In Catholic Culture
The most common complaint from drive-by shooters about my recent essay Gay Marriage and the Next Gulag is this: Letting gays marry doesn’t prevent me from living out my own vision of marriage, so why don’t I just leave other people alone? Here are ten good reasons why this issue has immense public repercussions, in which everyone has a stake. It is simply not an option for good citizens to ignore the problem of gay marriage.
- Denial of Reality is Deadly: The idea of marriage for same-sex couples is a denial of the nature of marriage. As a general principle, the public denial of any reality does significant harm not only to all those in denial but to the culture as a whole.
- People Ought Not to be Forced to Affirm a Lie: Legal recognition of gay marriage carries with it an insistence that everyone recognize its validity and cease to articulate key portions of the moral law. Political power should never be used to force citizens to affirm what is false.
- Education Should be Free of Propaganda: Acceptance of gay marriage increases the pressure to affirm the gay lifestyle and promote alleged gay rights in public education. Parents have both a duty and a right to keep their children’s education free of propaganda and ideology.
- Devaluing Authentic Marriage Damages Society: By its very nature, gay “marriage” further devalues any society's bedrock institution, an institution which in most cases is already reeling. The demise of true, monogamous, life-long marriage between one man and one woman is a sociological and psychological disaster in any culture.
- Tax and Benefit Laws Should Serve Positive Purposes: To privilege gay marriage in tax and benefit laws simply supports an institution which serves no possible benefit to society. Citizens have a very legitimate interest in how taxes and benefits are levied and applied.
- Gay Adoption Puts Children at Risk: The very least that can be said about same-sex “parents” raising a child is that it is an unnatural arrangement. This cannot fail to do psychological damage to the vulnerable children who will be placed as adoptees with gay “families”.
- A Gay Culture Leads to Sexual Abuse of Children: The inside story of gay denunciation of the sexual abuse of children is that many gay groups promote man-boy “love” and persistently advocate for lowering of the age of consent. This advocacy is, at a minimum, tolerated by nearly the entire gay community. In this matter the script is almost always doubled, that is, one thing is said for public consumption, with the opposite affirmed on the inside. (Note: In this connection, note that while the percentage of priests involved in sexual abuse of children runs below the average for other institutions, eighty percent of this abuse is homosexual abuse, thereby making the percentage of gay priests involved in sexual abuse extremely high. All indications are that this is typical.)
- Gay Sex is a Public Health Disaster: Legitimizing gay marriage clearly legitimizes gay sex. Not only is gay sex extremely dangerous to the health of its participants, about whom we ought to be concerned, but its public health costs are enormous.
- Gay Marriage Demeans Chaste Homosexuals: Approval of gay marriage makes it even more difficult for those with homosexual tendencies to live chastely, as the laws of both nature and God demand. This sends all the wrong signals. Society should support chastity among those with homosexual inclinations, not harass them by classifying these unwanted inclinations as the stuff of which marriage is made.
- The Law is a Strong Teacher: All persons have an important interest in the teaching value of the laws by which they are governed. While the law may sometimes ignore evil without fault, as not every evil can be hindered effectively by government, it must never deliberately enshrine or promote a moral evil. Every citizen has both a right and a duty to oppose laws which promote moral evil, leading people astray and weakening the social order.
I have tried to limit myself to reasons embedded in the natural order, including the civil order. Much could be said about the supernatural order as well. When a human law enshrines a vice, it makes it harder for those tempted by that vice to learn virtue, and harder still to realize their need for God, that they might turn and be saved.
Moreover, when those claiming to be Christian (including some Catholics who have written to me) subscribe to a convenient indifferentism on this issue, they exchange true charity for mere niceness. They demonstrate that they are not animated by the Spirit of Christ, who desires the ultimate good of each of His creatures in an ecstatic union with the holiness of God forever.