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Legal middle ground for same-sex marriage

If I were going to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, I would oppose it. Marriage is a sacramental relationship between one man and one woman. Period. Those who try to portray other relationships as equivalent to marriage undermine the sacred institution of marriage and weaken the institution of the family. A weak family leads to an even weaker culture.

However, since some communities including our nation's capital, Washington D.C., seem hell-bent on calling these other relationships "marriage", I appreciate the work of an interdenominational group of attorneys to work for the protection of religious liberty. University of Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett among others have sent a letter to the D.C. City Council outlining the deficiencies in religious liberty protection that are present in the current same-sex marriage legislation currently before the Council.

This issue illustrates the challenge of living as a faithful Catholic in a secular world. Not all Catholic principles need to be codified in law. The Church prohibits the use of artificial contraception. I do not think the sale of artificial contraception needs to be banned. There is no impediment to Catholics following their faith just because artificial contraception is available.

On the other hand, abortion involves the killing of a voiceless, innocent human beings. Opposition to the legalization of abortion is a necessary response to Catholic teaching. There is no room for wavering.

Same-sex marriage falls between these two extremes. There are those who view marriage as nothing more than a contract, no different than the one drawn up between homeowners and construction contractors. With this in mind, I can coexist with such thinkers as long as my right to view marriage as a religious sacrament between one man and one woman, a covenant made in the presence of God, is protected. I don't like this arrangement. It is fraught with contradictions. While I can ignore what two consenting gay adults choose to do as none of my business, I cannot stand by and let innocent, vulnerable children be indoctrinated that this is a normal or morally acceptable behavior.

Therefore, I think the approach taken by Professor Garnett and his legal colleagues is an acceptably Catholic response to an immoral secular circumstance.


RAnn said…
Denise, I like your differentiation of contraception and abortion and how we, as Catholics in a pluralistic society should deal with them legally. I wrote about a similar topic last week, and I'd be interested in your comments.

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