“The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it…the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a suitable partner for him.”  Genesis, 3:15-18.

So God made Eve and gave her to be Adam’s companion, and thereby established the institution of heterosexual marriage which is the natural place for the procreation of the human race and the nurturing of succeeding generations of human beings.

Until Jesus Christ revealed that God is three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that it is the relationship between those three Persons which forms the analogue and basis for man’s relationship with God and with his fellow human beings,  mankind was aware only of the transcendence of God; man was totally, in every way ‘other.’

Since this revelation by Jesus Christ in his Gospel and in the rest of the New Testament,      Christians have understood that marriage is not just about procreation and nurturing of children, it is essentially a relationship of love which must mirror and reflect the relationship of the three Persons in God.

From the beginning of time there have probably been some men and women who have not been attracted to another person of the opposite sex, but have, on the contrary found themselves in love with a person of the same sex.  Society has always been quick to label such a relationship as homosexual, with the emphasis placed usually on sex.  But not all relationships between two persons of the same sex needs to be overtly sexual.  On the contrary, the bond of friendship and love which can unite two people of the same sex can be threatened and destroyed by sexual activity.

Are such same-sex, non-sexually active, relationships wrong.  No.  On the contrary, referring back to the revelation contained in Genesis, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is evident that “it is not good for the man to be alone” and that every human being should live in a relationship of love with another person.  For the priest and religious that person is Jesus Christ; but for the rest of the human race it is important that the relationship of love found in the Holy Trinity be reflected in their own lives in more than the usually transitory ways.

And so, for a long time some people, who for one reason or another find themselves incapable of sustaining a heterosexual relationship within the institution of marriage have opted for ‘domestic partnerships’ which have the same fundamental objective of providing a permanent basis for an inter-personal relationship which can reflect the relationship of the Holy Trinity, without the element of procreation.

The problems with which society has challenged such domestic partnerships have been described with increasing anecdotal evidence in the past 50 years.  Such things as denial of visitation rights when one of the partners is hospitalized, the division of common property on the death of one of the partners by blood family members, etc.

Contract law has always provided a solution to these problems: a civil union contract.  Such a written contract would cover any and all aspects of the domestic relationship and its provisions would be fully enforceable in civil law.  Many persons who have been living in domestic partnerships for decades have enjoyed the protection of such a civil union contract.

So what has happened to change this situation in our society.  It goes by the acronym, LGBT, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender activist agenda.  Members of this group in our society who have been sexually active and who have been the subject of condemnation on many occasions by conservative groups have sought to have the stigma of disapproval removed from their lifestyle by having their sexually active partnerships officially recognized in law as a marriages.

What began as a recognition of gay ‘marriage’ by the City of San Francisco and then the State of California soon mushroomed into a stampede by liberals in Massachusetts and other states to legalize gay ‘marriage.’

The recent rejection of gay ‘marriage’ by the voters of California in their adoption of Proposition 8 which defined marriage as between a man and a woman perhaps has signaled a shifting of public opinion away from the creation of this definition of marriage as proposed by LGBT activists.

If the tide has really changed, it is important for society to increase the protections for domestic partnerships through the promotion of laws that encourage civil union contracts.



by Kathryn Lopez Columnist
August 01, 2009

Not too long ago, conventional wisdom seemed to dictate that gay marriage in America was inevitable. Conservatives, surprisingly, would tell me this more often than anyone. But something has changed. Carrie Prejean has had an effect on us.

That’s the argument made by my friend, Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, in the latest issue of National Review.

After a series of judicial usurpations, legislative victories, and public-relations onslaughts, the gay-marriage movement took a blow this past November, when Proposition 8 was passed in California. Voters affirmed a ballot measure that defined marriage as “between a man and a woman.”

The sea change just may have come when a pretty, empathetic face came onto the national scene. A young beauty contestant was asked about her position on gay marriage, and she answered honestly (and as it turns out, bravely): “I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.” She added: “No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

The fact is that however you spin it, gay unions are not marriage. And I write this totally aware that heterosexual culture has not done what it should to protect marriage. But our falling short — individually and culturally — is no reason to call the whole thing off and erase a cornerstone of civilized society.

Gallagher writes: “Same-sex unions are really not just like opposite-sex unions when marriage is in question. Celebrating all forms of adult romantic love equally is not a very good justification for redefining a fundamental institution whose public purposes reach far beyond the affirmation of romance.”

The New York Times, just a day or so after Gallagher’s piece ran, confirmed that something has changed. In an article titled “Backers of Gay Marriage Rethink California Push,” the paper reported on how, discouraged by the political and cultural climate, many gay-marriage advocates are scaling back efforts to overturn Proposition 8. This, despite the supposed inevitability of which some of my friends on the right were all but convinced, not long ago.

And despite the shrill assertions of the Prop-8 protesters, it’s not impossible to find members of the non-heterosexual community with an ambivalent view of marriage.

After the recent release of a documentary about his life and career, fashion designer Valentino Garavani was asked if gay marriage should be legal. He answered: “For myself, all these years, I never thought about it in terms of changing the laws. [His business partner and longtime companion Giancarlo] Giammetti and I found our own way — nothing conventional — and it was always friendship first, always the most important thing: the friendship. I am neither for it legally, or against it, so I have no personal agenda here.”

Not particularly political, this answer can’t be taken as outright opposition to gay marriage. But to these ears, there seems to be an acknowledgement of an inescapable truth: There is something transparently different between two men who decide to spend their lives together and a marriage.

And unlike the most strident advocates of gay marriage, who spent the time during and after the Proposition 8 campaign intimidating and punishing those who supported the measure, most of us who oppose gay marriage are not looking to exclude anyone from any kind of happiness.

Carrie Prejean is now a face of that kind of tolerance. The contrast of her measured, mildly offered opinion to the angry, ugly Internet response from beauty-contestant judge Perez Hilton, who asked Prejean the fateful question, was striking. As Maggie Gallagher puts it, Hilton’s Web video “reminded too many people of what they saw after Prop 8.”

According to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, support for gay marriage has dropped nine percentage points from a 42 percent historic high. According to Gallup, only 13 percent of Americans believe that gay marriage would make us better off, while 48 percent believe it would be change for the worse. While Republicans were tripping over themselves to pose with the party’s Log Cabin branch and join the march of inevitability, a beauty queen made it OK to confidently acknowledge reality, in a loving and beautiful and even tolerant way.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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