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True Matrimonial Equality

Mark Gianfalla | Tuesday, April 9, 2013

With the attention being given to the Supreme Court’s hearing of a marriage equality case in the near future, a recent social media phenomenon has developed. Many of my friends from both Notre Dame and back home have been sharing and changing their Facebook profile pictures to a red square with an equals sign inside of it. This is reported to be in support of “marriage equality.”
I enjoy living in a society where social debate can take place and where people have differences of opinions and can discuss them intelligently. This is what caused me to upload an image of a blue X with the description: “Here’s my take on the issue: Marriage is between a man and a woman.” I have an equal right to make my social and political leanings known as those who prefer to show their support for the national recognition of homosexual marriage. Within five minutes of my sharing of this image, a Facebook friend of mine who I admittedly do not know very well commented “lol” (laughing out loud).  
As I read the comment, I noticed that he had changed his profile picture to the red “=.” I also had friends that had liked my picture, but I was taken aback by this comment. Why do you have the right to share your opinion without negative feedback (I would never think of commenting negatively on someone else’s profile), but as soon as someone offers a different perspective, you belittle their opinion? I am a firm defender of the freedom of religion and of speech, as well as a firm defender of marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman. I decided to message this Facebook friend of mine and let him know that respecting different opinions is more mature than belittling them. I tried to be as polite as possible so as to not come across as angry, which I wasn’t.  He responded by calling me an unintelligent hypocrite for connecting religion and marriage. He then challenged me to defend the exclusive meaning of marriage being between a man and a woman, and it is this that encouraged me to write this article. I have noticed a trend in many leftist social ideological groups that want their beliefs to be legally recognized as equal, but these same groups are the first to call someone a homophobe or a racist for simply disagreeing with them. If you are preaching equality, then the first step is to respect others’ beliefs as your own. In reality, opinions are not in fact equal, and those that are objectively reliant on fact are indeed superior to mere whimsical feelings.
I stand firm in my belief that marriage is indeed a relationship between a man and a woman and cannot be interpreted to cover any domestic or sexual interaction between two people. Marriage is a religious term, properly referred to as matrimony, and as much as critics like to argue that it should be a secular recognition, it simply is not. Many of the first recordings of marriage are present in the Bible, and it has always been ceremonial and surrounding the joining of a man and a woman for the purposes of starting a family. In this sense, marriage is simply not possible between two members of the same gender. The sexual context of marriage is meant to be both uniting and procreative. It is, naturally, physically impossible for two members of the same gender to bear children. If this aspect of sexual intercourse is removed, and it is viewed simply as an act to be performed at ones will, which is what is essentially being argued, then why is prostitution and bestiality both illegal and immoral? It is near impossible to leave the Church out of a defense of marriage because marriage is a religious term. Even without religion, the natural state of the human body only permits procreation between a man and a woman. Without this aspect, all traditional purposes of marriage are nullified.
The United States was founded by a group of intelligent and mature men who imprinted our currency with what was an important motto for them: “In God we trust.” If they founded this country having trusted in God, then why should America change to accommodate the minority with dissenting opinions, contrary to our nations character? I have been called a homophobe by bigots in the past, but I view all humans equally, as does the Church. Loving your brother or sister who self-identifies as a homosexual does not mean that you must support a destruction of the significance of marriage. The Church clearly wants to welcome all human beings no matter how they feel. I draw the line in the same place as the Church however, which is that sex and inherently marriage are reserved for monogamous, heterosexual relationships. I am a firm believer in true equality of marriage; equality of marriages of different races, different economic standing, and different practices, but marriage is marriage.
Mark Gianfalla was recently elected President of College Republicans and Morrissey Hall. He can be contacted at mgianfal@nd.edu
    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.