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Did love win?

| Tuesday, August 25, 2015

On June 26th the Supreme Court held that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right; no state may deny a marriage license to a couple because they are the same sex. For many, this represented an enormous victory for love and equality.

We all want all marriages to be treated the same. Talk of marriage equality, then, simply begs the question of what marriage is.

Those who cheered the Supreme Court’s ruling say that love makes a marriage. I’m confident that no one has ever believed that slogan as stated. The love that is shared between father and son, brother and brother or teacher and pupil is real love, and yet no one thinks that such love makes a marriage.

So, those who cheered the ruling speak of “stable, committed” relationships. But brothers and sisters love each other in a committed, stable way and no one would call them married.

To most, it seems sex has to be involved. So, if you want to be together with someone you love — and you’re having sex — you can marry, and there’s an end to it. But this will not do. If one wants to claim that love makes a marriage, or that love plus sex makes a marriage, one must identify what is distinctive of marital love and the kind of union it seeks.

Marital love is about total union with the one I love. A marital lover seeks union with the beloved on all levels of his or her being: we can call this thing a comprehensive union. Importantly, one level of our being is bodily: my body is me, part of who I am. So any union that is total or comprehensive would unite lovers at the bodily level (as well as the mental and emotional levels).

Such a union cannot be constituted (though it can be enhanced) by feelings, because feelings are inherently private realities. Feelings of affection may be simultaneous, but they are not truly shared. What really does unite people is sharing a good, and such sharing can only be realized through action. All reasonable action aims at some good, and calls for a commitment appropriate to that good.

At the bodily level, comprehensive union is constituted by active coordination toward a single bodily end of the whole. My heart, lungs and other organs are one flesh and comprise a true bodily union in that they are actively coordinated toward a single bodily end — my biological life — of the whole — me. Bodily union typically takes place within a person, but it’s possible between two people in only one respect: coitus. In coitus a man and a woman can participate in a bodily coordination for a single end — reproduction — of the whole — the couple. No other kind of sexual act is capable of achieving true bodily union.

It’s worth noticing one implication of the bodily union just described: it exists in the very moment of coordinated activity. If two people coordinate their action toward reproduction, they unite in a bodily way whether or not they end up bringing about new life.

Of course, bodily union alone does not make a marriage. Just as the existence of mutual love alone does not mean that we have a marriage, neither does having sex make us married. What does make a marriage — a comprehensive union — requires a bit more explanation.

As mentioned above, marriage is a comprehensive union of whole persons — all of whom we are. I’ve stressed that this includes our bodies, but it also includes our minds (and our emotions). We achieve a union of minds when we choose to commit ourselves to the same end in marital vows.

Being comprehensive in uniting partners on all levels of their being, marriage is also comprehensive with respect to the goods that the partners participate in. Because the act that achieves bodily union is the kind of act that is capable of reproduction, marriage unites partners in a wide ranged sharing of domestic life appropriate to family life. Not all marriages will produce children, and not all marital acts will result in conception, but all marital intercourse is participated in as the first step of the process that is oriented towards the conception of a new human being, and thus is not only valuable in itself but is inherently oriented to new life and the sharing of domestic life.

Recall that the commitment appropriate to a relationship follows from the goods that are pursued in and through that relationship. Marriage — comprehensively uniting partners on all levels of their being and with respect to the widespread sharing of the goods of domestic life and procreation — calls for comprehensive commitment: through time (permanent) and at each time (exclusive). This commitment is made through the marriage vow, which does not represent a generic sort of commitment, but a commitment precisely to do certain things. Spouses commit to permanence and exclusivity with respect to the comprehensive cooperation that is instantiated by the marital act (made marital by their consent to permanence and exclusivity) and that unfolds into widespread sharing of domestic life.

Those who commit themselves to shared action toward procreation and domestic life, to the union of body and mind, commit themselves to married life. Those who dedicate themselves to other noble purposes — sisters who run an orphanage or lifelong friends who decide to share retired life together — are not married. In general, two men or two women may love each other, may desire to share all aspects of domestic life, and may make a pledge of permanent and exclusive commitment to each other. But those commitments are distinct from the marital commitment, which must include bodily union, something that unites two persons of the opposite sex (on equal terms).

Comprehensive union makes sense of the norms of marriage that most of us agree on: that it should be permanent and exclusive and monogamous. Arguments for redefining marriage to include same-sex couples cannot make sense of these norms in any principled way, and thus cannot adequately explain what marriage is, or, consequently, why the state is interested in protecting and promoting it. Love, as such, does not make a marriage. If it did, would it not be inherently unjust to limit marriage to only two people, to only sexual relationships or to require permanence when love fades?

Equality demands that like cases be treated alike, not that different cases be treated alike. A marriage policy that excludes same-sex couples in no way violates equality. So rather than proclaiming, as if the debate was over, that love and equality have won, we should — and will — continue to think about what marriage is, why it matters and why the state has an interest in regulating it.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • Tom Z.

    I don’t know why you are trying to make this more complicated than it is. You go into these convoluting and boring arguments on why marriage should mean love and procreation yet are talking about Marriage Equality laws passing. Marriage in the United States does not mean Marriage within the Catholic Church, If you want to keep marriage in the church between a man and a woman who can only procreate then go right ahead, just don’t drag the rest of the country down with your religious example.

    Social security benefits, tax benefits, immigration, employee benefits, health coverage are just a few of the things that are granted for couples in this country that are in state recognized marriages. Tell me again, how limiting these benefits strictly to men and women who can procreate is bringing out the “love” of marriage?

    Timothy, I’m sure you are young and have been surrounded by like minded views your entire life, but you need to stop trying to make or argue for your religious rules to be put into law. Believe what you want and do what you want, but don’t be dumb enough to believe that this is how we should govern our people. You lost the gay marriage and battle and will continue to look ignorant and bigoted just as those who still push for a stop to interracial marriage.

    • Devon Chenelle

      Tom, I do not entirely disagree with you – I believe the government has no place in the institution of marriage whatsoever. Yet as you pointed out, the government has already made a decision to encourage the institution of heterosexual marriage via as you said ” Social security benefits, tax benefits, immigration, employee benefits, health coverage are just a few of the perks.” This is exactly why many in this country oppose gay marriage, and causes myself – not a gay marriage opponent – to raise an eyebrow. The government subsidizes marriage because it concludes – correctly, I suspect – that those subsidies more than repay themselves by encouraging nuclear families, an objectively fantastic way of creating societal stability and prosperity. I would prefer the government make no sorts of subsidies like that whatsoever, but given that they exist, I am a little confused why they are extended to homosexual couples. Certainly laws that persecute homosexuals are gross. When you tax something, you will discourage it. By the same token, when you subsidize something you will encourage it. Why subsidize homosexual marriage? If people want to marry someone of their same gender, they should and now do have every right to do so. But why must we give them money? “Equality under the dole”? I believe that specific objection is a basis for much of the opposition to gay marriage.

      Additionally, you should probably refrain from calling someone “ignorant, stupid, and bigoted” when they merely tried to make an unpopular argument in a public forum. It’s quite destructive towards open discourse.

      • Tom Z.

        You fail to mention why heterosexual couples marriages should be subsidized and homosexual ones shouldn’t. It is simply not fair, as simple as that. Are you trying to argue that heterosexual marriage should get all the government benefits of marriage whereas homosexual couples (though they can still get married) should get zero of the benefits? The government stepped in when it realized it was wrong to ban interracial marriage and it is doing the same thing here. You may disagree with it, but guess what, you’re on the wrong side of history and with each passing year, your viewpoints look more and more like the racists of the 1960s trying to keep marriage within races.

