Friday, May 02, 2008

InsideCatholic on "The Unintended Consequences of Gay Marriage"

Ronald J. Rychlak, associate dean and MDLA Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law, writes at InsideCatholic:

...What about a priest or minister who similarly refuses to preside at such ceremonies? Obviously the state can't fire such people, but it is easy to foresee other sanctions -- such as loss of tax benefits -- being imposed on churches. After all, if gay marriage truly is no different from traditional marriage, by what justification can the government give preferential treatment to an entity that discriminates?

Just last year, two women filed a complaint in New Jersey because they were denied use of a pavilion for their civil union ceremony. The pavilion was owned by a Methodist ministry. It had been rented out for marriages, but the ministry refused to rent it for civil unions because it is a religious structure, and civil unions are not recognized in the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline. Due to the ministry's refusal to rent it for the lesbian ceremony, New Jersey revoked its tax-free status.

Perhaps the most notorious example of a state forcing its view on a church agency comes from Massachusetts, where Boston Catholic Charities ran an adoption agency that had been placing children with families for over 100 years. In 2006, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley announced that the agency would abandon its founding mission rather than submit to a state law requiring it to place children with homosexual couples. (A Vatican document from 2003 described gay adoptions as ''gravely immoral.")

A potentially greater threat is that government agencies will try to change church teachings. It is already happening in other nations. The Catholic Church, for instance, teaches that homosexual inclination is a "tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, Canada, was investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for doing little more than writing about this teaching in a newspaper column. Åke Green, pastor of a Pentacostalist church in Sweden, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to a month in prison for a sermon that insulted homosexuals.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Secularist Attacks on the Catholic Church in Britain

Regular Guy Paul on What's Next for Same-Sex "Marriage"

Catholic Provocation?

Federal Judge: Catholic Church’s Position Against Homosexual Adoptions Justifies Government Hostility Towards Church

San Francisco's Hateful Anti-Catholic Resolution Prompts Lawsuit by Thomas More Center

Catholic League Says Gay Adoption Issue Spurring Anti-Catholic Bigotry

9th Circuit Rules Okay to Censor Terms "Marriage" and "Family Values" as Hate Speech

UK Catholic Schools Endangered by Sexual Orientation Regulations

Official Anti-Catholic Bigotry Returns to British Parliament

"A Charter for Suing Christians"

A Catholic Londoner on "The Last Acceptable Prejudice"

British Bishops: U.K. Sex Equality Law "Threatens Catholic Adoption Agencies"

UK: Churches "Could be Forced to Bless Gay Weddings"

The Coming Persecution of Churches Over "Gay Marriage"

The Coming Conflict Between Same-Sex "Marriage" and Religious Liberty

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At 5/02/2008 10:11 PM, Blogger . Knight of Columbus . said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/02/2008 10:20 PM, Blogger . Knight of Columbus . said...

This is all terribly unfortunate. I am homosexual and I truly sympathize with the many men and women fighting for the "right" (it's a vocation not a right) to marry. I don't approve of granting legal recognition to their relationship, but my heart is very troubled by the entire situation; I know their struggle.

I honestly wish the government would just not sanction civil marriage at all. It has ultimately created the idea of marriage as a legal contract that can be created and broken by whoever and whenever. That is far from the truth. Marriage is a religious institution—it is social and cultural, certainly—but only because these dimensions are the means by which religiousness is expressed.

In debates, I have found it difficult to come to a philosophical definition of marriage that is not solely contractual. I think you can argue why homosexual unions cannot be the "building blocks of society" in the same way that life-giving heterosexual unions are, but I find it hard to explain marriage as (without referring to Revelation) something more than a 'contract' that should exclude same-sex couples without it sounding like Christian reasons.

But, if the government did not sanction civil marriage at all, couples could marry religiously and be regarded as husband and wife and there would be appropriate civil effects (e.g. contractual, testamentary, and mandatary). At the same time, same-sex couples following their erroneous consciences could easily have access to contractual legal protection that is not always granted to them, e.g. if one person is sick or incapacitated, the other has medical visitation and decision-rights; inheritance rights; property co-ownership rights, etc. These things I think they have the legal right to, or anyone, regardless of what their relationship is to a person(brother-sister, mother-daughter, friend-friend). I am called to live a single life and I want to be able to give these rights to anyone in my life regardless of my relationship to them. I could be wrong about this entire approach.

Call me an idealist, but this culture war is not going to end so easily. We are going to ban same-sex marriage all together for however long it takes the far left-liberals to galvanize, develop a plan of attack and execute it or same-sex marriage will be legalized (God forbid) by judicial activists, which would then lead to more of these terrible ill-effects and then the question of gay adoption.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.


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