The State Legislature of New York Is Expected to Vote Soon, Perhaps on Friday, June 17, on Whether to Legalize Homosexual Marriage

As Lobbying Intensifies, The Vote Is Now Expected to be 31-31

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of New York Today Called on the Faithful to Defend Traditional Marriage

“We persist in opposing this cause” — Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, June 14, 2011. Dolan is also the President of the US Bishops’ Conference. (For the complete text of Archbishop Dolan’s text on this issue, posted today, see the bottom of this email, or go to this link: http://blog.archny.org/?p=1247).

Note: All day, American readers have been emailing me, urging me to compose a brief newsflash on what is happening in Albany, New York.

What is happening in Albany?

Under a nominally Catholic governor, Mr. Andrew Cuomo, the New York state legislature is expected to bring up for discussion tomorrow the issue of homosexual marriage, and seems now quite likely to vote by Friday to approve legislation approving marriages between men and men and women and women.

What can ordinary citizens who have concerns about this legislation do?

First, they can call Archbishop Dolan to thank him for his courageous stand, but then also urge him to make his voice even more widely heard by immediately calling a press conference, on June 15, tomorrow morning, to reiterate the Church’s teaching on this matter.

Here is the telephone number of Archbishop Dolan: 212-371-1000

Second, they can immediately call their state senators and assemblymen, urging them to vote in keeping with traditional Christian teaching on this matter and to protect traditional marriage in the state of New York. It would seem prudent that these appeals would be based in truth and charity, according to the Church teaching summarized in the Vatican document published below, especially Paragraph 9: “Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.”

Here is the contact information for the leader of the New York State Senate Republicans, who has a key role in deciding whether to present the bill for a vote (he now says he will do so):

NEW YORK STATE SENATOR
DEAN G. SKELOS
MAJORITY LEADER, (R, C, IP)
9TH SENATE DISTRICT

Albany Office
Legislative Office Building, Room 909
Albany, NY 12247
United States
Phone: (518) 455-3171

District Office
55 Front Street
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
United States
Phone: (516) 766-8383

Email address: [email protected]

And here is contact information for two state senators who had opposed this legislation but now say they will vote in favor of it:

NEW YORK STATE SENATOR
ROY J. MCDONALD
(R, C, IP) 43RD SENATE DISTRICT

Albany Office
188 State Street Room 918, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
United States
Phone: (518) 455-2381
Fax: (518) 426-6985

District Office
433 River Street Hedley Bldg., Suite 1004
Troy, NY 12180
United States
Phone: (518) 274-4616
Fax: (518) 274-4635

Satellite Office
2 Halfmoon Town Plaza
Halfmoon, NY 12065
United States
Fax: (518) 371-2753

Email address: [email protected]

NEW YORK STATE SENATOR
MARK GRISANTI
(R, C, IP) 60TH SENATE DISTRICT

Albany Office
Room 902 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
United States
Phone: 518-455-3240
Fax: 518-426-6738

Buffalo
Walter J. Mahoney Building
65 Court Street
Room 213
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716-854-8705
Fax: 716-854-3051
E-mail: [email protected]

Grand Island
Grand Island Town Hall
2nd Floor
2255 Baseline Road
Grand Island, NY 14072
Phone: 716-773-9600 ext 654
Fax: 716-773-9618
Email: [email protected]

Niagara Falls
[email protected]

Tonawanda
[email protected]

And here is a link which gives access to the web sites of all the New York state senators:

http://www.nysenate.gov/senators

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“He needs to hold a press conference”

Here is part of an email I received today from a Catholic living in the state of New York:

“Archbishop Dolan put out a statement on the internet,” one reader wrote to me, “but that’s
not enough; he needs to hold a public press conference immediately. One by one, legislators are yielding to the tremendous political pressure being brought to bear on them. Yesterday, it appeared the measure would lose by four votes. Now, due to intense lobbying, votes are changing, and it appears possible that the legislation may pass. But legislators can still be swayed in the other direction by the voices of their constituents.”