        If someone tried to tell me marriage should only be between people of the same race ONLY, I would call them ignorant, stupid, and bigoted. There is no difference here. You can’t say this one group of people do not deserve inequality and then hide behind your religion as a valid reason. No, you think they are icky and don’t deserve the same benefits of everybody else, hence the ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry in trying to limit their rights based on sexual orientation. It doesn’t hinder discourse, it’s calling a spade a spade.

        • Devon Chenelle

          I did mention why heterosexual marriages are (not necessarily should be) subsidized when I wrote “nuclear families, an objectively fantastic way of creating societal stability and prosperity.” Heterosexual couples can produce children – homosexual couples cannot. While the jury is still out on the effects of an upbringing in a same-sex parent household, the evidence is clear that children raised by a mother and a father do better on a number of developmental measures than do children raised without one or both parents. That is why marriage is subsidized – “fair” has absolutely nothing to do with it. Any subsidy consists of taking money from one person and giving it to another one – whenever this is done there had better be much better and broader benefits than some nebulous notion of “fairness.” The subsidies associated with marriage are intended to have a wider social benefit to justify them. And let me clarify my position once again – I am against moralizing government subsidies of any kind. And I’m not on any “side” of history – I made my position on the legality of homosexual marriage quite explicit. Any people who wish to sign a contract voluntarily ought be allowed to do so.

          Given your apparent lack of interest in reading others’ replies to your comments and your commitment to slurring those who are intellectually at odds with you, I can’t imagine you will have much success in learning from others, allowing your opinions to take on nuance, or even convincing your ideological foes of the correctness of your position. If you’re interested in any of those things, I would suggest a shift in your patterns of dialogue.

          • what no really

            It’s already been discussed and argued. Winner has been declared.

            http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/14-556q1_7l48.pdf

          • Tom Z.

            “While the jury is still out on the effects of an upbringing in a same-sex parent household, the evidence is clear that children raised by a mother and a father do better on a number of developmental measures than do children raised without one or both parents.” -DC

            This is just flat out wrong. There is no conclusive study that suggests this at all.

            “Any people who wish to sign a contract voluntarily ought be allowed to do so.” -DC

            You can’t even say the word, “Marriage”? Or do you not believe Marriage is what the term should be called for two homosexual couples. Should it be a Union? Why should it not be a marriage? Does your religion or any other religion have a trademark on the word, “marriage”?

            Also, it is not just about subsidies, should a gay man not be allowed to visit his partner of 40 years in the hospital because they are not legally married? There is much more than money and incentives. These are people who you are trying to treat as if they are lower class citizens who do not deserve the same privileges as heterosexuals.

            I also assume that you are for interviewing infertile, elderly, sexual promiscuous couples in order to determine the type of benefits they receive. Anyone infertile should receive zero benefits then based on your argument. If gay couples were open to adoption, would they then get their benefits? There are so many holes and fallacies to your logic, I cannot even begin to portray the problems with choosing the “perfect” couple to have full benefits of marriage, whereas this couple deserves some of the benefits, and this other couple deserves no benefits even though they are all married.

            Also, it’s easy for someone to say “stick to proper discourse and everything”, but this is the real world. The idea that one group of people is better and deserve something more than another group of people simply because of an uncontrollable characteristic is a bigoted idea. No matter what reason you hide behind, you are trying to restrict rights to one group of people because of (insert reason here). It should not be tolerated and should be met with the same ridiculousness as any idea where one person is trying to put another person lower than them and treat them less like a human being because of the color of their skin, nationality, religion, socioeconomic class, or sexual orientation. Notre Dame is better than this and even though it is a catholic university, I am pretty certain that your viewpoint is the minority and there are less and less of you every year.

          • Michael Bradley

            Tom, the burden of extant social science does strongly suggest what Devon is arguing concerning parenting structure and children’s well-being. Here are some statistics and references from a 2013 policy paper.

            ***

            Social science confirms the importance of marriage for children. According to the best available sociological evidence, children fare best on virtually every examined indicator when reared by their wedded biological parents. Studies that control for other factors, including poverty and even genetics, suggest that children reared in intact homes do best on educational achievement, emotional health, familial and sexual development, and delinquency and incarceration.[9]

            A study published by the research institution Child Trends concluded:

            [I]t is not simply the presence of two parents…but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support children’s development.[10]

            [R]esearch clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes.… There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.[11]

            According to another study, “[t]he advantage of marriage appears to exist primarily when the child is the biological offspring of both parents.”[12] Recent literature reviews conducted by the Brookings Institution, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Institute for American Values corroborate the importance of intact households for children.[13]

            These statistics have penetrated American life to such a great extent that even President Barack Obama refers to them as well known:

            We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.[14]

            ***

            [9] For the relevant studies, see Witherspoon Institute, “Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles,” August 2008, pp. 9–19, http://www.winst.org/family_marriage_and_democracy/WI_Marriage.pdf(accessed March 4, 2013). “Marriage and the Public Good,” signed by some 70 scholars, corroborates the philosophical case for marriage with extensive evidence from the social sciences about the welfare of children and adults.

            [10] Kristin Anderson Moore, Susan M. Jekielek, and Carol Emig, “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do About It?” Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002, p. 1, http://www.childtrends.org/files/MarriageRB602.pdf

            [11] Ibid., p. 6.

            [12] Wendy D. Manning and Kathleen A. Lamb, “Adolescent Well-Being in Cohabiting, Married, and Single-Parent Families,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 65, No. 4 (November 2003), pp. 876 and 890.

            [13] See Sara McLanahan, Elisabeth Donahue, and Ron Haskins, “Introducing the Issue,” Marriage and Child Wellbeing, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Fall 2005),http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=37&articleid=103 (accessed March 4, 2013); Mary Parke, “Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?” Center for Law and Social Policy Policy Brief, May 2003,http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications_states/files/0086.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013); and W. Bradford Wilcox et al., Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences, 2nd ed. (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005), p. 6,http://americanvalues.org/pdfs/why_marriage_matters2.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013).

            [14] Barack Obama, “Obama’s Speech on Fatherhood,” Apostolic Church of God, Chicago, June 15, 2008, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/obamas_speech_on_fatherhood.html

          • Tom Z.

            Seriously, this must have taken at least an hour. Anybody can find a source that matches up with what you want, this is 2015. Did you use the Family research council. Also, you should look at studies from countries where the stigmatization on homosexual behaviors and not just go through google picking and choosing which studies you want.

            What do you have to say about the fact that black children raised by black parents are more prone to incarceration, poverty, not graduation, and violence than white children raised by white parents? Should we ban black people from having kids at all? Studies show the children are at more risk to the above with black parents, maybe we should ONLY allow white people to have kids.

            Do you see the fallacy in your logic or are you too focused on trying to overpower them with your philosophy/theological expertise to any and every argument presented. You seem very smart which is unfortunate since you are literally wasting your time hindering you to think rationally. If you entered the with this argument and your religion is severely world today and were given both arguments, I don’t think you would even hesitate to side with equality over this nonsense you are spewing where its obvious you are desperately trying to convince yourself of.

            In the end, you are promoting hate. You are voicing an opinion to not allow Gay Michael Bradley the same rights as Straight Michael Bradley because one was born straight and one was born gay. Don’t try to make this more complicated than it is. You are trying to restrict certain rights from one group of people simply because of their sexual orientation. Just because you hide behind your religion, it doesn’t give you the right to view and police these people like they are lesser citizens. Anything else is promoting hatred, bigotry, and ignorance, three traits you seem to have a lot based on your comments above.

