laws will pit children against their parents and grandparents when the kids go to school and are "brainwashed" with the radical homosexualist agenda. "Mom and Dad are so uncool, so backwards, such haters!" -- and all because Mom and Dad accept what Western civilization has taught as the norm for two millennia.

I write about this as someone who has extra-deep compassion for people who struggle with homosexual inclinations (and those who don't struggle with them, for that matter). I am seriously perturbed by nasty attitudes and name-calling that homosexuals endure (sadly, even because of some (not all and not even most) of my co-religionists, folks who should be setting an example on how to love others while also protecting our society and culture). But I think homosexualist activists are shooting themselves in the foot with this stuff and are causing damage to Western culture they haven't even dreamed about.

Finally, what is at stake in this proposed legislation was the subject of a few sentences in our Holy Father’s recent end of year address to his co-workers in Rome. Citing the Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, who recently spoke to the impact of the “philosophy of gender” as it affects proposed marriage laws in France, Pope Benedict commented: “The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.  From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be.  Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed.  But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and women in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation.  Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him.  Rabbi Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of right, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain.  When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being.  The defense of the family is about man himself.  And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears.  Whoever defends God is defending man.”

That is what’s at stake now.  Despite the seeming inevitability of “same-sex marriage” legislation, each responsible citizen should consider what he or she must now do, as a lame duck legislature, many of whose members are no longer accountable to their constituents, prepares to make a decision that will have enormous consequences for everyone.  God bless you.

This column first appeared in the January 6, 2013 – January 19, 2013 edition of Catholic New World, the Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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#2
The legislation failed this time, thanks to Cardinal George's article and folks response to the legislators. It'll come up again and maybe it'll fail again.

tim
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#3
Thanks for posting this. I am glad that the bishops are quickening because they see how far things have gone. These people don't want to wake this sleeping giant. Sure they have force of arms, but the Church on fire for souls is a force to be reckoned with. They might find themselves converted some day to the very thing they attacked. I pray so.
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#4
This is an aside, but I've seen what Scrip is refering to with "on fire". This issue can make some people's blood boil, and not just Catholics. Perhaps this if enacted could be the spark which ignites a people against all of this depraved progressiveism.

tim
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#5
Hi Tim,

I think it will take a lot more than that.  Most people have been brainwashed today and see nothing wrong with it, including many Catholics.  I think what needs to happen is the Church needs to stop signing civil marraige papers.  What the homosexuals want is forced recognition that their so called "unions" are no different than any other.  By removing the act of having Church officials sign civil marraige licenses, we remove any sanction of what the state approves.  In this way the Church can deny any and all demands by the state for the Church to "marry" homosexuals.

The act of having a priest or Church official sign civil licenses is sort of strange isn't it?  Can you imagine the state forcing the Church to baptize someone?  Never happen, but marry someone?  It is time for Catholics to just ignore the requirement from the state to get a marraige license.  Most people in society today are ignoring it on purpose.  All that Catholics need is a valid marraige in the eyes of the Church.  This removes any sanction from the Church for what the state thinks is a "marraige"
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#6
(01-08-2013, 06:20 PM)moon1234 Wrote: Hi Tim,

I think it will take a lot more than that.  Most people have been brainwashed today and see nothing wrong with it, including many Catholics.  I think what needs to happen is the Church needs to stop signing civil marraige papers.  What the homosexuals want is forced recognition that their so called "unions" are no different than any other.  By removing the act of having Church officials sign civil marraige licenses, we remove any sanction of what the state approves.  In this way the Church can deny any and all demands by the state for the Church to "marry" homosexuals.