This writer adds: “The New York Times has revealed that Governor Cuomo met recently with the Republican State Senators on the same-sex marriage issue. This meeting took place at the Executive Mansion. Said the Times in the edition of Tuesday June 14: ‘Mr. Cuomo, who said Monday afternoon (June 13) that he would formally introduce the same-sex marriage legislation, met several hours later at the executive mansion with the
Republican caucus.’ Most states have open public meetings laws. Public business in most cases must be conducted publicly. Even if New York has no open public meeting laws, it must be questioned as to whether it was proper for Dean Skelos and other Republican State Senators to meet in the governor’s mansion and discuss public business behind closed doors. What discussions took place? Who said what? Were any ‘deals’ discussed? Even if no open public meetings law applied to this apparently behind closed doors meeting, a meeting of this type should have taken place in public where members of the public could be present.”

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Intense Lobbying, “Soul-searching” — And One “Undecided” Senator

Here is an article from the Buffalo News written by Tom Precious which explains some of the dynamics of the argumentation that is winning support for this legislation (for the original article, go to: http://www.buffalonews.com/city/capital-connection/albany/article454429.ece

Another GOP senator joins ranks of gay marriage supporters

By Tom Precious

NEWS ALBANY BUREAU

June 14, 2011, 10:18 AM (Updated: June 14, 2011, 5:03 PM)

ALBANY — Then there was one.

Another Senate Republican said he will vote to approve gay marriage rights, leaving just one more vote needed for New York to join five other states that permit same-sex marriages.

“I think I’m doing the right thing — and if the public respects that I’m grateful and if they don’t then I move on,” Sen. Roy McDonald, an Albany-area Republican, said late this afternoon.

The lawmaker’s decision came after three Democrats and one Republican said Monday they were flipping sides and are now supportive of gay marriage.

“You get to the point where you evolve in your life and everything isn’t black and white and good and bad. You try to do the right thing,” said McDonald, adding that having two disabled grandchildren gave him perhaps “a little bit more sensitivity” to what advocates say is a civil rights issue.

“I’ve struggled over this issue,” McDonald said. The lawmaker said he expects the gay marriage vote to come up Friday in the Senate.

McDonald’s comments came several hours after Sen Mark Grisanti said (he) has moved from a no vote to undecided on allowing gays the right to marry in New York.

The freshman Republican senator, who has said his religion has guided his opposition to same-sex marriage, said he does not know what will end up deciding the issue for him if a measure comes to the Senate floor.

“If I take the Catholic out of me, which is hard to do, then absolutely they should have these rights,” Grisanti said this morning in an interview.

Has his position gone from no to the fence-sitting category?

“If you want to put me there,” he responded.

Grisanti’s movement comes a day after four senators — three Democrats and one Republican — said they have switched positions and will now support a gay marriage bill. That makes it two votes short of passage, but extraordinary pressure from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and gay rights supporters has been launched on several undecided Republicans, which now includes Grisanti. All but one Democrat support the measure; Republicans may discuss the matter in a closed-door session this morning in Albany.

“It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with my own personal belief,” Grisanti said this morning.

The four senators who flipped their positions does not have an impact on his consideration, Grisanti said.

“Most people have had years to think about this. I’ve had months,” the new senator said.

What will make the decision for him?

“It’s hard to say,” Grisanti said. “It really is. It’s something I think about almost every second of every day in the last couple of weeks.”

For Cuomo, gay marriage rights appear to be his top agenda item, at least so far this week. On Monday night, he gave a spirited defense of gay marriage rights over a private dinner for Senate Republicans at the governor’s mansion.

Gay marriage advocates were optimistic they can now nudge Grisanti to the yes column.

“I think there’s just a ton of momentum building,” said Brian Ellner of the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.

Later in the morning, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said the issue was not discussed in a closed-door meeting of his fellow Republicans, but he plans on it being a topic for a meeting Wednesday.

“It’s still my position that it should come out on the floor for a vote and everybody votes their conscience whether it goes up or it goes down,” Skelos said.

Skelos said he knows of no other Republicans who have changed from opposing to supporting the gay right legislation, other than Sen. James Alesi, a Monroe County Republican, who announced Monday he had done so.

Gay marriage opponents are stepping up their efforts in the wake of Monday’s flip by four lawmakers who opposed the measure the last time it came up for a vote in 2009.

Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said Republican senators will not get his party’s often influential backing if the vote yes.

