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My Answers To Questions About Gay Marriage

June 24, AD2015

Birgit - holy family
With regard to gay “marriage”, here is a list of the questions I come across most often, with my brief answers:

-1-

“Why are you against gay marriage?”

It’s not that I am against gay “marriage” per se, it’s that gay “marriage” is an ontological impossibility. It’s like asking why I am against square circles. Marriage has an essence, a meaning. It has always been a certain kind of union of persons, specifically a conjugal union rooted in biology itself; it is complementary and heterosexual by its very nature. The particulars of marriage contracts have varied over time and cultures, but the essence of male/female has not. Brides have always presupposed grooms. The fact that marriage is a “universal” throughout human history indicates something huge, namely the recognition that this one particular type of personal relationship is unique among all others: It is naturally ordered toward procreation. That children result from the union of man and woman (now mother and father) is the foundational reason that human societies have had an interest in protecting, elevating, and/or providing benefits for this type of union.

Without this sexual complementarity, and without the ability to consummate a marriage, there can be no marriage. With bodies of the same sex, the marital act cannot be completed and consummation is not possible. A bride implies a groom in the same way that a lock implies a key. Two locks make no sense together. Two keys make no sense together. The union of husband and wife, like the integration of lock and key, is a relationship different from any other.

-2-

“But what about heterosexual couples who are infertile? They are allowed to marry even though they can’t procreate!”

The completed sexual union of male and female is always ordered toward procreation, even if the couple does not actually conceive a child. Age or illness or a defect in the reproductive system may make individual unions infertile, but that doesn’t change the nature of the act, which is ordered toward generation. Producing children is not the basis of a valid marriage, the conjugal union is. Whether or not children are conceived is beyond human control. It’s not the conception of children that makes a marriage, it’s the total, one-flesh union of husband and wife. The conjugal union itself, not the fruit of the union, is the seal of the marriage.

And as we’ve all known infertile couples who’ve eventually conceived years or even decades after their weddings, we can never say with certainty who will or will not be childless. God and nature have ways of surprising us. However, we can say with complete certainty that two men will never conceive a child from their sexual acts, nor will two women. The sexual “union” of two men or two women is always barren, as nature and right order would have it. It’s the way it’s supposed to be.

-3-

“What about men and women who are handicapped and not able to consummate? Are you saying that they cannot be married?”

This is a very delicate subject to discuss precisely because we have forgotten that marriage is a conjugal union. If there is no possibility of a conjugal union, not even one time, then the essence of marriage is missing. A relationship between two people without the ability to have sexual intercourse (i.e., to become “one flesh”) is called a friendship. That sounds cold to the modern ear, since we want everyone to feel good and “be happy”. But feeling good at the expense of what is true can never satisfy, not ultimately.

Impotence or the inability to consummate is an impediment to the Sacrament of Matrimony for sure, but even the secular state will annul a civil marriage on the basis of non-consummation.

Now, with today’s technology, thank God, there are many ways to cure impotence and allow for marital relations, and that is a blessing.

-4-

“So you think marriage is all about sex! Can’t you see it’s about love?”

No, marriage is not “all about sex”, of course, but sex is an intrinsic part of marriage. As mentioned above, a close and intimate relationship without sex is called a friendship, and neither church nor state would have reason to validate or elevate or give special status to that, as wonderful as friendship is. Also, while romantic feelings (what people usually mean these days when they talk about “love”) are ideal and desired between spouses, they’ve never, ever been a prerequisite for valid marriage. To say so would be to deny that many of our own ancestors (and even some of our parents and grandparents!) were actually married. My grandparents, for example, did not know each other well when they became husband and wife. Yet they were married for over fifty years and had many children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren, and now great-great-grandchildren). A romantic feeling at the time of their wedding was not a requirement for a valid marriage.

Heck, if you ask Golde and Tevye (you all are huge Fiddler on the Roof fans like me, right?), they’d say their marriage turned out just fine, even though they met on their wedding day.

(Yes, I know they are fictional, but they are also representative. And you might notice that their understanding of love is closer to what authentic love actually is: A choice, and a willing of the other’s good, not a “feeling”.)