          • Michael Bradley

            Tom,

            I’m not arguing that the convergent outcomes of the social sciences in this respect should dictate marriage policy. Far from it! If I were, it would follow that only the household structures that produce optimal outcomes for children ought to be considered marriages, which is clearly an unsound view of the matter.

            I was simply responding to your response to Devon’s claim, which was completely accurate. (All but two of the studies on which the 2005 APA “no difference” brief was based committed serious methodological errors, a fact which some courts that have cited that brief in favor of striking down male-female marriage laws have actually acknowledged, but disregarded.) The first statistic referenced above is from the left-leaning Child Trends Institute. The question of parenting structures and children’s well-being is, fortunately, not a partisan issue.

          • Tom Z.

            I’m done arguing and this is the personal side of me.

            “The question of parenting structures and children’s well-being is, fortunately, not a partisan issue.”

            You sound like a huge loser.

          • carrotcakeman

            “Seriously, this must have taken at least an hour.”

            No, he pasted that garbage from the website of the Witherspoon group.

          • Terri Hemker

            Isn’t the Family Research Council the beloved (now ex-) employer of Josh Duggar, he of child molesting fame?

          • carrotcakeman

            Your anti-gay fake studies have been debunked.

          • NDaniels

            “Gay” does not refer to personhood, it refers to sexual desire/inclination/orientation; it is not unjust discrimination to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate sexual desires/inclinations/orientations. Giving personhood to one’s sexual desires/inclinations/orientations, does not change the fact that the desire of any person, male or female, to engage in any type of disordered sexual behavior, does not change the nature of the disordered sexual behavior. Acts that do not respect the inherent Dignity of our beloved sons and daughters are not acts of Love.

          • NDaniels

            “Gay” does not refer to personhood, it refers to sexual desire/inclination/orientation; it is not unjust discrimination to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate sexual desires/inclinations/orientations. Giving personhood to one’s sexual desires/inclinations/orientations, does not change the fact that the desire of any person, male or female, to engage in any type of disordered sexual behavior, does not change the nature of the disordered sexual behavior. Acts that do not respect the inherent Dignity of our beloved sons and daughters are not acts of Love.

          • It would do you well to look at their most current research instead if picking old studies that say what you want them to say. http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=family-structure

          • carrotcakeman

            Using outdated material from respected sources is a routine anti-gay deception. The Southern Poverty Law Center debunks this deceptive habit by anti-gays here:

            https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/10-anti-gay-myths-debunked

          • NDaniels

            Desiring that all our beloved sons and daughters be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public is not an act of bigotry, it is an act of Love. Why do you desire that we discriminate then, against those beloved sons and daughters who have developed a same-sex sexual attraction, or any type of disordered inclination? Do you not believe that they, too, have an inherent Right to be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public?

          • carrotcakeman

            We know same gender parents are just as good. We also know the Witherspoon group that Mr. Bradley is quoting below paid Mark Regnerus to produce the fake studies he’s promoting here.

          • carrotcakeman

            “DENVER, June 15 — A new study from the University of Colorado Denver finds that scientists agree that children of same-sex parents experience ‘no difference’ on a range of social and behavioral outcomes compared to children of heterosexual or single parents.

            The study was led by Jimi Adams, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies at CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and published this month in Social Science Research.”

            http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/uoca-cdr061415.php

          • carrotcakeman

            The New England Journal of Medicine urges government to establish marriage equality for the health of the millions of American children of same gender parents:

            “Same-sex marriage strengthens access to health insurance for the 220,000 children who are being raised by same-sex parents in the United States. Employers who offer health insurance to dependent children often require that minors be related to the employee by birth, legal marriage, or legal adoption, so children with LGBT parents are left with diminished protections in states that deny legal marriages and adoptions to same-sex couples. As a result, children with same-sex parents are less likely than children with married opposite-sex parents to have private health insurance. These disparities diminish when LGBT families live in states with marriage equality or laws supporting adoptions for same-sex parents.”

            http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1400254

          • carrotcakeman

            “Where differences were identified between the gay father adoptive families and the heterosexual parent adoptive families, these reflected more positive functioning in the gay father families.”

            Source: Adoptive Gay Father Families: Parent–Child Relationships and Children’s Psychological Adjustment. Child Development Volume 85, Issue 2, pages 456–468, March/April 2014

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12155/full

          • Devon Chenelle

            I’ve seen some of the research like this. It is definitely possible there is no difference between being raised by a homosexual or heterosexual couple. For me personally I don’t trust sociological conclusions until a MOUNTAIN of evidence has been built up, but these studies are certainly encouraging. We can at least be certain gay parents are far far superior to being raised in the adoption “system” of foster homes etc.

          • carrotcakeman

            You don’t trust the mountain of evidence that already exists because it deflates your anti-gay propaganda.

          • carrotcakeman

            Please spare us any further tiresome whining that you refuse to believe documentation that debunks anti-gay propaganda.

          • Devon Chenelle

            1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2318251/Children-brought-parents-intelligent–develop-brain-cells.html
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2930824/
            http://www.cfuf.org/Filestream.aspx?FileID=14
            https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/

            2. I didn’t use the word marriage because I wanted to make my position exceptionally clear – the government should not have a place in controlling the free decisions of its citizens. Marriage is included within that. Additionally I am incredulous that you insist on treating me as some sort of hate-filled boogeyman dedicated to persecuting gay people. Try and understand: I want the government out of everyone’s bedroom and don’t particularly care personally about sexual ethics. I am merely stating some of the reasons some oppose gay marriage – is merely hearing those arguments this horrible?
            3. There is always a place for proper discourse and intellectually responsible argument. Free speech is still important to some people at least. And once again, I am incredulous that you keep trying to represent me as some sort of socially conservative big-government type, when I have repeatedly made my position clear. You can disagree with me, you can think I’m stupid, but please read and think for yourself.

          • carrotcakeman

            “I didn’t use the word marriage because I wanted to make my position exceptionally clear ”

            You used the epithet “homosexual” with “marriage” many times.

            “I am incredulous that you insist on treating me as some sort of hate-filled boogeyman dedicated to persecuting gay people.”

            Why not just say, “Waah, waah, Mommy, he called me an anti-gay. Doesn’t he know I’m using an anti-gay script based on denying I’m anti-gay, Mommy?”

            “I am merely stating some of the reasons some oppose gay marriage”

            Loudly and repeatedly, which is why it’s so funny you’re denying being anti-gay.

            “Free speech is still important to some people at least.”

            Yes, anti-gays always claim nowadays they are being censored and silenced–loudly and repeatedly.

            “And once again, I am incredulous that you keep trying to represent me as some sort of socially conservative big-government type, when I have repeatedly made my position clear.”

            The only thing anti-gays achieve by denying so often and so shrilly that they are not anti-gay is to demonstrate even anti-gays now admit most Americans consider anti-gays distasteful, immoral and disloyal to America and our Constitution.

          • Tom Z.

            Once again, why should marriage only belong to certain groups of people? You say you want the government out of everyone’s bedroom, but at the same time you think that they shouldn’t be allowed to be married? Yes, married, not a civil union, not a partnership, but full on married. Does anybody have a claim on marriage that we do not know about?