“This is the final line in the sand,” said the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical religious group.

“Little by little,” he said, the GOP-led Senate has eroded several laws his group considers to be traditional conservative values. He said conservative Republicans already are talking about primary challenges against Senate Republicans and said even gay marriage opponents could face races next year if they are not “vocal enough” in the GOP conference to block the bill.

“They realize the ramifications of same-sex marriage, both short-term politically and [the] long-term societal implications,” McGuire said of Senate Republicans.

Backers brought out some star power — a route taken over the past several weeks in videos featuring various entertainment and political celebrities.

“The truth is, people want to be on the right side of history, and people want to be remembered. They don’t want to be remembered for their no vote,” said Cynthia Nixon, an openly gay actress and one of the stars of the “Sex in the City” television and movie series. Nixon, who lobbied for the failed 2009 bill, said she and her longtime partner want to get married in New York state.

“I think that people for a long time voted with the status quo, and I think today people are starting to vote their conscience,” Nixon said in the Capitol press room.

New York Rangers forward Sean Avery said he thinks backing of the same-sex bill by sports stars, including former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan and Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, could move some sports fans to be more comfortable with the controversial legislation.

Was it difficult for him to lend his public support for the bill?

“No, I mean, I can handle myself,” said Avery, an enforcer noted for his rough-and-tumble play.

[email protected]

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Republicans Are Key

Here are two articles from the National Review which give further insight into what is happening in New York.

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE

www.nationalreview.com

A Push for Gay Marriage in the Empire State

By Kathryn Jean Lopez

Posted on June 14, 2011 1:13 PM

In Albany, Governor Cuomo’s office is running with that all-too-familiar inevitability theme on marriage: Gay marriage is inevitable, so surrender your bitter clinging and come along with us and redefine it.

It appears to have worked on three Democratic state senators who previously were votes for traditional marriage.

Winning Republican votes will be key to a vote to go forward.

Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, points out that even the most optimistic polling on same-sex marriage shows that the Republican base is remarkably united on the issue and votes in 30-some states have presented some electoral evidence against the insisted-upon “inevitability.”

She adds: “We are not going away. Any GOP senator that votes for gay marriage can expect to be as successful as Dede Scozzafava was in GOP primary elections.”

Today, New York Archbishop Dolan, who is also president of the national Catholic bishops conference (which is meeting in Seattle this week), makes a plea:

“Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.

“But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

“Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a ‘right.’ And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?

“Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people. The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like. This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition. Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children. Please don’t vote to change that. If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so. This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense.

“Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago. We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree. (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)

“But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.”

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NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE www.nationalreview.com

Empire State Disorder

By Kathryn Jean Lopez

Posted on June 14, 2011 5:31 PM

This afternoon, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill he expects the state senate to pass before its current session winds down, which would, in the words of one Democratic lawmaker, “redefine what the American family is.”

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who also serves as the president of the national body of Catholic bishops, appealed to New Yorkers’ commitment to freedom in a statement urging Albany lawmakers to avoid “tamper[ing] with life’s most basic values.”

I talked to Edward T. Mechmann, a lawyer who deals with public-policy issues for the Archdiocese of New York as assistant director of its Family Life/Respect Life Office, about the significance of this legislative battle over marriage.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: How worried are you that marriage as we know it is about to change in New York State?

ED MECHMANN: We are very concerned about the redefinition of marriage. The arguments at this point are almost purely political. And the most powerful forces in New York politics — the governor, the Democratic party, the liberal activist groups, the gay community, and the public-employee unions — are all in favor of it. The only thing holding it back is the strong public opposition from religious groups and grassroots conservatives.

LOPEZ: What will that mean, practically speaking?

MECHMANN: It will mean that every marriage in New York has been redefined. No longer will it mean what everyone in the world believed it meant (until about ten years ago). It will send a signal that marriage is merely a private arrangement for the subjective satisfaction of two individuals, with no significance to children or to society. And all this, at a time when families are in crisis, and when family instability can be identified as the source of many of our social problems. The law is a teacher, and it will be teaching a very bad, very dangerous lesson.

LOPEZ: How can we even know that much, given that there hasn’t even been a bill under debate?