-5-

“But the state says that gay people can marry, so that means they can!”

There are many things the state has said that are legal fictions, i.e., that are not true or based in reality. For only a small example, governments have declared at various times that certain human beings are less human than others (slaves, Jews, the unborn), or that women are men and men are women (transgender laws). None of those laws can change reality. The law is not magic, and it cannot make black people less human, it cannot make women turn into men, and it cannot make marriage between two men (or two women) possible. The state can play with words, but it cannot change essences. The playing with words is a problem unto itself, and we should be very wary when any political agenda bursts forth in a frenzy, redefining a word to mean something foreign to anything it has meant before. So, when someone says to me, “Look, if the state says two men are married, then they’re married!” this is what I hear:

“Look, if the state says that a woman is now a man, then the woman is now a man!”
“Look, if the state says that all chairs are now clocks, then they are!”
“Look, if the state says that Jews are not human, then they aren’t human!”
“Look, if the state says that black people can be the property of others, then they can be!”
“Look, if the state says that the unborn are not human beings, then they aren’t!”

(Four out of five of those “truths” have happened, by the way.)

I teach my children not to lie. I will not go along with a lie. I will not teach my children to go along with a lie.

Marriage is pre-political  — no state invented it, nor can any state redefine it. Heck, even the etymology of the words “marry” and “matrimony” (derived from the word “mother”) excludes the very concept of a homosexual “marriage”. Of course, the government can give out specific benefits and services to whomever it wishes (that’s within its legitimate authority), but what it cannot do is redefine an institution that it did not create in the first place.

We may not legitimately demand the change of a thing’s essence, simply because we have strong “feelings” about what we want. The truth about marriage is what Hillary Clinton so eloquently stated just a few years ago, before her “evolution” on the issue. She believed:

“…the fundamental bedrock principle that [marriage] exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history, as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principle role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society in which they are to become adults.”

and

“Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.”

Politicians cannot suddenly pass a law or judges sign some papers and change the truth of it.

-6-

“Why not support civil unions if you can’t support gay marriage?”

That was tried and it didn’t work well, to say the least. Clearly, gay rights advocates were not satisfied with that accommodation, as they barreled right past that and now demand that the word “marriage” apply to gay unions. Gay unions must be seen as on par with and equal to true marriage. Nothing less will be tolerated. But even before the demands for full “marriage” recognition came, the problems with civil union laws were evident, as they effectively forced the closure of Catholic ministries, including foster care and adoption agencies, some of which had been serving the needy in their communities for a century. This happened despite the fraudulent assurances by the civil union supporters that the law would have no effect on faith-based services [which only begins to answer another common question, “How does gay ‘marriage’ affect you, anyway?”]

Ultimately, the concept of civil unions was always just a stepping stone to the bigger prize, and it never protected religious liberty or traditional marriage anyway.

-7-

“You should be concerned about all the ways that heterosexuals have weakened marriage!”

Oh, I am incredibly concerned about that! Divorce (especially the pernicious “no-fault” divorce), adultery, polygamy, swinging, pre-marital sex, contraception and abortion, etc…. All of that has harmed the institution of marriage and, of course, children. However, just because we’ve severely damaged marriage, that’s no argument for demolishing it completely! The proper response to the sad state of marriage today is to strengthen it, not un-define it into oblivion.

Besides, every marriage that is weak, irregular, or even broken has at least the potential to be strengthened, regularized and restored. But with two men (or two women), there is no potential for marriage in the first place (see #1).

-8-

“The Church cannot impose her views of marriage on society!”

There are a couple of things wrong with this argument. First, no one is saying that all Americans should be married in a Catholic Church and have a sacramental marriage. In fact, the Church herself recognizes the valid marriages of billions who are not Catholic or even Christian. Valid marriages do not have to be sacramental.

Second, the idea of the Church “imposing” the heterosexual nature of marriage is silly. One cannot impose something that has always been there. One cannot impose the status quo. The imposition, as I have written about before, is coming only from one side, and it’s not coming from the Church.