            “read and think for yourself.”
            This statement actually made me laugh out loud. I always assume people like you are just super religious and are, in fact, not thinking for themselves, but rattling off religious nonsense. I think this because I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. Save this discussion and re-read it in 5, 10, 20, 50 years. At some point, you are going to look back and kick yourself for sounding so distasteful and yes, dumb.

          • carrotcakeman

            You’re correct about that poster and his script.

            “You say you want the government out of everyone’s bedroom, but”

            But he wants the government in everyone’s bedroom, he just told that lie to try to fool us.

            Anti-gays also routinely write, “read and think for yourself.” Once again, they really mean, “stop reading the facts out there, stick to my propaganda. It is also a personal attack.

          • carrotcakeman

            I see you fear the documentation I provided.

          • Pi

            So of course Devon, you believe that if a couple is infertile they shouldn’t get the same subsidies, right? Are you for setting up government fertility clinics, so we can test all newly-married heterosexual couples? Do they get their subsidies back if they adopt? What if they go into marriage knowing that they don’t plan to have a single child? Do they have to register all vasectomies with the government for subsidy adjustment?

          • Devon Chenelle

            “you believe that if a couple is infertile they shouldn’t get the same subsidies”

            Please try and read what I wrote instead of regurgitating a stock response. My literal words: “were And let me clarify my position once again – I am against moralizing government subsidies of any kind.” I’m confused how you missed this.

          • carrotcakeman

            “regurgitating a stock response”

            Psychologists call this “projection.”

          • Pi

            I understand that you’re defensive because your position is being very strongly disagreed with here, but please don’t assume someone is making a “stock response” and didn’t read because they challenge your opinions.

            You speak of why the government subsidizes marriage, but ignore all couples that do not or cannot have children in that equation. If you really believed what you say, then you would be just as outspoken on the topic of infertile couples being subsidized and how illogical it is based on your understanding of the government’s motives. Instead, you’re only outspoken on the subject of gay marriage.

            Maybe, since you seem to have accused multiple people of not reading your comments, your train of thought is either unclear or illogical. If you think everyone else is the problem…

          • Devon Chenelle

            Perhaps I am acting a over-defensive, but you can understand why I was a little peeved that a position was attributed to me that I openly disavowed, yes? It’s very frustrating to make my own position explicit and then be told “no, you actually believe this.” Perhaps I am a conniving and deceitful liar – but those who wish to engage in an discussion must ultimately treat with the positions I do advocate if you wish to show me to be wrong and a fool. You seem to be interested in dialogue, so I will summarize what I am trying to communicate, though I fear I may be misrepresented again. Hopefully I can communicate my thoughts so at least some might understand me.

            1A. I hold that the government has no place in deciding what sorts of contracts certain sorts of people can sign.
            2A. To get married is, at its core, to sign a contract.
            3A. Therefore, I believe any people who voluntarily sign a marriage contract can be married – thus if I was king of the world, we would see gay marriages, straight marriages, polygamous marriages, etc.
            1B. In terms of my personal morality, I believe most Christian Churches go too far on sexual prescriptivism – certainly love and goodness can come out of sexual relationships that do not subscribe to the traditional ideals of marriage and gender.
            2B. I also believe that a nuclear family is a wonderful thing, and the sociological research demonstrates that children raised with two married parents fare better on quantitative measures of development than do children raised without a mother or father. I don’t know if the same is true of married homosexual parents, but I support gay adoption as it is certainly better to be raised by two same-gender parents than in an orphanage or foster home.
            1C. I merely tried to list why some oppose the legalization of gay marriage – I am honestly somewhat shocked that such opprobrium has been heaped on my for merely trying to describe the arguments of people I disagree with.
            2C. In regards to the marriage subsidy issue – If I am representing the position correctly, marriage was subsidized because it tends (important) to create social good by the formation of families. Homosexual unions do not (here is another point that is apparently problematic, but all I am trying to express is that literal biological reproduction cannot occur between two same-sex individuals – if this is horribly wrong and vile, I am open to being told why) produce new children, which is something the state has a need of. Thus, the subsidies for homosexual unions are poor policy. This is an argument I am trying to describe, NOT advocate.
            3C. And sure, the subsidies in theory as I’m, representing should only be extended to child-producing couples. But not exempting them from the law doesn’t much reduce the tendency of the subsidies to encourage what they’re supposed to. Again: I am merely trying to represent and describe another argument that is one I do not subscribe to. I believe the government has no place subsidizing any unions!

            I would honestly be very interested in the illogical and unclear nature of my thought. My first goal ought always be to learn.

          • carrotcakeman

            You’re wasting your time here.

          • carrotcakeman

            Another missing post…

          • carrotcakeman

            “Heterosexual couples can produce children – homosexual couples cannot.”

            And yet there are millions of American children of same gender parents. US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy condemned anti-gays in writing in 2013 and this summer for attacking these children by denying their parents the 1,138 federal rights of legal marriage.

            The script you are pasting here is seriously out of date. Perhaps you need to get current with your membership dues to your anti-gay Hate Cult so you can get a new script.

          • Devon Chenelle

            I’m not hurt but confused by your comment here. What anti-gay Hate cult am I supposed to be a member of? My church actually performs gay marriages. Literally, two men or two women cannot produce a child biologically. That is all I am saying, and the country needs children to be born. Many many children do have gay parents, I am well aware and glad these children have found a home. Please be more thoughtful in both your slander and your argumentation.

          • carrotcakeman

            You tell us which is your favorite anti-gay Hate Cult:

            https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/18-anti-gay-groups-and-their-propaganda

            The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the many deceptive claims anti-gays make that you have repeated here.

          • Devon Chenelle

            🙁 you seem to be uninterested in dialogue. You sound like just as much of a fundamentalist as those you seem to hate so strongly. I hope you can replace vitriol with considered thought, and I hope you realize that not everyone who has minor doctrinal differences from you is evil.

          • carrotcakeman

            I am interested in debunking every anti-gay lie I see. Yes, anti-gays always claim their intended LGBT victims are “the real haters.”

            Are you at the end of your script now?

          • carrotcakeman

            Clearly, he was at the end of his script, which I described above.

          • Becca Self

            Carrotcakeman, I think you’re missing one important thing. These people you’re being so vitriolic toward, from behind your anonymity, are not the Westboro Baptist Church. They are not anti-gay. Do you know them? They’re not at all comparable to anti-immigrant, anti-interracial, haters. You seem to be *fundamentally* opposed in every way to them, perceiving them as evil bigots, when that’s simply not accurate. Please see the distinction between hating a person, or a group of people, and being opposed to a radically new and tradition-breaking flood of definitions of terms and values. It’s pretty simple. Could you not have a teetotaler wife loving her alcohol-loving husband? An anti-drug mother loving her drug-using son? A voluntary vegan loving her meat-eating friends?

      • Sipowitz

        Devon, your argument is based on the idea that government created these benefits to encourage marriage; that is not true. The government created these benefits so that married couples are more able to share their wealth and property with one another under the law. On that fact alone your argument is flawed entirely.

        • SerenaJoy

          Well said.

      • SerenaJoy

        Legal marriage doesn’t just confer government sponsored spousal and dependent social security benefits, it confers familiar status as next of kin in hospitalizations permitting access to a patient in a hospital and rights of decision making. It confers default status of next of kin when a person dies intestate (without a will). Among many other things. The government is not a “dole” it is the institution which enforces property rights, contracts, public safety and order, individual rights and funds public goods & services that are used by everyone. You may be opposed to using government policy to encourage or discourage a particular behavior among citizens, but if encouraging certain behaviors such as marriage provides a shared social benefit, then the government has an interest in encouraging it and cannot discriminate against a certain class of people by denying them the right to participate.