MECHMANN: This is one of the truly exasperating things about the legislative process in New York. The governor is likely to introduce his bill, which nobody has seen, and issue a phony “Statement of Necessity” that waives all legislative time limits and procedures. The legislature will then hold a vote without any public hearings or more than a perfunctory debate. It’s democracy through the Looking Glass.

The governor did release a bill this afternoon. It does have some language about religious exemptions different from the previous bill. Our preliminary analysis suggests that it is not as broad as language that has been adopted or proposed in other states (e.g., Connecticut and Rhode Island). But, of course, there won’t be public hearings to discuss the implications, there won’t be time for legal experts to figure out all the ramifications, and there won’t be time to coolly reflect on what it all means. The governor will try to push it through thelegislature in the next few days.

In any event, no matter what language the governor puts in the bill about religious exemptions, we still oppose it.

LOPEZ: Did it surprise you that one of the Democrats who switched yesterday, Carl Kruger, announced, “What we’re about to do is redefine what the American family is. And that’s a good thing”?

MECHMANN: Legislative humility is not exactly a widely practiced virtue in New York, so it didn’t surprise me that a one of our state senators would consider himself qualified to redefine the basic structure of society. What did surprise me was that he was candid enough to say it aloud.

LOPEZ: Does a small percentage of men marrying (to use the term advocates use) men and women marrying women really pose a threat to the American family? Why can’t they do their thing and we do ours, and we all get along? You can argue natural law, but if it doesn’t feel natural to them, who’s to say?

MECHMANN: To be clear, we are talking about redefining marriage to satisfy a very tiny percentage of society — only three to four percent of the population defines themselves as gay or lesbian, and the Massachusetts experience suggests that only a small percentage of them will even get “married.”

New York long ago decriminalized homosexual conduct, so gays and lesbians are perfectly free to do whatever they want. That’s not what this debate is really about. It’s about forcing society, and everyone in it, to recognize the moral equivalence of heterosexual and homosexual acts. And I do mean “force,” by using all the powers of the state and local governments.

The problem also is that if you redefine marriage, you’re changing a public, not private, institution. The effect of the redefinition of marriage will reach far beyond the parties to the “marriage.” For example, this bill would change the meaning of countless laws that ban discrimination on the basis of marital status. Those laws touch areas like eligibility for government contracts, employment decisions, tax-exempt status, and eligibility for professional or business licenses. We have no idea how the bill might affect religious organizations and individuals who oppose the redefinition of marriage. And the governor and legislature aren’t even talking about this.

LOPEZ: If gay marriage is “inevitable” — as we often hear — anywhere, it would be inevitable in New York, wouldn’t it? New York State had legal abortion before everyone else. To this day, New York City is the abortion capital of the nation. New York is “progressive,” as a progressive would say. How could there not be gay marriage there?

MECHMANN: New York is actually not as liberal or progressive as people think, especially once you look upstate, or if you look into the African-American, Hispanic, or immigrant communities. For example, New York resisted passing, until 2010, a law that permitted “no fault” divorce — partly through legislative dysfunction, but also because many people and groups realized that marriage should not be tampered with. Even the opinion polls touted by the “marriage equality” advocates show very tepid support for redefining marriage.

LOPEZ: What have New York Catholics been doing to work against this legislative effort? Is there something they in particular can offer the debate?

MECHMANN: Our Catholic Conference has been working tirelessly to lobby individual legislators, especially the leadership. We have also been working an intense grassroots effort, taking advantage of an extensive email network of local activists, focusing on the “on the fence” legislators. We’ve also been collaborating with other religious groups (especially New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, an evangelical group that is very influential) and the National Organization for Marriage. It’s been a very vigorous campaign.

Catholics still offer a unique voice in the public debate here. Everyone understands that the Church is not speaking from partisan politics or special interests, but is instead talking about principles. Even in the New York legislature, that has an impact. Plus, we still have the largest grassroots organization in the state (think of all those parishes as local chapters and you’ll see what I mean), and the legislators recognize our pastors and bishops as community leaders — and our parishioners as regular voters.

LOPEZ: Shouldn’t it help your legislative agenda to have a Catholic in the governor’s mansion?