And of course there is the question of atheist regimes, which do not recognize gay “marriage”. How can that be explained? Certainly, no one is going to try to blame the Catholic Church for that, right? After all, atheistic regimes are all about condemning and persecuting the Church, not acquiescing to her. Clearly, marriage as conjugal union is a natural law issue and not a “Catholic” issue.

-9-

“Why do you talk about gay marriage so much?”

I wish you could see my face right now. Oh.my.gosh. How I wish and even fervently pray that I would never have to speak or write on this topic ever again. It’s a cultural obsession (not too strong a word!), with the elites’ only aim to beat us down into silence and/or submission on this topic. We are not to utter a peep against gay “marriage”, or we will pay a price, whether that price is simply ridicule, mocking, and harassment, or a more serious penalty such as loss of friends, family, job opportunities, or livelihood. Perhaps jail one day? I wouldn’t bet against it.

I long for the days where gay “marriage” was not integrated into every news story, every college course, every television show, every court case, every sports event, every holiday, every legislative session, small school children’s textbooks, car commercials, hamburger wrappers, etc., etc., etc.

I have gay “marriage” fatigue (like everyone else I know), and yet there is no option but to speak for what is True, because that’s who we are as Catholics. It’s what we are called to do, in season and out. We won’t hurt you or hate you or ask the government to fine you or ruin you if you disagree with us, but we will speak the Truth in love, because lies are no good for anyone. It is always better to understand what a thing is, and then to use that thing according to its nature. That is how human beings and human societies flourish, after all.

Catholic Stand is a site about ideas and about truth. We dialogue here as mature adults (I hope), striving to draw closer to what is True, Good, and Beautiful. I assume that Catholic Stand readers are Truth-seekers on some level. None of what I have said above should be construed as “hateful” or “bigoted” or “mean”. It is neither mean nor hateful to say that a dog is not a cat, or that a man is not a woman, or that a chair is not a clock.

Love is not a feeling. Marriage is not a construct. Society’s very foundation may not be un-defined on a whim of “But I want it!” Happiness cannot be found by going against our human nature and dignity. Truth does not change. All of this must be talked about. And as much as I don’t want to, I will continue to talk about it, because marriage is just that important.

Related posts:

Should the Children Sit Down and Shut Up?

Was Jesus Really Silent on Same-Sex “Marriage”?

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Leila Miller is a wife and mother of eight children who has a penchant for writing and a passion for teaching the Catholic Faith in simple ways. This summa cum laude Boston College graduate also enjoys debating secularists, and in her spare time she fancies herself a bit of a Catholic matchmaker. She manages two blogs that accommodate those hobbies well: Little Catholic Bubble, and the invite-only Catholic Moms Matchmaking.

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  • Naters

    you should read this book. it defends LGBT marriage from a traditional catholic perspective: http://www.amazon.com/Faithful-Truth-How-orthodox-Catholic/dp/1468153900/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365973748&sr=1-1

  • Catholic Crusader

    Mrs. Miller, thank you for this incredible article! You explain God’s Truth so clearly! You have a gift, and you are using it to serve Him.

    My question is this: can a Catholic lawyer, who is of course opposed to “gay marriage,” assist homosexual couples with getting a divorce? This question was posed to me recently by an attorney who must remain anonymous for fear of public reprisal by the current political winds.

    I think it is a safe prediction that the next big business opportunity for lawyers will be in the area of “gay divorce.” These unholy unions are bound to break apart quickly. Can a devoted Catholic, who happens to be a lawyer, assist with these divorces?

    Thank you, and God bless you Mrs. Miller!

