The about-face on homosexual “marriage” accomplished by Thomas Suozzi, a Catholic who serves as the executive of Nassau County, New York, has drawn a strong rebuke from Bishop William Murphy. In his statement, the bishop spoke of the real meaning and a purpose of marriage “that homosexual relationships cannot fulfill.”
Bishop William Murphy's response came in reaction to Suozzi’s announcement in The New York Times that he “now supports gay marriage.” The Rockville Centre bishop reiterated Church teaching on the subject and called on all Catholics to adhere to this teaching.
“The logic of Mr. Suozzi’s argument is difficult to discern,” Bishop Murphy said.
“It seems that he has become convinced that because he has met homosexual persons who have suffered discrimination, they now have a 'right' to insist that the state re-define their private sexual relationships and give such the term of marriage.”
Bishop Murphy then addressed the issues of “employment benefits, life and health insurance and inheritance laws,” observing that “none of these require that homosexual relationships between consenting adults need to receive the state’s blessing declaring them marriage.”
Noting Suozzi’s claim that civil unions are not sufficient because they do not provide “equality” for gay couples, Murphy explained that marriage has “a meaning and a purpose that homosexual relationships cannot fulfill.”
“Whatever may be the intensity of a relationship between two persons,” Bishop Murphy reminded, “it cannot become what it is not.”
“Some may find all kinds of positive qualities to such relationships but it cannot be re-defined into marriage. To use an absurd example, no matter how much a man might like so to do, he cannot give birth to a child and if he is blessed to be the father of his child, he cannot claim he is really the mother.”
This meaning and purpose demand “that the sexual construct of human beings be respected.”
“The sexual reality of male and female is such that they are related to each other and to each other only in a complementarity that alone can naturally create new human life,” the bishop stated. Thus, marriage is not a right that can be claimed by a homosexual couple.
Bishop Murphy went on to say that civil society can regulate marriage because it is “the most basic social unit” and therefore a key component “in ensuring a healthy society as a whole.”
“Other private sexual relationships are immaterial to the state because they have no impact on the common good which the state exists to foster and protect,” he said.
Bishop Murphy concluded by saying that Church teaching on homosexuality is very clear. “While homosexual orientation is a neutral reality on a moral level, homosexual acts are not morally neutral. They are wrong and they are sinful,” he stated.
Calling on Suozzi and all Catholics to remain faithful to Church teaching, the New York prelate emphasized that such teachings are “non-negotiable,” and that only true adherence to the Lord will bring real “freedom, justice, joy and peace.”