        I believe that individual religions have no place in a plural society in the institution of marriage– if people believe in Catholic doctrine or Sharia law and want to govern their marriages along those lines they are free to do so, but marital laws are protected and enforced in courts of law. The Courts have jurisdiction over the parties, and can direct law enforcement to enforce court orders directing payment of support arrears, inheritances and stay-away orders if necessary.

        That is the government. Our society would dissolve into chaos if religious institutions like the Catholic Church were permitted to send out the Knights of Columbus to enforce marriage laws.

        • carrotcakeman

          The Knights of Columbus violated their IRS status by donating to the Maine anti-gay Hate Vote. The KofC’s pals at NOM outed them Monday.

        • Kim

          You fail to mention what same-sex marriages provide to the state that is equal to opposite-sex marriages. The crux of the social argument for opposite-sex marriage is that it is the ideal environment in which to create and raise new citizens. The government definitely has an interest in that. I also want to point out to you that it is fairly easy, with or without the help of an attorney, to make power of attorney documents both for estate and for healthcare. If I don’t want my spouse to speak for my healthcare decisions, I can override him with a power of attorney. The arguments above are a moot point. Marriage isn’t needed to secure those.

          • SerenaJoy

            I disagree that the social argument for marriage is the raising of new citizens. The reason for marriage is to create a family between two unrelated consenting adults, that provides next of kin status.

            If the whole point was raising children, then why should we as a society let child-free, or infertile, or menopausal individuals marry at all?

            Thank you for pointing out to me the availability of power of attorney documents. There are standard forms one can use to grant various powers of attorney, in a list of about 22-26, not including the health care proxy which is often a separate document.

            Here is a more comprehensive list of 1,000 spousal rights and entitlements a power of attorney is insufficient for:

            http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04353r.pdf

            You may not use your power of attorney to direct the US government to pay spousal social security payments or survivor benefits to someone who is not legally married to you or your survivor. You may not use your power of attorney to direct a health insurance company to cover a person who is not your spouse or dependent.

            While you may create a last will and testament, your spouse has certain rights, called a right of spousal election, that will guarantee a certain minimum inheritance. That cannot be enforced by a power of attorney.

      • carrotcakeman

        “I believe the government has no place in the institution of marriage whatsoever. ”

        Anti-gays always come around to that canard sooner or later.

        “myself – not a gay marriage opponent”

        Anti-gays always deny nowadays that they are anti-gay. It’s the same thing as when anti-gays claim they “have gay friends who do not want equality,” just another lie they tell in the hope we’ll fall for their anti-gay hate speech.

        • Devon Chenelle

          You sound like some sort of grand inquisitor trying to root out my secret beliefs. Please listen to yourself and think! I am a civil (not economic) libertarian. I do not think the state should be involved in the free choices of its citizens. Some other policies from that slate you might recognize are drug legalization, open border policies, and (yes) allowance of all sorts of consensual sexual relations.

          • carrotcakeman

            Anti-gays always turn to denial, then deflection, and now personal attacks when confronted with facts that debunk the anti-gay agenda.

          • carrotcakeman

            You have demonstrated you fear the facts I post here. How many sock puppets did that take you?

    • NDaniels

      Tom Z., there is no correlation between ancestry/race, and sexual behavior.

  • JD

    You fail to articulate the reason your very elaborate — no doubt informed by numerous “theology of the body” encyclicals — definition of “marriage” should be enshrined into law. The state is not not, and cannot be, responsible for enforcing theologically-determined ideals on citizens. When we speak of marriage equality under the law, we are not, and cannot be, speaking of a complex of relationships between God and and a couple. We are speaking of matters such as hospital visitation and child custody. Your discussions of gender essentialism, regardless of how correct they are, are not germane to these questions of equality under the law.

    • Michael Bradley

      JD,

      Which “theologically-determined ideals” do you detect in the argument? I see no mention of or appeal to the authority either of a sacred text or a sacred teaching body (such as the Catholic magisterium), which are, for Catholics, the sources of revelation and thus the foundations for theology as a discipline.

      Similarly: Where is God mentioned in the article?

      • JD

        He doesn’t have to. What, you think I didn’t take the same courses you did?

        “Bodily union typically takes place within a person, but it’s possible between two people in only one respect: coitus. In coitus a man and a woman can participate in a bodily coordination for a single end — reproduction — of the whole — the couple. No other kind of sexual act is capable of achieving true bodily union.”

        Not in evidence except by implicit Catholic theology of the body. The article is rife with countless assertions arising from an unnamed authority, precisely so that the question you just asked can be made and there can *appear* to be confusion about it.

        • Michael Bradley

          The argument you just pasted is from Aristotle, chiefly, and is philosophical, not theological, in nature (which is why no religious or scriptural authority is adduced in its defense, nor need be). Indeed, arguments remarkably like it are found in Xenophanes, Socrates, Plato, Musonius Rufus, and Plutarch, as well – thinkers who had no contact with Judaism or Christianity. You can disagree with the argument, but neither its content nor its historical basis originated in Christian thought, let alone Catholic theology.

        • NDaniels

          There is no confusion when one begins and ends with the truth; the marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated by a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. Shame on

          • JD

            Spoken like a guy who doesn’t know any gay couples.

      • rcdcr

        Your comment is so intellectually dishonest that it borders on the absurd.

      • EndlessRepetition

        The context for this discussion is the SCOTUS decision. You are free to promote whatever nonsense you wish within the confines of private Catholicism. What’s changed is our cultural regard for said nonsense. You are here in response to the change in law,.

    • NDaniels

      When we are speaking of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, we are speaking of our inherent unalienable Rights that have been endowed to us from God, not Caesar.

      • JD

        There is nothing in either of those Amendments about God, but it is true the 14th Amendment was the basis upon which the actual SCOTUS case was decided.

        Either way I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

        • NDaniels

          “…and to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted by Men…”
          Our Constitution exists to secure our inherent, unalienable Rights that have been endowed to us from God, the purpose of which is what God intended:
          http://www.gemworld.com/USA-Unalienable.htm
          Do you know of another Government other than our Republic that was instituted by virtue of our Constitution to secure our inherent, unalienable Right

      • JD

        There is nothing in either of those Amendments about God, but it is true the 14th Amendment was the basis upon which the actual SCOTUS case was decided.

        Either way I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

  • what no really

    Way to make sure the freshmen all see the best ND has to offer as soon as they get to campus.

    (I am being sarcastic, if that is not clear)

  • Devon Chenelle

    I think most people at Notre Dame are aware of why the Catholic Church does not conduct homosexual marriages. Many probably even agree that the Church has a reasonable point. But you are also talking about the legal status of those marriages – the American government is a secular institution. Metaphysical or religious arguments (“unite lovers at the bodily level as well as the mental and emotional levels…What really does unite people is sharing a good, and such sharing can only be realized through action. All reasonable action aims at some good, and calls for a commitment appropriate to that good.) don’t really have a place in a discussion about American legislation. If you’d like to argue that the state should not support or discourage homosexual unions, I think you’ll need to wade into sociological data to argue that there are serious deleterious social effects to homosexual behavior and life. To give an example, you might want to harp on the transmission of AIDS or the (quantitative!) effects of the nuclear family on children. I honestly have no idea what the data tells us (but some preliminary studies do indicate children raised by two same gender parents do fine…but the science is far from set in stone) but that’s where you need to go.