  • Rick

    Great post, Leila. Thanks

  • Max Lucas

    Reading this has opened my eyes, I now see that I don’t need marriage! I’m a male who loves another male, I love him with all my heart and I don’t need some stupid piece of paper to show that. Marriage is clearly a broken and pointless concept so I’m just going to ignore the whole thing and be with the person I care for most. I’m catholic by the way but I’m not going to be shamed for being who I am. Live
    and let live people, that’s the lesson you ALL need to learn

  • Christine

    Almost all of your reasoning seems to revolve around the fact that “we’ve always done it that way. ” You say marriage should be between a man and woman because that’s how it was in the Bible and in Jesus’ time. While you may not like to admit it, homosexuality has been around just about as long as heterosexuality. There have been gay people for thousands of years, but they didn’t dare fight for their rights because it was most likely death if anyone found out they were gay. The equality movement for gay rights isn’t a “fad.” It isn’t just young people affected by the media. It’s gay people finally not scared to openly live their lives and because of that, they are finally being seen. Society is finally seeing the love that two gay people can have for each other and realizing it is the same love that two straight people can have for each other.

    Let’s look at your slavery example now. You seem to think that it is good that society no longer uses people as slaves. One of the few points where I agree with you. We as a people changed our thinking to realize that even though there were slaves in the Bible and in Jesus’ time, that was wrong. It took us over a thousand years to realize that we were doing something wrong. We now admit that it was wrong to restrict their rights back then and is wrong to do now. Isn’t it possible that over a thousand years later we could also realize that we were treating gay people wrong? That restricting their rights was wrong also?

    I know it is hard to change how things have been done. Change always meets opposition. It is hard to look at a situation from someone else’s perspective. It is hard to let go of our own biases, but if you did, I think you’d see that homosexual people are capable of so much love for each other. The same type of self sacrificing, unconditional love that God wants all of us to partake in. By restricting gay relationships, you are keeping that love from the world.

  • addie

    What about the issue of child brides? Are you then saying that those “marriages” are somehow okay and should be respected simply because they can be consummated? The issue I had with you article wasn’t so much the issue of gay marriage but the idea that those who are sexually disabled in some do do deserve to have a marriage. I understand that there needs to be a union as you put it, but vaginal sex is not the only definition of sex i.e. gay men can have sex too albeit nonvaginal. So doesn’t this mean they have thereby consummated their “marriage”?

    • Catholic Crusader

      Those “alternative” forms of sex are in fact sodomy, which is unnatural and an abomination to God.

  • pascal_brown

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    this is a must READ if you want to have your partner’s love back.firstly,thanks to everyone commenting and also to the organizers of this site because this has helped my marriage, I can’t believe my husband changed just as he promised, so i must testify too. I was having my troubles in my marriage and i was almost giving up because my partner had given up already and it looked like we were not meant to be because he hardly touches me or even talk to me. last week I saw a post on how a lady saved her marriage through the help of this great man from Africa and i decided to try him because it wouldn’t take anything from as i was already facing the worst. to my greatest surprise the man said he was going to help and i thought maybe it will take a long time but within 48 hours after he finished his work my husband came home apologizing for the way he hurt me something he would never do normally even if it was obvious he was wrong. seriously have nothing more to say other than thank you great man. if your marriage is failing or its a mess and you want to save it please don’t give up this really works out here is the email i used to contact him [email protected], he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..goodluck. his web site is/ http://www.uzorspelltemple.webs.com

    • jamey brown

      Did you write the majority opinion for Justice Kennedy? Now tell the truth. Oops, I forgot…we can never know the truth because the truth is relative. (Except for Justice Kennedy; only he can define truth for us and make it into a law we must all obey).

  • Rondre

    This is one of the poorest piece of journalism that I have seen. Nothing to substantiate statements. Thankfully very few buy any of this.

    • Catholic Crusader

      It is an excellent article filled with Truth. Calling it a poor piece of journalism is simply an ad hominem attack, thus a logical fallacy. Your assertion that very few will “buy any of this” is incorrect. This article in fact states what the vast majority of all human beings alive today, and throughout the history of mankind, do and have always held as Truth.

      It may seem that the majority stands against the Truth because this nation is caving in to the will of a loud and powerful minority with the capacity to influence the highest government institutions. But in fact, it is the majority who believes in the Truth of the sanctity of marriage. It is the majority who have been forced to live under the tyranny of the minority.

  • ACTP

    My sentiments exactly.