MECHMANN: Let’s be honest. Since 1973, the governor’s mansion has been occupied almost entirely by men who were baptized in the Catholic faith. They have been helpful to some parts of our legislative agenda (particularly in supporting the Catholic schools and social services). But they have all been of very little help — and a great deal of harm in many cases — on the issues that matter the most, the defense of innocent human life and the family. That is not going to change with the incumbent.

LOPEZ: How about to actually save marriage itself — beyond the legal concerns? One of the more compelling arguments proponents of gay marriage have is breaking out a mirror: If we actually want to get married, why would you prevent us? It’s not like men and women have kept marriage so sacred — examples, including of Catholics, abound.

MECHMANN: On this, the same-sex “marriage” activists have a grain of truth in what they say. The reality is that marriage is suffering, here in New York and elsewhere, because of the resort to temporary and unstable arrangements like cohabitation, the lack of marital fidelity and permanence, and the de-emphasis of the importance of marriage for children (and vice versa).

But how does it make sense to water down the meaning of marriage even more?

The real effort that must be made — that the Church is making — is to preach the truth about marriage, to offer single and engaged persons support in choosing the vocation of marriage, and strengthening those who are already married. That’s a battle being fought in communities, churches, and families, and will go on no matter what the outcome of this debate might be.

LOPEZ: Black evangelical churches in Maryland held back a similar effort in Annapolis not so long ago. Could something similar happen in New York?

MECHMANN: The African-American and Hispanic communities in New York are still largely untapped for their political potential. Their activism could make a difference here, but honestly we just haven’t seen it yet.

LOPEZ: Is the good news in Albany that this is a legislative, not a judicial effort?

MECHMANN: Yes, it is encouraging. New York State’s Court of Appeals has already held that same-sex “marriage” is not required by our state constitution — a ruling that frankly surprised many of us, who expected that they would legalize it with a pen stroke. Now, if we could only get New York’s legislative process to actually resemble a democratic institution, with real procedures and authentic openness to public opinion, we could actually have a republican form of government again.

LOPEZ: How is this not a civil-rights issue for Americans who identify themselves as homosexuals or who otherwise have homosexual desires?

MECHMANN: To call it a “civil rights” issue begs the question. Usually, when we’re speaking of a “civil right” we’re talking about something that is deeply rooted in our history and tradition, something that is intrinsic to ordered liberty and full participation in our society and the political process. How can something that nobody even imagined 15 years ago fall into that category? If anything, the redefinition of marriage is denying the civil rights of married couples to have special recognition and protection of their union — which is undeniably deeply rooted in our history and tradition, something that is intrinsic to ordered liberty and full participation in our society.

LOPEZ: Are you intolerant? Are we on the wrong side of history?

MECHMANN: As for intolerance, here’s an omen of how it’s going to be here in New York — a sign posted on the Facebook page of a Democratic state senator of her office door, with an arrow pointing to the floor, reading “Bigots and Homophobes Please Put Your Literature Here.” That’s what we have to look forward to if this bill is passed.

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Pope Says Gay Marriage Is “Insidious and Dangerous”

Here is an article from The Telegraph of London about remarks on this issue made by Pope Benedict XVI one year ago in Fatima, Portugal.

Nick Squires in Fatima

7:00PM BST 13 May 2010

In a strongly worded attack, Benedict XVI insisted that marriage should be founded on the “indissoluble” marriage between a man and a woman.

Addressing a huge crowd at the shrine of Fatima at the climax of his four day visit to Portugal, the 83-year-old Pope said that same sex marriage and abortion were among the “most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good.”

He expressed his “profound appreciation” for anti-abortion campaigners, who he praised for defending the right to life and the “recovery of people wounded by the drama of abortion”.
The Vatican regards being homosexual as a “deviation” and an “irregularity” and the act of homosexual sex as a sin.

In December a leading Roman Catholic cardinal reinforced the message, saying that homosexuality was an “insult to God” and that homosexuals and transsexuals will never go to heaven.

In remarks which outraged gay rights groups, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, 76, claimed that people were not born homosexual, but chose to embrace homosexuality of their own free will.

The Pope himself angered homosexual groups in December 2008 when he suggested that the need to save humanity from the harmful blurring of gender roles was as critical as conserving the world’s rainforests.

