November 21, 2019

The Issue Of “Gay Marriage”

The issue of “gay marriage”—that is, an attempted marriage between homosexuals (two men to each other, or two women to each other) is becoming more timely and controversial across the United States, with opinion polls suggesting that even a majority of Catholics are in favor of legalization. However, homosexual “marriage” is a moral and philosophical impossibility, in that it violates God’s law (as given in Scripture and the teaching of the Church), and contradicts or prevents one of the fundamental ends of marriage—the procreation of children.

There are also three other vitally important reasons why same-sex marriage must be legally and politically resisted: its disastrous effects on society, on children, and on religious freedom.

In regard to societal effects, every culture that actively endorsed homosexuality soon afterwards fell or collapsed. An even worse fate is reserved for societies allowing men to marry other men, and women to marry women. According to the “Babylonian Talmud” (the book of Jewish rabbis’ interpretations of Scripture, written 1000 years before Christ), there has so far been only one other age of history allowing homosexual marriage: in the days of Noah, just before the Great Flood. According to Rabbi Aryeh Spero, this sin “in and of itself is so contrary to why God created the world, so contrary to the order of God’s nature, that God said then and there ‘I have to start all over . . . to annihilate the world and start from the beginning.’” This historical event, along with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, suggests that crossing certain moral lines can have calamitous results. (The commentary on the Talmud also gives new meaning to Our Lord’s words in Mt. 24:37: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”)

Secondly, the psychological health of children requires that they have, whenever possible, one mother and one father—but, in the words of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, “To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant.” Many same-sex couples either raise the biological children of one partner, or seek to legally “adopt” children (as a further legal and societal validation of their status). However, this is often harmful to the children involved. According to a recent sociological study, 12% of children brought up by same-sex couples end up considering suicide as teens or adults (compared to 5% of children with heterosexual parents); 40% eventually commit infidelity in marriage (compared to 13%); they are more likely to be unemployed (28% vs. 8%); more likely to seek help from a psychotherapist (19% vs. 8%); and more likely to catch a venereal disease (40% vs. 8%). Overall, such children become adults who are statistically less healthy, poorer, and more likely to commit criminal offenses—in addition to being much more likely to suffer depression.

Thus, in no sense is same-sex marriage beneficial to any children involved. Moreover, homosexual activists often claim their goal of introducing gay education in the public school system isn’t an attempt to indoctrinate children, but simply an effort to teach them tolerance. However, according to one candid homosexual journalist, “That’s a lie. We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it” (Daniel Valarreal, in a May 12, 2011 article in the online journal Queerty).

What about religious freedom? If same-sex marriage is legalized, will the rights of those who refuse to endorse it for religious reasons be respected? Not if the situation in Canada is any indication. Canadian law does allow clergy to refuse to perform gay marriages, but that’s virtually the only legal protection they have regarding this issue; if a pastor preaches a sermon, or a bishop writes a pastoral letter, defending the traditional understanding of marriage and presenting the Biblical teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts, he is subject to the scrutiny of “human rights” commissions, which frequently leads to legal penalties, with no hope of appeal. Moreover, Canadian parents objecting to gay indoctrination in public schools have been told by judges that they had no right to remove their children from such instruction.

In addition to these three vitally important considerations, statistics have shown that legalizing gay marriage has resulted in fewer heterosexual marriages in Canada; marriage rates also plummeted in Spain and the Netherlands once same-sex marriage was allowed there—in other words, redefining marriage discourages people from taking it seriously. This, in fact, is the goal of some gay activists; according to Masha Gessen, a lesbian journalist, “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there. . . . It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist” (emphasis added).

Scripture tells us that “God made them male and female” (Mk. 10:6). The push for gay marriage (which, in many cases, involves lying, name-calling, and intimidation) has little to do with “tolerance” or “compassion”; rather, it’s a deliberate and arrogant (but ultimately doomed) attempt to overturn God’s created order. Moreover, as the Church teaches, it’s possible to love homosexuals as persons even while opposing the political and social agenda of the gay movement—and, in fact, this is what we as Catholics are required to do. Supporting and/or voting for the legalization of same-sex marriage is a serious offense in God’s eyes; as Catholics, we must instead uphold the sanctity of marriage—for only in this way can we be true to God, true to our faith, true to society’s best interests, true to our human nature, and true to our children.