  • Guest

    I just want to know…if the LGBT is so passionate about what they believe, why do they need our approval? I don’t have to believe in it, so why does it matter?
    Pretend the Catholic Church is a club…let’s say a country club for the sake of illustration. There are certain club rules that members must abide by in order to be considered members. If you don’t follow the rules, you aren’t a member of the club. It’s that simple. LGBT community, if you don’t like the Catholic Church’s “rules” go start your own club with your own rules and seek approval from your own choir. We are entitled to believe what we believe, just as much as you are entitled to your own belief. I can’t take that from you and I assure you…you will never change my mind about my stance on gay marriage. I’m not judging you…so stop picking on the rest of us. I really could care less if you are gay, but I do care that you want to change how I feel.

    • Catholic Crusader

      Well said!

  • Carole Hohlman

    “Gay people” are part of the population just like anybody else. But they are wrong to call their ‘hook-ups’ marriage. They have the wrong word there. That is the union between and man and woman. I’m sure the words “domestic partnership” or anything else appropriate could be made legal.

  • Kichert

    I am Catholic, baptized, raised and married. I am also raising my children catholic.

    I am also raising my children with an open mind and an open heart. You may not necessarily like all the catholic “rules” (as my daughter calls them) but you need to be respectful of all people no matter of race, gender or sexuality. Just because you don’t agree with their life style, race, gender or equality, does not mean you have any right to dictate what someone can or can not do. As long as you treat others with kindness, respect and love the world will be a better place for you.

    There are far more worse things than gay marriages. It is not directly affecting your life style and my children will be raised as Catholic but a new form. Kind, loving and respectful!

    • deltaflute

      “It is not directly affecting your life style.” Actually it already does. There are those of us who are thinking twice about opening a business because of what sort of things we may face with clientele.

      And in my case, my oldest child enters kindergarten. Sure I can try and scrap together money to send him to a parochial school or homeschool him. The problem is that he’s autistic and actually needs the resources that only the public schools in my area provides. He’s only got one option. The one option that allegedly is religiously-neutral. If MA is a testament to the future of public schools, his teachers will be forced to read books to him like the King and King. In Kindergarten. And I won’t be notified. And I won’t be allowed to pull him from class. Isn’t life already confusing enough without the school system to usurp what I teach him here at home? It’s brainwashing and hand tieing for anyone with a special needs child. All the more reason to have a voucher system.

  • John Ritchie
  • Mark Wilson

    a friend of mine wrote “Regardless of your religious beliefs, Mark, the fact remains, it’s none of your business what people want to do with their own lives. This new law doesn’t in any way prevent you from believing what you want to believe. The word “marriage” has meant a thousand different things across the ages and cultures. Whatever your definition is, it’s only one tiny version of many. Remember, there were plenty of bible-backed arguments against the abolition of slavery and giving women the power to vote, too. Now they seem ridiculous, as will any arguments against gay marriage in 50 years, when people see that it hasn’t destroyed the foundations of society whatsoever.” How do I answer this?

    • Strawman. First of all, this law could prevent you from exercising your faith, as has been seen by the business owners who are being punished for declining to participate in same sex marriage.

      Secondly, there’s plenty of secular reasons to oppose gay marriage. And our faith isn’t solely “Bible-backed” – we aren’t sola scriptura Christians.

  • hayley

    I don’t mean to sound really oblivious or rude, but how does gay marriage affect you?? In a completely real way, in your day-to-day life, how does it affect you? In my opinion it doesn’t make your own heterosexual marriage any less valid or wonderful. Does it just offend you to see two people of the same sex showing affection in a public place or having to explain it to your children? Or is it just the way that it goes against your faith? They certainly don’t get any privileges by being homosexual, if anything quite the opposite.
    Quite a lot of the wording in this I disagree with, but I truly mean no offence. I like to understand why people have the opinions that they do because I am interested so I would really appreciate it if anyone could give me their view on this.

  • WHB

    Well spoken, logical, intuitive and true. I am so sick of this whole charade. “Gay” marriage is nothing more than a further assault on the orderly nature of the human condition. The ‘rainbow’ icons all over Facebook are just silly. Society is in free fall into darkness.