Stonewall, the British lesbian and gay lobby group, condemned the Pope’s remarks.
“Some might say that it’s dangerous and insidious for the Pope to spend so much time publicly belittling gay, lesbian and bisexual people,” said Derek Munn, director of public affairs.

Left-leaning MPs in Italy have proposed various kinds of legislation for some kind of homosexual union in recent years.

But the measures have gone nowhere in the face of stiff opposition from the Vatican, which continues to wield enormous influence over Italian politics.

The Pope’s remarks carried particular resonance for his host country – three years ago Portugal decriminalised abortion and it is now on the verge of legalising homosexual unions.

A law allowing same-sex marriage was passed by parliament in February.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva, a practising Catholic, is expected to sign the bill into law by May 17, three days after the end of the papal visit.

His ratification would make Portugal the sixth country in Europe to allow same-sex marriages after Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway.

In Britain, same sex marriage is not legal, but since 2005 homosexual couples have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships, which carry the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

One of Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites, the shrine of Fatima consists of an enormous white basilica marking the spot where three Portuguese shepherd children allegedly witnessed a series of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1917.

The Pope’s visit commemorated the anniversary of the first apparition – May 13.
He was greeted with cheers and applause when he arrived at the steps of the basilica in his bullet-proof “Popemobile”, with pilgrims from more than 30 different countries chanting “Vivo o Papa” – Portuguese for Long Live the Pope.

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Catholic politicians must oppose gay marriage: Pope

Here is an article touching on this matter by Phil Pullela of Reuters from four years ago, reporting on a Vatican document on the Syond of the Eucharist held two years earlier, in 2005.

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY

Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:25am EDT

(Reuters) – The Church’s opposition to gay marriage is “non-negotiable” and Catholic politicians have a moral duty to oppose it, as well as laws on abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict said in a document issued on Tuesday.

In a 140-page booklet on the workings of a synod that took place at the Vatican in 2005 on the theme of the Eucharist, the 79-year-old German Pope also re-affirmed the Catholic rule of celibacy for priests.

In the “Apostolic Exhortation” Benedict said all believers had to defend what he called fundamental values but that the duty was “especially incumbent” on those in positions of power.

He said such values included “respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built on marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms”.

“These values are not negotiable,” he said.

“Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce laws inspired by values grounded in human nature,” he said.

Gay marriage is legal in several European countries, including predominantly Catholic Spain, and Italy is severely divided over the issue of whether to give more rights to unmarried couples, including homosexuals.

Italian politicians from the right and center praised the pope but leftists criticized him.

Franco Grillini, a homosexual parliamentarian and leading gay rights activist, accused the Pope of launching a “moralistic dictatorship based on the fear of sex”. Leftist Senator Rina Gagliardi called it “improper interference” in Italy’s affairs.

The Pope’s words were also applicable to countries like the United States, where some Catholic politicians have said they are opposed to abortion but feel bound to support pro-choice legislation because they represent many people.

In the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, when Democratic candidate John Kerry, a Catholic, supported abortion rights.

The Pope implied local bishops could not turn a blind eye to such politicians. “Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them,” he wrote.

Some bishops in the United States have refused to give communion to Catholic politicians who back abortion rights…

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Pope says no to civil unions and RU486

Here is an article from January 12, 2006, in the respected Asia News news agency, which also has some important remarks on this issue. Pope Benedict was speaking just half a year after he was elected Pope, and just half a year after Pope John Paul II’s death.

01/12/2006 14:34

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In truth, there is no “real social need” for “other forms” of marriage and “pills which in any way hide the seriousness of abortion” should not be offered.

With these words, Benedict XVI today reiterated his “no” to civil unions and other legal forms of quasi-marriage and to the termination of pregnancy masked by the RU486 pill.

The Pope’s latest intervention came during a meeting traditionally held at the start of the year with administrators of Rome, its province and Lazio. Among other things, he thanked them for the welcome they gave to millions of people who wished to participate in ceremonies marking the death of John Paul II and the selection of his successor.

All humanity, said Benedict XVI, lived “a deep spiritual experience in those days, of faith and prayer, of brotherhood and the rediscovery of benefits which make our life worthy and rich in meaning. Such an experience should not be devoid of fruit, even in the world of civil community, with its tasks and many responsibilities and relationships. I think in particular of that terrain – rather sensitive and decisive in the formation and happiness of people as well as for the future of society – which is the family.