    I stay away from the gay marriage debate, primarily because the government should have nothing to do with the nation’s bedrooms, but also because (as indicated by several of the narrow-minded and self-righteous comments to your essay) it’s nearly impossible to have an intellectually responsible and logically tight discussion about the issue, as I suspect the great majority of gay-marriage opponents are driven by an un-examined disgust, while the great majority of proponents are motivated by a noble but thoughtless impulse that no one should be made to deny their desires. Going forward, I would recommend you keep individual arguments focused either on the morality of homosexual marriage (is it morally right to allow or participate in gay marriage) OR whether it is politically/legally proper to allow it (i.e. when considering both the health of the body politic AND the intentions of our Constitution etc. should gay marriage be legal). The arguments are linked but not the same. I am uncertain whether churches should perform gay marriage and what the effect of homosexual unions will be on our society. I am certain that if people want to sign a contract together, they ought always be allowed to do so. It appears you hold homosexual marriage should be forbidden both privately and public – perhaps, but you need to do some more leg work to show it.

    • carrotcakeman

      “I stay away from the gay marriage debate” but used an epithet to identify LGBT Americans several times.

      “you might want to harp on the transmission of AIDS” Yes, anti-gays always tell us how aroused they become fantasizing that all LGBT Americans would get a disease, suffer and die, thinking there would never be any more LGBT Americans.

  • Sipowitz

    Tim, bless your heart but you should really try keeping that foot out of your mouth. You are not nearly as intelligent as you think yourself to be; you are simply privileged and watching that privilege fade is scary to you, it’s understandable.

  • Bebe

    Keep writing self-indulgent essays to your heart’s content, Timmy. Literally none of this matters. Sincerely yours, The Supreme Court. 🙂

    • carrotcakeman

      Co-signed, The Majority of The American People and The President of the United States

      • NDaniels

        The fact that marriage cannot both be existing in relationship as husband and wife and not existing in relationship as husband and wife, is not a matter of opinion. P, cannot in essence be, not P, simultaneously.

        • Bebe

          i know the church says if you wish it hard enough and clutch your god-beads it becomes truth, but saying something is “not a matter of opinion” does not summarily render it fact.

          sociological constructs, like marriage, are humanly engineered abstractions. they are therefore not subject to any physical laws/unbendable strictures, no matter how many conniptions you give yourself.

          • NDaniels

            Why not tell the truth, it is because we Love you, and respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter, that we cannot condone the engaging in or affirmation of any act, including any sexual act that demeans your inherent Dignity as a beloved son or daughter? We Love you, and because we Love you, we desire that you will always be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public.

          • Bebe

            “Why not tell the truth, it is because we Love you, and respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter”

            L-O-LLLLLLLLLLL

          • NDaniels

            According to your erroneous logic, any relationship can be defined as marriage if one so desires, because for you, there is no difference between existing in relationship as husband and wife and not existing in relationship as husband and wife. That which becomes merely a matter of opinion is not subject to the laws of logic.

          • Bebe

            nah brah. i don’t live in a universe of illogical absolutes. that’s you.

    • GLC

      Yeah, Dred Scott decision decided it once and for all –“blacks are not fully human!” Sincerely yours, The Supreme Court. (I too am being sarcastic, if it’s not clear)

      • Bebe

        omg what a CUTE equivocation. (did u catch my sarcasm????)

      • NDaniels

        No need to be sarcastic. Abortion, slavery, and identifying persons according to sexual desire/inclination/orientation, as objects of sexual desire, all deny the essence of personhood, being a son or daughter.

        • João Pedro Santos

          Same-sex couples just want to sign a contract. Why do you insist on sexualizing them?

          • NDaniels

            The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining and can only be consummated between a man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife.

          • João Pedro Santos

            Actually, same-sex couples can also have children. And even if they don’t want to have children, straight couples who don’t want to have children get married as well.

  • SerenaJoy

    Clearly, this author has thoroughly internalized Catholic doctrine with respect to marriage and is able to write an apologetic explaining it.

    In places like Italy, the Church may officiate over the sacrament of matrimony, but there is no government power vested in the priest to declare a couple married. A a couple must still go to the local magistrate to be legally married. There is the religious doctrine, then there is the secular law. And, in the US, which is Constitutionally protected against becoming a theocracy, if a Catholic institution accepts certain kinds of public money then, as an employer, it must recognize and comply with the secular laws, even those protecting the rights of married LGBTQ.

  • rcdcr

    These are not the thoughts or ideas of a serous or respectable man.

    • carrotcakeman

      They are the thoughts and ideas of the anti-gay hate cult whence he copied them.

  • SorryNotSorry

    *sigh*

    Let it go.

  • carrotcakeman

    “love makes a marriage. I’m confident that no one has ever believed that slogan as stated.”

    It’s sad to see how homophobia has destroyed the writer’s ability to understand the love people feel for each other. I stopped reading this filth after that obvious lie. Instead of publishing this filth, the Observer should have helped him find mental health care.

    • Terri Hemker

      Bill Donohue, of the Catholic League, (who is an embarrassment to most lay Catholics) has said that marriage is about duty and not about love. He is divorced. Why am I not surprised? While most lay Catholics support LGBT rights, it is the Roman Catholic hierarchy that continues to spread hate.

      • carrotcakeman

        I wish a reporter would ask Newt just which of his three marriages is the sanctified one.

        Thank you so much for your support.

        • Terri Hemker

          You are one of the most informative and knowledgeable commenters I know on this topic and that’s why I try to follow your comments as much as possible. Thanks for what you do from the grateful and proud mom of a gay trans son, the light of my life and a great human being.

      • JD

        Wow. This is an amusing little nugget about Donahue – especially the divorce bit.

    • Kim

      Love as a feeling comes and goes. No fault divorce makes us keenly aware of that. So no, love as a feeling doesn’t make a marriage in any real sense.

      You do realize you’re commenting on the student paper for a CATHOLIC university right? And that he is just stating the authentic Catholic position? If you want to spread anti-Catholic vitriol, you probably should go elsewhere. If you’d like to entertain and discuss the argument at hand, then by all means, stay.

      • João Pedro Santos

        So, Kim, according to you being a catholic implies being a homophobe? You are insulting catholics with what you wrote. Catholics can be as progressive as protestants, jews, muslims, atheists, etc.

  • Scousebadger

    Bigotry, with big words so it sounds more authoritative.

    Marriage is not a religious construct, but a civil one. No one religion or secular authority has ownership of it. Marriage has been defined and redefined so many times throughout human history that to talk about “traditional marriage” is meaningless. And to trumpet that marriage has always been between straight men and women is equally meaningless when LGBT people have not been given the same rights.

    You don’t want LGBT people to have the same rights as you. OK, then the US needs to change their national anthem, as LGBT people are not as “free” as straights. The US will also need to stop calling itself a democracy, as sections of society are being victimised on religious grounds,

    Also, if marriage is so sacrosanct, why aren’t you going after the serial divorcers? Or are they OK as long as they’re straight?

    • carrotcakeman

      “Marriage is not a religious construct, but a civil one.”

      Correct. The Church only became interested in marriage in the 1100s, and then it was in reality a power and money grab.

      • Scousebadger

        The middle ages was just one huge money grab by the Catholic Church

    • carrotcakeman

      “why aren’t you going after the serial divorcers?” Because anti-gays divorce more often than any other Americans:

      “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.

      The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas?