  • ICURYYCC

    How can some people be so undeniably smart in an argument and, well, obviously
    desperate yet miss doing an in-depth study of the Scriptures. ouch to those
    who keep pushing that a lock can open another lock. STILL ends in a
    dead-end. as easy as never argue with those who are grounded in Biblical
    faith, or you will find yourself overwhelmed by God’s words that define
    every cell you have–your very existence. sad

  • Concerned Catholic

    “the Church herself recognizes the valid marriages of billions who are not Catholic or even Christian.” Is this true? Does the Church then recognize the polygamous marriages of the Muslim community? Would like to hear your thoughts.

    • Leila Miller

      My understanding is that the first marriage would be considered the valid, natural marriage. Of course that marriage would not be sacramental (that is for the baptized) but it would be valid, assuming the two were free to marry (not married before, no impediments to marriage). But I’m not a canon lawyer, and I’ve not come across that situation in my experiences with RCIA or converts yet.

    • Concerned Catholic

      What then would be the point of marriages, from the Church’s eyes, if they were not sacramental ones? Marriages of different groups have different rules governing them. Muslims would certainly consider all polygamous marriages as valid. Under the state, for instance, divorce could end a marriage but by the Catholic Church’s standards, they are still considered married. Under the state, there is no vow to love one another forever unlike in the Catholic Church. So why should the Church be so active in interfering in a marriage that clearly does not share the same nature as her own?

    • deltaflute

      “What then would be the point of marriages, from the Church’s eyes, if they are not sacramental ones?”

      The point of a marriage, generally speaking, is to bind parents to their offspring. A sacramental marriage would be ideal. But in order for it to be a sacramental marriage, parties must be baptized Christians. Even the Church recognizes the marriages of non-Catholics as being sacramental if both parties are baptized. We also recognize the natural marriage of others as also a common good. Good for both the parents and children.

      “Marriages of different groups have different rules governing them. Muslims would certainly consider all polygamous marriages as valid.”

      Not necessarily true. There are some Muslim sects who believe that certain types of marriages (namely short term ones) are not valid. There isn’t a consensus among Muslims about what constitutes a marriage.

      “Under the state for instance, divorce could end a marriage but by the Catholic Church’s standards, they are still considered married.”

      Up until a few days ago, the State viewed marriages as contracts. These contracts bound parents to children, contracts dealt with inheritance, and so on and so forth. It was all for the common good of the family. Civil divorce in some cases is also a common good. It can protect children or spouses from an abusive spouse/parent. The Church recognizes the validity of a civil divorce in cases such as these. However the spouses are still married and cannot remarry sacramentally. In other words it’s an unbreakable vow. You have to answer to God for breaking it.

      “Unlike the state, there is no vow to love one another forever unlike in the Catholic Church.”
      A marriage in the Catholic Church doesn’t require a life long vow of romantic love in order for it to be a valid marriage.

      “So why should the Church be so active in interfering in a marriage that clearly does not share the same nature as her own?”

      For the common good. We are meant to speak out and promote the common good. The Church would be remiss if it did not do so. Individual members would be remiss as well. We cannot attend weddings that are not valid. We cannot encourage things like dating because that would be scandalous. I have a non-Catholic Christian friend who is divorced but dates. I dread the day when I have to make it explicit that I don’t approve. Thus far the topic hasn’t come up in such a way as to be charitable (or ask for approval in some fashion) so I haven’t had to deal with the fall out from that yet. And I dare say I’m not the only Catholic who hasn’t friends and relatives who have different views of marriage. It’s a duty to instruct sinners.

    • Concerned Catholic

      How would you respond to democratic arguments stating that regardless of the “benefits” or “the common good,” they have a fundamental right to marry? And since their definition of marriage (the state’s definition) is different from our definition, they see no problem in sticking to that. (Please refer also to my comment below re: pork and blood transfusions to understand my point. Just playing Devil’s Advocate here. Not literally.)

    • deltaflute

      “How would you respond to democratic arguments stating that regardless of the ‘benefits or ‘the common good,’ they have a fundamental right to marry?”

