Thus, any redefinition weakens the unique cultural and legal standing of the only institution that secures the integral bond between children and parents.
“The harm is this,” he said. “By redefining marriage as merely the public recognition of a relationship between adults, we essentially ban the promotion of marriage as the only institution that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union.”
“It creates a conflict with the human rights of the child, to know and be cared for by their mother and father in the union of a marriage.”
May said this conflict would represent a clash between the public interest of all children – in the recognition and promotion of the type of union in which they have a right to be raised – and the private interest of homosexuals involving an essentially different type of relationship.
“To promote the unique value of the union of a man and a woman would then be legally 'discriminatory' against homosexuals – because it would be making a statement that one type of relationship has greater value. And it would not be permitted, if marriage is redefined as merely a committed relationship between adults.”
Not only the state, but “every institution in society,” May indicated, would then be “bound under the law” to ignore the most compelling public purpose for marriage, as a safeguard for children's rights.
“It will affect parishes,” he said. “It'll affect every organization in society.”
“In a court document from the Obama administration, involving a case to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the Justice Department states: 'The government does not contend that there are legitimate government interests in creating a legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both their biological parents.'”
“That is startling,” May said. “And that's the endgame.”
“Basically, the government is opposing marriage that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union.”
He noted that citizens often “can't see how startling this is, unless we start thinking – not about adults' interests, but about the common desire each of us has, for that connection with our mother and father.”
(Story continues below)
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Equality California's new campaign, May said, is “really opposing the fulfillment of that desire,” by proposing that the type of union that bonds a man and woman to one another and their children should not enjoy any privileged social or legal standing.
Thus, the question of how society defines marriage is ultimately “a question of solidarity with the common interest and the human rights of the child,” having “nothing to do with gays and lesbians” as such.
“It has everything to do with the human rights of the child, which are currently not being defended,” May observed. “Everyone without exception has a mother and father. Every child in an alternative family is in a state of privation, lacking the connection with their mother or father or both.”
Such basic truths, however, are rarely discussed in a culture that exalts the individual, and works to obscure any connection between sex and procreation.
So as Equality California begins its new “education” campaign – confronting Californians at home and in public places to promote a new idea of marriage – May and Catholics for the Common Good have their work cut out for them, reminding citizens of basic truths about the human person.
It is an urgent task in the San Francisco archdiocese where May is based. During the last 20 years, he pointed out, “the Catholic population has increased by 12 percent – but marriages are down by 50 percent. And that's happening across the country: 41 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers.”