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Written by
Fr Joseph Esper

REVEREND JOSEPH M. ESPER is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Anchorville, Michigan. He received his Master of Divinity degree from St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. Through the years, Father Joe has lectured at Marian conferences, appeared on EWTN, spoken on Catholic radio, and written more than a dozen articles for This Rock, The Priest, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, and other publications. He is also the author of numerous books, including Saintly Solutions, More Saintly Solutions, After the Darkness, Lessons from the Lives of the Saints, and Why Is God Punishing Me? In addition to Amazon, many of his most recent books are available through Queenship Publishing.

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3 comments
  • I would respectfully suggest that it is the government itself that is beginning to act in a way that is “theological” in nature.

    Marriage has historically been defined by religious or cultural standards. For it to be defined by a government decree, as it just has been, is a clear sign that the government has overrun the banks of what powers are rightful afforded any fair government. There is no provision in the Constitution that allows the government any such authority over the definition of marriage, straight or gay (read it). Non-theocratic governments have typically only been in the marriage game for census and taxation purposes. Until now.

    It is a loud and common interjection from the secular community that the Constitution prohibits any influence on government by those values, beliefs, or traditions that are religious in nature. This is typically what is referred to as “separation of church and state.” But what are we to do as a nation when the state becomes the church? For the punishment of heretics, the Vatican has excommunication (meaningless to non-Catholics). The federal government has comprehensive digital surveillance, the IRS, and the most fearsome police and military capabilities ever imagined by human kind.

    As far as the argument that this decision has nothing to do with straight couples: alas, the ship of that watery argument has already sailed.

    The Supreme Court has, in its majority opinion, already indicated that objection to the recognition of gay marriage only comes from hate and bigotry (read it). Therefore that argument is now invalid. I do not, according to the highest court of the most powerful government on the planet, believe that marriage is between a man and a woman out of my own value system: I believe it out of hate. This new federal theology changes things for an awful lot of straight couples.

    The first lawsuit brought by the federal government against a religious organization for not performing gay marriage will come within our lifetimes.

  • Editor Comment:

    In her Code of Canon Law, the Catholic Church describes marriage in this way:

    Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.

    Holding to this definition, which Mr. Anziulewicz does not, the Church teaches that persons of the same-sex lack the capacity to contract marriage.

    In his comment, he writes that “nothing is happening to traditional marriage…since the only difference between Gay and Straight couples is the gender of the two persons in the relationship.”

    Given this, if we are to believe that marriage is evolving into a mere system of “loving relationships” and thereby no longer contingent upon the procreation of children and parenting, then what logic halts the number of participants at two? Perhaps our understanding of this will be expanded by the U.S. Supreme Court at some future date.

  • The United States is not a theocracy. It is not the job of government or the courts to make things “sacred” or to uphold Catholic Doctrine or “God’s Law.” It IS the job of government to uphold the Constitution, and unless the Constitution applies only to people who are Straight (i.e. heterosexual), there is no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits and protections that Straight couples have always taken for granted.

    Procreation and parenting are irrelevant, since (1) couples do not have to marry to have children, and (2) the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license. There are also (and always will be) countless Gay individuals and couples who are raising countless adopted children to healthy, well-adjusted adulthood.

    This is simply a matter of equal treatment under the law.

    The quest for marriage equality by Gay couples has absolutely nothing to do with Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples. Nothing is changing for them. Nothing is happening to “traditional marriage.” Most people are Straight, and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will change by allowing Gay couples to do the same. This is really not any sort of a “sea change” for marriage, since the only difference between Gay and Straight couples is the gender of the two persons in the relationship.

Written by Fr Joseph Esper
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