Dec 1, 2006
Earlier this November, American citizens cast their votes on many issues that will influence the future of the country. One of the ballot measures faced by voters in many states was an attempt to recognize same-sex unions as legitimate marriages. In the weeks leading up to the election, the topic of homosexual marriage became a very heated issue, with both sides arguing passionately to get their point across. Several weeks after the election, the debate has not disappeared, as both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage continue working to make their voices heard.
Proponents of gay marriage claim that marriage is a basic legal right, which should not be denied to homosexuals simply because of their sexual orientation. They claim that since all people were created equal, everyone should have an equal right to marry, and that the government has no authority to prevent two homosexuals who love each other from entering into a lifelong committed relationship of love. The Church, however, tells us that there is a two-fold purpose to marriage: “the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life.” (CCC 2363) Marriage is intended to unite the couple and to allow for procreation. But two homosexuals can never procreate; nor can they ever truly be properly united. Therefore, a union of two homosexuals can never be a true marriage.
Same-sex marriage is wrong because it violates the very nature of marriage. Marriage is intrinsically connected to sex, which is both unitive and procreative. The dual nature of sex cannot be separated, and sex is being misused when both purposes are not present. Man and woman are biologically complimentary; their bodies are designed in a way that allows them to come together in the act of sexual intercourse for unity and procreation. However, homosexual acts are disordered because the bodies of two men or two women were not designed in a way that allows them to come together in a sexual act that would be both unitive and procreative. Although pregnancy does not occur with every act of heterosexual sex, the possibility for new life is present. Homosexual acts, on the other hand, can never be open to life, and therefore can never fulfill the dual nature of sex. For this reason, a homosexual couple cannot live out a real marriage, which is open to life and exists for the very purpose of a family.
Because it poses a threat to the family, same-sex marriage is also detrimental from a social perspective. The family is the basic unit of society, the building block that holds a community together and provides the safest environment for raising children. An attack on marriage is an attack on the family. It is an attack on the common good, and it is therefore the government’s role to step in and protect society by banning gay marriage.
Marriage has always had limitations and restrictions. Even today, it is an accepted norm in most parts of the world that a man may not marry a close family member, an animal, or several people at the same time. These restrictions exist to prevent actions that violate the nature of sex and marriage. Gay marriage is just the same. It is unnatural. Marriage is not an open-ended, unlimited right. Rather, it is a gift, with boundaries that must be respected. Both the citizens and lawmakers of our nation should remember this when they are faced with decisions that will impact our country’s future.