      Researchers also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves. Community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there. “Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education.” On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

      • carrotcakeman

        http://www dot latimes dot com/world/worldnow/la-sci-sn-red-states-religious-conservative-divorce-20140116,0,7835151 dot story#axzz2qllXU5CS

    • Kim

      You’re right. It’s a civil construct. A civil construct to create a union that brings up new members of society in a stable environment. New members that arose from the sexual union of those spouses. 🙂

      In a nutshell: it’s about the kids.

      • Scousebadger

        Those ancients were always thinking about the well-being of kids then?

        Nothing to do with cementing alliances or improving your standing by selling off your daughters to the highest bidder then?

  • carrotcakeman

    Please note there is an anti-gay following a standard anti-gay script here. First, he claims he supports marriage equality. But then he starts referring to LGBT Americans with an epithet instead of a respectful term. Then he claims there’s no documentation for something where there’s ample documentation, in this case that same gender parents have been shown over 40 years to be just as good at parenting, and then states he doesn’t believe the evidence normal, non-homophobic readers post. When debunked, he switches to deflections, and finally turns to standard anti-gay lies such as that his intended LGBT victims are “the real haters. Inevitably, he turns to posting vicious personal attacks. Fortunately, most people see right through that script.

  • carrotcakeman

    While anti-gays always latch onto the crass anti-gay political machination of the bishops and attack the beliefs of anyone who rejects the bishops’ political agenda, it’s important to remember a strong majority of American Catholics reject that agenda:

    • carrotcakeman

      “Our analysis found that this increasingly diverse Catholic community is strongly supportive of acceptance of and rights for gay and lesbian Americans. Generally speaking, Catholics are at least 5 points more supportive than the general population across a range of issues. For example, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; 63 percent of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military; and 60% favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.

      On the more contentious issue of same-sex marriage, the evidence is also stacking up for solid Catholic support at both the national and state levels. A Washington Post/ABC News Poll recently found that fully 63 percent of Catholics supported making it legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry, compared to 53 percent of the general population.”

    • Kim

      All that says is that X number of Catholics don’t actually believe what the Church teaches. Sad, yes, but it doesn’t carry any weight you know.

  • carrotcakeman

    I’ve just seen some of the best proof ever that anti-gays have failed in their attempt to make their hatred look “holy”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=54&v=Esb7oBAHd7c

  • Kim

    Bravo.

  • GLC

    It’s not so much the Supreme Court which decided the matter as one swing justice, now, arguably, the most powerful man in the U.S. And his argument? He admits it was based upon emotion, not reason. He admits it. It comes down to the withholding of rights, or someone’s right to be happy. You could easily offer the exact same rights to those in “partnerships” or “unions.” Easily. So why change the definition of marriage? Since when has that become the Supreme Court’s role—-to re-define religious precepts? I heard one lady on the radio, shortly after the announcement was made, say, “Finally, I have the right to be loved!” That’s just silly. No one is witholding anyone’s right to be loved, or happy. Is this really about love or marriage? Or equal rights? Give everyone the same rights, just don’t call it marriage. Call it equal rights. Is it really that hard? No, it’s not. Speaking of love and marriage, perhaps Groucho Marx said it best, “Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.” Ah, another new-found right for the left–enjoy! But seriously, marriage has a religious definition, as do the other sacraments, they are religious concepts, after all. There are thousands of years of precident. Our country is based upon Judeo-Christian precepts. We have hundreds of years of legal precident based upon our Judeo-Christian-based beliefs. You do NOT have the right to marry your daughter, nor the 12-year-old neighbor girl (or boy). You don’t have the right to enter into a 3 or more person marriage, etc. Do we now have to re-write all the states’ laws as to what is legal, because the “new” prescident is, “thou shall not tell me what makes me happy or discriminate against what I want” ? With this argument, Justice Kennedy, you could claim that limiting people to a marriage of 2 people is discriminatory, or preventing them from marrying their pet is depriving them of the same happiness as other marrieds. Going down this rabbit hole opens the door for legal cases for bigamy, polygamy, incest, beastophelia, pedophelia, you name it. Think I’m crazy? It’s already happening, people. There’s already people filing for marriage to their pets. Make no mistake about it–this comes from the left, whose ultimate goal, whether they publically admit to it or not, or in the cases of their young, whether they even realize it, is the removal of all religion from society. Odd thing about the left though, they trash Christianity while they laud Islam. Another argument I’ve heard: “Why are our Judeo-Christian laws correct, why not recognize other religions’ norms?” A Muslim might ask Justice Kennedy, “Why can’t I have 4 wives, in my country this is normal and legal? You are discriminating against me!” And Justice Kennedy would have to agree, because when you admit to throwing out logic (as well as hundreds of years of Judeo-Christian precident) and just use emotion, anything goes.

    • NDaniels

      “Marriage is the chief cause of divorce”.
      What separates marriage from every other form of Loving relationship, is the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife.
      I suppose one could argue, in regards to the Illogical ruling of The Supreme Court on the essence of marriage, if, in order to be married, it is no longer necessary to exist in relationship as husband and wife, every relationship can be defined as marriage, so who would even need a divorce? No binding contract, no marriage or divorce.

    • NDaniels

      “Marriage is the chief cause of divorce”.
      What separates marriage from every other form of Loving relationship, is the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife.
      I suppose one could argue, in regards to the Illogical ruling of The Supreme Court on the essence of marriage, if, in order to be married, it is no longer necessary to exist in relationship as husband and wife, every relationship can be defined as marriage, so who would even need a divorce? No binding contract, no marriage or divorce.

    • David in Palm Springs

      No one has redefined marriage between opposite-sex couples. It’s exactly the same. You might as well claim that inventing rocky road ice cream “redefined” vanilla ice cream. They’re both ice cream. Having access to two kinds of ice creams does not negatively impact anyone — especially when 95% of those are going to choose vanilla.

      Your slippery slope arguments are pathetic. You do not deny the expansion of civil rights based on what-if scenarios. Otherwise social progress would never happen. “We can’t give women the right to vote, because then we’ll have to give children the right to vote too!” That’s how absurd you sound.

  • Mary

    Wow, the amount of anger spewed here by the supposed winners in the gay marriage fight is surprising. If you believe you are on the right side of history, shrug your shoulders and soldier on. Anger betrays fear. As for the rest of you, the legalization of homosexual unions is not a watershed moment in our cultural understanding of marriage, it is simply a point along a continuum that has been hollowing out that institution for at least fifty years, since Griswold v. Connecticut was decided. Marriages in which children became optional (via artificial contraception, sterilization or abortion), where children could be produced artificially outside of the marital bond (in-vitro fertilization, sperm and egg donation, surrogacy), where “until death do you part” became “as long as we both shall love” (via dissolution and no-fault divorce laws), where a continuing responsibility for a spouse disappeared with the abolition of alimony – this was all accomplished by heterosexuals. It is this “dumbed-down” version of marriage that gays looked at and said “how are these relationships any different than ours?” In fact, the cultural understanding of marriage has become so inconsequential that many heterosexual couples don’t even bother with it. My guess is that once the novelty wears off this will be true for homosexuals as well. The death of marriage and the nuclear family should concern everyone, because as one writer here has noted it has always been the building block of society – fewer stable marriages, fewer stable families, less stability in society. One need only look at the destruction of the African-American family to see the truth of that.

