With the decision rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States of America declaring same-sex marriage as the law of the land, Catholics are once again called to recognize that, like abortion, another unjust law has been passed. The Court has decided to disregard the common definition of marriage in all cultures since the beginning of time, namely that marriage is between a man and a woman, as well as completely, flagrantly ignoring natural law.
This is a sad day for the United States. June 26, 2015 will rank up there with Jan. 22, 1973 with human beings turning away not just from the laws of God, but also from a concrete reality, a basic common sense morality which all people, not just people of faith, but all people held.
By this statement, we are not being hateful or are we discriminating against those individuals who have same-sex attractions. Every human being is created in the image of Almighty God, and despite the presence of Original Sin and actual, personal sin, never truly loses that dignity which comes from being made in the divine likeness of God. Every person is, in his or her own unique way, a living, breathing, icon of the Most High God.
The woman or man who has a same-sex attraction is no different. The Catholic Church teaches that the person with homosexual tendencies must not, under any circumstances, be ever treated with anything but “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”
The Catechism states: “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
But loving and respecting someone does not change reality for them. We, as a Church, must hold true to natural law, which “is nothing other than the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, “Summa Theologica”).
Natural law has two basic characteristics: first, it is universal, applying to every single human being; second, it is unchanging and immutable. We must live in reality. The reality is that man and woman are created with natural sexual differences.
Marriage is given by God Almighty as the “the one blessing not forfeited by Original Sin nor washed away by the flood.” God has given marriage to the world for two reasons: first, the good of the spouses, so that they can express love and unity and second, the procreation of the human race.
Marriage, a fundamental and natural part of human life, is for more than just the expression of the exclusive love of the couple, but for the continuation of the human race. This is not possible in same-sex marriage. Marriage is not just for the good of the couple – it is for the good of the world, indeed the continuation of the human race. If we are to ignore this aspect or to say that this is the only reason for marriage, then we are acting against natural law, and thus are acting irrationally.
Catholics not approving of same-sex marriage is not an act of hate; it is an act of recognizing reality. These partnerships may be loving, but they can never truly be life-giving in the sense of what makes a true marriage.
We as Catholics recognize that we are now in a new age, an age which asks us to go against not only our own consciences and religious beliefs, but also to defy the very nature of reality. We are being asked to recognize something as marriage that, simply put, is not marriage and can never be marriage. It’s not just about being nice and respectful of the lifestyles of others; it’s not a matter of hate; it’s a matter of truth and of love, a matter of a reality and nature.