Maybe I’m way off on this, but the phrase “marriage equality” just makes me sad.
It is sad to hear about young Catholics refusing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation because the Church is “against gay marriage.” It is also sad to hear about Catholic high school student marching in protest because their school won’t allow a faculty member to continue teaching after being married to a person of the same sex. It is so sad that this issue has become a wedge between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren.
As the debate is most commonly framed, it seems that people have only two alternatives: either support marriage equality, or be a bigot. After all, who could possibly be against equality? But are the congressional leaders working to amend the Constitution--as well as the U.S. Bishops and countless lay faithful who support this cause--really bigots? Or do they just disagree with the notion that marriage can be redefined and still mean anything substantive?
There may, indeed, be some bigots out there, but how can we help advocates for marriage equality see that a third group really exists? That is, how can we help them understand that the vast majority of people who support traditional marriage are fellow brothers and sisters who are not against them, but for them?
Here are a few initial thoughts on the key terms in question:
· Marriage: The difference is the difference. Male and female we were created; male and female is how the human race is propagated. Marriage either is something—the fundamental human community which bonds a man and a woman together for the sake of raising children who have a mother and a father—or it is nothing at all. In other words, if the sexual difference is removed by judges or legislators, then an entirely new reality is created. Therefore, it is not that proponents of traditional marriage are against anyone who advocates gay marriage; rather, they are for the protection of this totally unique reality.