    • GLC

      Here, here. We need more nuclear families with two caring loving parents — I don’t care their gender. And we don’t need to re-define what marriage is for someone to be a good parent. All these people arguing that SCOTUS rulling is correct and absolute, need only look at the Dred Scott decision, which took an Amendment to the Constitution to reverse it. Those people on the Surpeme Court are not gods, they are political animals, and capable of great harm (Roe v Wade). Even if you are pro-choice, you have to admit Roe v Wade has allowed for the termination of 55 million American lives since SCOTUS ruling. Even after the Civil War ended in 1865, it took 100 years for democrats to recognize equal rights, and if not for republican (conservative) votes, the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act would never have passed. Just because one party is in majority (on the court or elsewhere) does not mean they are correct. Bishop Fulton Sheen said it best, “Moral principles do not depend upon a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.”

      • what no really

        I took Constitutional Law. In law school. It does not appear that you know what you are talking about.

        • NDaniels

          Can we presume that you recognize now that The Supreme Court has removed the necessary requirement for a marriage contract in order to accommodate those persons who do not have the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife, thus changing the letter and the spirit of the law, there is no such thing as a binding marriage contract as in order to be married to one another it is no longer necessary to exist in relationship as husband and wife?

        • NDaniels

          Can we presume that you recognize now that The Supreme Court has removed the necessary requirement for a marriage contract in order to accommodate those persons who do not have the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife, thus changing the letter and the spirit of the law, there is no such thing as a binding marriage contract as in order to be married to one another it is no longer necessary to exist in relationship as husband and wife?

  • diana

    Thank you for your reasoned essay. the truth is evidence in human history. Families with one (female) mother and one (male) father have shaped human history since time immemorial (without any help form the US Supreme Court). This will continue to be the case. Truth wins out in the end.

    • Tom Z.

      Truth will win out in the end. You are fighting a losing battle. Children of your children will ask what God is and they will say, ‘it’s an old person thing.” It’s what it is now and will only get worse. Religion will always be an old person thing until it is no longer a thing. The world will be a better place.

  • NDaniels

    Love is ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love, which is why a man does not Love his wife in the same manner as he Loves his daughter, or his son, or his mother, or his father, or a friend.
    Any act, including any sexual act, that does not respect the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, is not an act of Love.
    The question is not, did Love win, the question is, what is Love?
    We, who recognize that The Word of God Is The Truth of Love, no longer have to wander in the desert in quest for The Living God. This does not change the fact that we can know through both Faith and reason, that marriage cannot in essence be, existing in relationship as husband and wife, and not existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously.
    There is a difference between a Loving act and a lustful act; Love is not possessive, nor is it coercive, nor does it serve to manipulate for the sake of self-gratification.
    The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. No Judge has the authority to coerce any person into condoning the engaging in or affirmation of sexual acts outside of the marital act.

  • NDaniels

    Love is ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love, which is why a man does not Love his wife in the same manner as he Loves his daughter, or his son, or his mother, or his father, or a friend.
    Any act, including any sexual act, that does not respect the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, is not an act of Love.
    The question is not, did Love win, the question is, what is Love?
    We, who recognize that The Word of God Is The Truth of Love, no longer have to wander in the desert in quest for The Living God. This does not change the fact that we can know through both Faith and reason, that marriage cannot in essence be, existing in relationship as husband and wife, and not existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously.
    There is a difference between a Loving act and a lustful act; Love is not possessive, nor is it coercive, nor does it serve to manipulate for the sake of self-gratification.
    The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. No Judge has the authority to coerce any person into condoning the engaging in or affirmation of sexual acts outside of the marital act.

  • NDaniels

    The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining and can only be consummated between a man and woman, existing in relationship as husband and wife. It is a self-evident truth that marriage cannot be both existing in relationship as husband and wife, and not existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously. Any couple who has the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife, and thus be married to each other, has standing before The Supreme Court which through its unconstitutional ruling has invalidated the marriage contract. It is The Supreme Court who has erroneously ruled that existing in relationship as husband and wife is unconstitutional because it excludes persons who do not have the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife.

  • NDaniels

    One cannot remain a Catholic if one no longer is in communion with Christ and His Church.

    • Terri Hemker

      Worry about yourself, Mate. I’m not Catholic. Don’t really care about your rules. Me and Jesus, we do just fine without you.

    • João Pedro Santos

      I’m not a Catholic as well, but let me tell you that there are a lot of Catholics who aren’t homophobic bigots like you. In fact, most American Catholics stand up for LGBT rights. But unfortunately the media only gives voice to the reactionary ones.

      • NDaniels

        Why not tell the truth, it is because we Love you, and respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter, that we cannot condone the engaging in or affirmation of any act, including any sexual act that demeans your inherent Dignity as our beloved? The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the act. We Love you, and because we Love you, we desire that you will always be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. We will not tolerate behavior that does not respect the inherent Dignity of our beloved sons and daughters.

        • João Pedro Santos

          Am I supposed to read all that hate speech?

      • NDaniels

        It is an act of Love, not bigotry, to desire that all persons, including persons who have developed a same-sex sexual attraction, are treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. It is not possible to engage in same-sex sexual acts without demeaning the inherent Dignity of our beloved sons and daughters.

        • João Pedro Santos

          I can assure you that there is a lot of dignity in homosexual relations. The same can’t be said about some heterosexual relations that involve things such as betrayal, domestic violation and matiral rape.

  • diana

    The 20th Century demonstrated that when the transcendent ( religious) nature of man Is supressed havoc and bedlam occur (WWi, WWII, Hitler, Stalin etc.) The recognition of freedom and Justice for mankind is a product of the innate nature of man to seek God.

    • João Pedro Santos

      Do you know that a lot of wars were caused by religion, right? And in World War II there were religious genocides, being the Holocaust the most famous one.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Sounds like you cherry-picked

  • NDaniels

    At the end of the Day, one can know through both Faith and reason, Marriage cannot be and not be existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously. In fact, if you were to take the set of all persons existing in relationship as husband and wife, and the set of all persons who do not have the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife, and call both sets marriage, then every relationship would, in essence be, marriage. No doubt, The Supreme Court ruling is based upon a false assumption.

    • João Pedro Santos

      The only one here using a false assumption is you. You use the false assumption that God exists and (s)he considers homosexuality a sin (which, even if God exists, you can’t say whether (s)he accepts homosexuality or not). On the other hand, the Supreme Court is secular.

      • NDaniels

        One can know through both Faith and reason that men and women are designed in such a way that it is not possible to engage in same-sex sexual acts without demeaning the inherent Dignity of the human person.

        It is because God Loves you and we Love you and respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter, that we cannot condone the engaging in or affirmation of any act, including any sexual act that demeans your inherent Dignity as a beloved child of God. The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the act. We Love you, and because we Love you, we desire that you will always be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. We will not tolerate behavior that does not respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter.

        • João Pedro Santos

          You are only repeating the same sentences, you aren’t adding anything new to the conversation. That is called spamming.

          • NDaniels

            This is suppose to be The Notre Dame-St. Mary’s Observer. Catholic Doctrine is not spam.

  • David in Palm Springs

    “No adopted child should be placed with a homosexual couple when a perfectly suitable married male and female are available as adoptive parents.”

    If that were possible, there wouldn’t be any children waiting to be adopted, right? Obviously, there are more homeless children than there are opposite-sex couples willing to adopt them. Common sense, no?

    “Hence the child would not be the natural child of the homosexual couple.” — Um… that same rationale also applies to any straight couple that adopts a child. It’s not their biological child is it? Seems kind of obvious.

  • João Pedro Santos

    Homophobia, the worst disease.

  • João Pedro Santos

    “Historically, it has always been so.”
    What you wrote is a fallacy called “appeal to tradition”.