      Nobody has a fundamental right to marry. I can’t grab some stranger off the street and press them into marrying me against their will. I can’t marry someone who cannot consent either. In order for any kind of marriage to take place, there has to be consent involved. So fundamentally if no one consents to marry you, well then you can’t get married. Therefore there is no “right” to marry. The most basic right we have is the right to live. Everyone is afforded that right regardless of age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. If that “right” is not equally applicable to all, then it’s not technically a right.

      “And since their definition of marriage (the state’s definition) is different from our definition, they see no problem in sticking to that.”

      That’s because they see marriage as a right. But as I pointed out, it isn’t. It isn’t more than a hunting license or a driver’s license. The state can assign at will who can receive and keep their hunting or driver’s license. Just ask anyone whose lost their license if they have a fundamental right to it. They’d probably look at you like your nuts because obviously by having to wait for the bus, they don’t have that right.

      Now a person does have the fundamental right to practice their faith. If their faith sees marriage as being fundamental to that practice, then they can of course obtain a ceremony. However, that doesn’t mean the state is obligated to recognize it (or any other marriage for that matter). There are currently a few states looking into abolishing state marriage licenses as we speak. The state can’t interfere however with a religious marriage ceremony.

      “Please refer also to my comment below (or you could mean above) re: pork and blood transfusions to understand my point.”

      Yes, Muslims and Jews can petition to have pork removed. And JW can have blood transfusions stopped. In as much as they don’t want to pay for it. I would support that. I would support also they’re refusing such things. I would also support their right to petition for what they see as the common good. Much like I believe Catholics have that right (along with JW, Jews, and Muslims) to petition against SSM.

      There is however two major differences: 1) this is affecting children. We’re denying children the right to have their biological parents. This is a fundamental right above and beyond SSM or heterosexual couples. Canada has language that says “legal parents.” And this reasoning has run into problems. There is/was a case where a lesbian left her lover during pregnancy. Before the baby was born she took up with another woman. She wanted to list the 2nd woman as the “legal parent” of the child even though the 1st woman was there during the conception and originally intended to be the “legal parent.” The 2nd woman was listed and the 1st had to sue to even see the child. Neither woman was biologically related to the child. This is the mess that America will have to deal with. So even an atheist can say “hey, I don’t want this to happen in my country.” Children’s rights fundamentally need to be protected.

      2) States’ rights and citizens’ rights are being eroded. Just reading twitter feeds of conservatives who are SSM-supporters, they are truly upset. It wasn’t that they were against SSM, it was that they were concerned about legislating from the bench. What does this mean for real rights? As one pro-2nd amendment supporter pointed out, following SCOTUS logic states now have to recognize concealed carry permits from other states. Do you think they will? Doubtful. But perhaps. Will individual state be forced to recognize marriages between 1st cousins, 13 year olds, etc now? Marriages that traditionally states could repeal. And what does this mean for 1st Amendment rights too? Can a person still operate their business and their lives according to the tenets of their faith? People forget that it says the government can’t impede a person’s free exercise. That doesn’t just apply to said person going to church.

      So it’s not just SSM that this ruling affected, it’s a lot of things.

    • Concerned Catholic

      I’d also like to know how you’d respond to this argument that has been cropping up lately: If Muslims were to petition for a pork ban (as it is offensive to Allah) or Jehovah’s Witnesses were to seek to ban blood transfusions (as they believe it somehow desecrates God’s natural creation), we’d surely feel as if our rights were being infringed upon. Even if you say that “One cannot impose something that has always been there,” in regard to the Church imposing their beliefs on society, others clearly do not think that marriage, as defined by the state, can only adhere to this nature. How then would you reconcile this?

  • sdn928

    I’ve been seeing a few “I’m catholic, therefore marriage equality is against my faith” posts. Let me, in my limited capacity, try to add something to the conversation. Marriage equality was approved not as a religious right, but as a law of the land. It is against discrimination. It is allowing couples, regardless of gender, to enjoy spousal privileges such as tax deductions, immigration benefits, and employment assistance for spouses of the military. It also allows joint benefits such as parenting rights, domestic violence intervention, custodial rights to children in the event of a divorce, and family visitation rights when one of them is confined in the hospital. Basically, all the rights that straight couples enjoy.

