Monday, 11 June 2012

Does Gay Marriage Make Sense?

I came across two articles in a secular publication regarding the topic of gay marriage. Why these stood out was because the trend in secular media, sadly also some Catholic media, is to take a view that supports and promotes gay marriage. Everyone seems petrified of speaking out for fear of being branded a bigot. Even our bishops are accused of belligerence by Catholic media, when they speak out against gay marriage.

The two articles to which I refer were both from an online publication – Spiked – and I think they contain some good common sense responses to the issue of gay marriage from a secular perspective. Both are fairly long but are worth reading completely. So, I include the links with the relevant title to enable you to do so. 

The first, dating back to March 2012, is by Brendan O’Neill and is titled “Why Gay Marriage Is A Very Bad Idea”. Brendan makes some important points, including the fact that gay marriage is completely illogical and will only result in “gays being fobbed off with a pretty meaningless form of ‘marriage’ and married couples simultaneously finding the ancient institution they have signed up to being further drained of meaning.” He also wisely contends that: “Collapsing together every human relationship, so that everything from gay love to a Christian couple who want to have five kids is homogenised under the term ‘marriage’, benefits no one. It doesn’t benefit gay couples, whose ‘marriage’ will have little historic depth or meaning, and it doesn’t benefit currently married couples, some of whom may feel a corrosion of their identity.

The second article, from May 2012, is by Sean Collins and is titled “Why I Am Coming Out… Against Gay Marriage”. In it Sean presents an explanation of his reasons for speaking out against gay marriage under four main discussion points:

1) The gay-marriage campaign is elitist and believes its opponents are ‘bigots’
2) Same-sex marriage is not a civil right
3) Traditional marriage and the family are worth defending from state intrusion
4) The question of gay marriage has yet to be fully decided

I also noted that another secular publication, the Telegraph, reported on Friday, 8 June 2012, regarding gay marriage in the UK, that: “More than a quarter of homosexual people think there is ‘no need’ to allow same-sex couples to marry because civil partnerships already give them the same rights, a poll suggests.” The same article states that: “support for changing the law to redefine marriage among the homosexual community could be more lukewarm than previously thought.

Is it possible that common sense will eventually prevail on this subject? I hope so! It seems that when it comes down to citizens voting on the subject, if the recent vote in North Carolina in the USA is anything to go by, ultimately people still feel that traditional marriage requires protection. I certainly have no doubt that the Church will not, in fact cannot, ever change her teaching in this regard!

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Marriage in God's Plan

1603 ‘The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage.’ The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. ‘The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.’

1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes and this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: and God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’ The woman, ‘flesh of his flesh,’ i.e., his counterpart, his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a ‘helpmate’; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. ‘Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.’ The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been ‘in the beginning’: ‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh.’

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