The act of having a priest or Church official sign civil licenses is sort of strange isn't it?  Can you imagine the state forcing the Church to baptize someone?  Never happen, but marry someone?  It is time for Catholics to just ignore the requirement from the state to get a marraige license.  Most people in society today are ignoring it on purpose.  All that Catholics need is a valid marraige in the eyes of the Church.  This removes any sanction from the Church for what the state thinks is a "marraige"

I think this is what we ought to do when the state legalizes homosexual marriage, because at that point what the state calls "marriage" will be something essentially different from actual marriage, but until then I think we should remember that marriage is public in character, which means that the state, which is supposed to be the guardian of the common good, has some legitimate interest in the subject. After all, the man-woman dyad is, in its way, the basic unit of society, and so the health of any particular society depends upon the health of the institution of marriage within that society.
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#7
(01-08-2013, 06:20 PM)moon1234 Wrote: Hi Tim,

I think it will take a lot more than that.  Most people have been brainwashed today and see nothing wrong with it, including many Catholics.  I think what needs to happen is the Church needs to stop signing civil marraige papers.  What the homosexuals want is forced recognition that their so called "unions" are no different than any other.  By removing the act of having Church officials sign civil marraige licenses, we remove any sanction of what the state approves.  In this way the Church can deny any and all demands by the state for the Church to "marry" homosexuals.

The act of having a priest or Church official sign civil licenses is sort of strange isn't it?  Can you imagine the state forcing the Church to baptize someone?  Never happen, but marry someone?  It is time for Catholics to just ignore the requirement from the state to get a marraige license.  Most people in society today are ignoring it on purpose.  All that Catholics need is a valid marraige in the eyes of the Church.  This removes any sanction from the Church for what the state thinks is a "marraige"

Sorry, but this is just too simplistic.  Take England, for example.  If you don't have your marriage registered by the State, you're not 'legally' married in the eyes of English law.  Who cares?  Well, there are all sorts of tax reasons why it matters, inheritance reasons (i.e. being able to pass on your estate to your children), etc.  Moreover, there are criminal liabilities attached to for example a priest who performs a marriage without a marriage licence (a permission from the state). 

The list could go on and on, but whilst it's a nice idea to tell the state where to stick it, the reality is that the state (here at least) has made it essential to obtain its recognition.
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#8
What's scary is that young ones are being presented that its just another option among many and its being presented too young and seems to have lost taboo now- at least in southern CA. Blends with choices like what they will become, deciding what career choice or college, what car, pets or no pets, what activities or hobbies they have, how many kids they will or won't have, when they have sex, if they live together before marriage or never get married and have children anyway, and now who do they want to be with a boy or a girl. Next crazy thing will not be with who but what as humans believe they are merily animals anyway.

As much as I can teach my children Gods Law, they have to face their own free will and eventual self discovery in this fallen world. With the way society is, I am always praying they don't shuck off what we try to teach them in favor of selfish temptation and freedoms to live as they wish and not Gods will. But I am not dumb and I know it could happen. I fell off the bandwagon and got back on. I guess its not the bandwagon anymore but the point is that we have to pray and trust in God, and pray some more. I have no doubt my reversion occurred due to Gods patience, our Blessed Mother, and the church militant prayers, oh and a top notch guardian angel. I believe this will help our children. Even though the times we are living in is sickening. In CA, a bill was trying to be passed - not sure the status- that u can't foster kids if you disapprove of homosexual relationships, there goes many great homes for children. Also, there was another last year that was a therapist can't classify homosexuality as a behavioral issue, therefor cannot treat a person to live differently solely on homosexuality diagnosis and this closes the door for any person who wants help with same sex attraction. They are trying to block it.
The odd thing is that many cases same sex attraction occurs due to some sort of abuse, a person wanting a healthy strong relationship with the same sex, not getting the need met- gets eroticized and thus sexual identity confusion and crisis. I could never understand why a friend of mine in high schools mom had 5 kids them went les, well- it was emotional. The people born this way with healthy relationships and backgrounds I believe are few and it is an unfortunate cross they are to carry.
What I don't understand is why the bigger push to fight homosexuality, when abortion should have been fought louder and harder. Maybe it's my age, and I didn't see it. Maybe this is the cliff and people are waking up?  Are the Protestants changing their teachings again to accommodate this fallacy that homosexual relations are mainstream? I never heard of Adam and Bill or Eve and Jane. That'll be interesting. But religions are kinda being forced to picking and choosing now all for ecumenical and the politically correct.

I think it was Brave New World where children were sexually active for play and life/birth was separate from sex, and even mother. Doesn't seem too far off now.

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