    With me so far? Good.

    As far as being catholic or being any religion is concerned, here’s a newsflash: You’re still catholic. No one is forcing any catholic priest to perform catholic weddings for LGBTQ folks. If you look at the list above, nothing there speaks of religion. It is simply the act of providing equal rights to all citizens of this country. It ends there. No one is forcing you to attend a gay wedding, and frankly, with the way some of you are carrying on, I doubt you will be invited to any in this lifetime. So you can tick that off your phobia list.

    • Juan

      Sdn, I agree with you. And I’m also the kind of guy who doesn’t discriminate other people and I try to treat everybody as equal…. but… as a new dad I can tell that I’m kind of worried of what’s going to happen in the near future… I wouldn’t know how to react if some day my son walks in from school and tells me: “there is this Mike kid from school that kissed me”… as time goes on it will be more and more common to hear things like this…… and I know some people from this forum will think that you can easily talk about the different kinds of people….. but when your son asks the question “how can i know if i like him back…..”…. that’s a tricky one… my guess is that little kids will confuse friendship with something else as it becomes more and more common to see same sex couples….. and for obvious reasons little kids have more same sex friends.

    • Leila Miller

      Sorry, could you define marriage? Thanks. Then we can discuss.

    • jamey brown

      “No one is forcing any catholic priest to perform catholic weddings for LGBTQ folks.” Oh, it will never happen here, right? Washington Times story today: “Idaho city’s ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail.”
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/20/idaho-citys-ordinance-tells-pastors-to-marry-gays-/

      Read Justice Clarence Thomas’ rebuttal of the rest of your post in his Dissenting Opinion:

      “Nor, under the broader definition, can they claim that the States have restricted their ability to go about their daily lives as they would be able to absent governmental restrictions. Petitioners do not ask this Court to order the States to stop restricting their ability to enter same-sex relationships, to engage in intimate behavior, to make vows to their partners in public ceremonies, to engage in religious wedding ceremonies, to hold themselves out as married, or to raise children. The States have imposed no such restrictions. Nor have the States prevented petitioners from approximating a number of incidents of marriage through private legal means, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney….

      “And they want to receive various monetary benefits, including reduced inheritance taxes upon the death of a spouse, compensation if a spouse dies as a result of a work-related injury, or loss of consortium damages in tort suits. But receiving governmental recognition and benefits has nothing to do with any understanding of “liberty” that the Framers would have recognized…

      “But “liberty” is not lost, nor can it be found in the way petitioners seek. As a philosophical matter, liberty is only freedom from governmental action, not an entitlement to governmental benefits. And as a constitutional matter, it is likely even narrower than that, encompassing only freedom from physical restraint and imprisonment. The majority’s “better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define . . . liberty,” ante, at 19,—better informed, we must assume, than that of the people who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment—runs headlong into the reality that our Constitution is a “collection of ‘Thou shalt nots,’” Reid v. Covert, 354 U. S. 1, 9 (1957) (plurality opinion), not “Thou shalt provides.”” http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/06/scotus-justices-on-obergefell-v-hodges/

  • Evelyn

    At first I was offended by the blatant hatred posed as “fact” in this article, but now I’m actually laughing out loud at the stupidity. You should submit this to The Onion, it’s hilarious.

    • Leila Miller

      Well, there’s a reasoned argument. Thanks, Evelyn! 🙂

  • Catholic Gurl

    The ignorance within our catholic community makes me very sad. I pray that we will all find the truth, and leave it up to god to make the judgements on what is right and what is wrong. If it is now legal, well, he must’ve made it legal for a reason.

    • jamey brown

      The reason could be that it is a rallying cry for people of faith and good will to rise up and enact laws, make proclamations, debate and fight in every way to protect religious liberty. The elites think they have driven another nail into the coffin of the family, but they don’t know who they’re messin’ with.

  • Roy Ender Shade

    Leila Miller: great post, I can only say that.