“Marriage and the family are not a random sociological construction, the outcome of particular historic and economic settings. On the contrary, the proper kind of relationship between a man and a woman digs its roots in the deepest essence of the human being and can find its response only when emanating from there.”

Marriage as an institution is therefore not “an undeserved interference of society or of the authorities, the imposition of a model from outside, rather it is an intrinsic need of the pact of conjugal love.”

And neither is a fact of Catholic morality, “but of elementary truth which regards our human community: respecting it is essential for the good of people and of society. They therefore also seek out your responsibilities as public administrators and your competencies as regards the law in a twofold manner. On the one hand, all those provisions which could be of support to young couples forming a family are opportune, as are those targeting the family itself in the generation and education of children: in this regard, problems like the cost of accommodation, of nurseries, of kindergartens for the youngest children come to mind. On the other hand, it is a serious mistake to obscure the value and functions of the legitimate family founded in matrimony, attributing legal recognition to other forms of improper unions for which, in reality, there is no true social need”…

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Pope Calls Gay Marriage Part of “Ideology of Evil”

Here is a Reuters article citing Pope John Paul II on this question, just a few weeks before his death.

Reuters

Feb, 22, 2005

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) – Homosexual marriages are part of “a new ideology of evil” that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul says in a new book published Tuesday.

In Memory and Identity, the Pope also calls abortion a “legal extermination” comparable to attempts to wipe out Jews and other groups in the 20th century…

The 84-year-old Pontiff’s book, a highly philosophical and intricate work on the nature of good and evil, is based on conversations with philosopher friends in 1993 and later with some of his aides.

In one section about the role of lawmakers, the Pope takes another swipe at gay marriages when he refers to “pressures” on the European Parliament to allow them.

“It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man,” he writes…

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Vatican Says Catholic Politicians Must Oppose Gay-Marriage Laws

And here is an article from Bloomberg News on July 31, 2003, which summarizes the teaching of a Vatican document signed on June 3, 2003, by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregattion of the Doctrine of the Faith, on this matter. We publish the entire document below.

July 31, 2003 (Bloomberg) — The Vatican today issued guidelines telling Roman Catholic lawmakers they have a “moral duty” to oppose same-sex marriages and urging non-Catholics to join in blocking proposals that grant legal status to homosexual unions.

The document, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and posted on the Vatican’s Web site, was approved by Pope John Paul II in March as part of a campaign to counter the increase in legal recognition for gay marriages.

Two Canadian provinces, the Netherlands and Belgium have legalized same-sex marriages. In the U.S., Vermont allows same-sex couples to have “civil unions” providing the rights of marriage, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court is considering the legalization of homosexual marriages.

“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” the Vatican said in the document. “Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.”

The document doesn’t specify any church sanctions against Catholic politicians who defy the guidelines, while saying that “to vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.”

U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday told reporters that marriage “is between a man and a woman.”

The Vatican cautioned against the use of anti-discrimination laws to support legal recognition for gay marriage. It also condemned homosexuals who raise children within a gay marriage.

“Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development,” the Vatican said.

Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark and Argentina allow gay couples to register their partnerships with civil authorities and gain some benefits available to married couples.

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The Church’s Teaching in Detail

Here is the 2003 Vatican document which sets forth the teaching of the Church in this matter in some detail.

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS
BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

INTRODUCTION

1. In recent years, various questions relating to homosexuality have been addressed with some frequency by Pope John Paul II and by the relevant Dicasteries of the Holy See.(1)

Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted or intend to grant – legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may include the possibility of adopting children.

The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element.

The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience.(2)

Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society.

I. THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE
AND ITS INALIENABLE CHARACTERISTICS

2. The Church’s teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world.

Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose.(3)

No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.

3. The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation, an expression also of the original human wisdom, in which the voice of nature itself is heard. There are three fundamental elements of the Creator’s plan for marriage, as narrated in the Book of Genesis.

In the first place, man, the image of God, was created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level – the personal level – where nature and spirit are united.

Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

Third, God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator’s plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.

Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:32). This Christian meaning of marriage, far from diminishing the profoundly human value of the marital union between man and woman, confirms and strengthens it (cf. Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:6-9).

4. There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.

Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(4)

Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity… (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5)

This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.(7)

They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.(8) The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered”(9) and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.(10)

II. POSITIONS ON THE PROBLEM
OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS

5. Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favour giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children.

Where the government’s policy is de facto tolerance and there is no explicit legal recognition of homosexual unions, it is necessary to distinguish carefully the various aspects of the problem.

Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons.

Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon.

Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

III. ARGUMENTS FROM REASON AGAINST LEGAL RECOGNITION OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS

6. To understand why it is necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions, ethical considerations of different orders need to be taken into consideration.

From the order of right reason

The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law,(11) but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.(12) Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.(13)

Laws in favour of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.

It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure.

This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good.

Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”.(14) Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.

From the biological and anthropological order

7. Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition.

Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race.

The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involv- ing a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy.

Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension, which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.

As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood.

Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

From the social order

8. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.

The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice.(16) The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.

Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.

From the legal order

9. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.

Nor is the argument valid according to which legal recognition of homosexual unions is necessary to avoid situations in which cohabiting homosexual persons, simply because they live together, might be deprived of real recognition of their rights as persons and citizens. In reality, they can always make use of the provisions of law – like all citizens from the standpoint of their private autonomy – to protect their rights in matters of common interest. It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society.(17)

IV. POSITIONS OF CATHOLIC POLITICIANS WITH REGARD TO LEGISLATION IN FAVOUR
OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS

10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.(18)

This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.

CONCLUSION

11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.

The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.

Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.

The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience of March 28, 2003, approved the present Considerations, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.

Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect

Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila
Secretary

NOTES

(1) Cf. John Paul II, Angelus Messages of February 20, 1994, and of June 19, 1994; Address to the Plenary Meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Family (March 24, 1999); Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2357-2359, 2396; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Persona humana (December 29, 1975), 8; Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986); Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons (July 24, 1992); Pontifical Council for the Family, Letter to the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe on the resolution of the European Parliament regarding homosexual couples (March 25, 1994); Family, marriage and “de facto” unions (July 26, 2000), 23.

(2) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life (November 24, 2002), 4.

(3) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 48.

(4) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357.

(5) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Persona humana (December 29, 1975), 8.

(6) Cf., for example, St. Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians, V, 3; St. Justin Martyr, First Apology, 27, 1-4; Athenagoras, Supplication for the Christians, 34.

(7) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986), 10.

(8) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2359; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986), 12.

(9) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358.

(10) Ibid., No. 2396.

(11) Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 71.

(12) Cf. ibid., 72.

(13) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 95, a. 2.

(14) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 90.

(15) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum vitae (February 22, 1987), II. A. 1-3.

(16) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 63, a.1, c.

(17) It should not be forgotten that there is always “a danger that legislation which would make homosexuality a basis for entitlements could actually encourage a person with a homosexual orientation to declare his homosexuality or even to seek a partner in order to exploit the provisions of the law” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons [July 24, 1992], 14).

(18) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 73.

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Here is the complete text of Archbishop Dolan’s statement, issued today on his web site:

The True Meaning of Marriage

The stampede is on. Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.

The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good, reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don’t see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.

But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?

Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means.

But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.” And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?

Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people. The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like. This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition. Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children. Please don’t vote to change that. If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so. This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense.

Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago. We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree. (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)

But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 9:26 am

And here are some comments on Archbishop Dolan’s text:

Yvonne Fuller says:
June 14, 2011 at 9:47 am
Thank you so much for your insightful response to this frightening situation. I’ve never been able to give such a complete answer to those attacking my position. Thanks again and God Bless You.

Mary P says:
June 14, 2011 at 10:08 am
Thank you, Archbishop, for your wonderful statement. You deal with the issue with such clarity and charity. It is a great source of encouragement and support for those of us who are trying to preserve traditional marriage. You are a great leader, and may God continue to bless you!

Kim Duffrin says:
June 14, 2011 at 10:11 am
Thank you Archbishop Dolan for saying what needs to be said most clearly! May God continue to bless you and all those who are willing to speak the truth. May the Spirit continue to guide and strengthen each of us to be true disciples.

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