Marriage makes babies
California’s Catholic bishops endorse November’s marriage amendment initiative and urge Catholics to support it with their votes, money, and time
AUG. 8, 2008 (http://calcatholic.com) - “As citizens of California,” Catholics need “to avail ourselves of the opportunity” to overturn the the California Supreme Court’s May 15 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, said the California Catholic Conference in a statement issued last week.
The California Catholic Conference is the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops.
The way Catholics can overturn the ruling, said the conference’s Aug. 1 statement, is to vote for Proposition 8 on the November ballot. The initiative, "which reads," said the bishops, "'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California' ... simply affirms the historic, logical and reasonable definition of marriage -- and does not remove any benefits from other contractual arrangements.”
The conference’s statement spoke of the importance of marriage for society and said that, while “cultural differences have occurred” in marriage, “what has never changed is that marriage is the ideal relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and the continuation of the human race.”
The state Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage was a “radical change in public policy” that will have “many profound effects on our society,” said the bishops’ statement. For one thing, the court’s decision “discounts the biological and organic reality of marriage -- and how deeply embedded it is in our culture, our language and our laws and ignores the common understanding of the word marriage.” The legalizing of same-sex marriage “diminishes the word ‘marriage’ to mean only a ‘partnership’ -- a purely adult contractual arrangement for individuals over the age of 18. Children -- if there are any -- are no longer a primary societal rationale for the institution,” said the bishops’ statement.
The statement insists that the bishops’ view of marriage and their opposition to same-sex marriage is drawn not only from Holy Scripture or “the wisdom of tradition,” but from “what can be known by reason alone.”
The bishops said that “same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex unions,” because marriage does not only embrace male/female “sexual complementarity as designed by nature but includes their ability to procreate.” Marriage, too, “mirrors God's relationship with us,” since husband and wives “offer themselves to God as co-creators of a new human being,” said the conference’s statement. “Any other pairing -- while possibly offering security and companionship to the individuals involved -- is not marriage.”
“Protecting the traditional understanding of marriage should not in any way disparage our brothers and sisters -- even if they disagree with us,” said the statement. And to protect marriage, the bishops not only urged Catholics to vote for Proposition 8 in November but “to provide both the financial support and the volunteer efforts needed” for the initiative’s passage.