12-Part Series on Morality (Part 6a: Homosexual Behavior)

Is it morally permissible for homosexuals to “marry” if they love one another?  Does same-sex “marriage” negatively affect society?

I love my mom, dad, brothers, sisters and, to a lesser extent, the family dog, but I would never marry them, nor should I be allowed.  Although love is an important component of any successful marriage, love is commonly found in other types of relationships as well.  The difference between other relationships and marriage is exclusivity, sexual unity ordered toward procreation and child rearing.  Marriage itself is preparation for that unity and potential procreation.  Since man and woman each have half of a complete reproductive system ordered toward procreation, any other form of sex (e.g. man and man, woman and woman, human and beast) is incompatible with marriage.  Since any potential child has only one set of parents, polygamy (a man with multiple wives) and polyandry (a woman with multiple husbands) are also incompatible with marriage.  “Marriage is valuable in itself, but its inherent orientation to the bearing and rearing of children contributes to its distinctive structure, including norms of monogamy and fidelity.”[1]  Further, “marriage involves a comprehensive union of spouses.  Something that cannot occur in same-sex “marriages.”[2]  There can be no organic (of the organs) union between same-sex partners.  “Our organs…are parts of one body because they are coordinated, along with other parts, for a common biological purpose of the whole: our biological life.  It follows that for two individuals to unite organically, and thus bodily, their bodies must be coordinated for some biological purpose of the whole,”[3] even if that purpose is not always fulfilled (i.e. a child does not have to be conceived every time a man and woman have sex). 

Same-sex “marriage” affects me, because “abolishing the conjugal conception of marriage would weaken the social institution of marriage, obscure the value of opposite‐sex parenting as an ideal, and threaten moral and religious freedom.”[4]  It devalues what marriage actually is.  If a person were to be allowed to “marry” anyone or anything at any time, marriage would become a joke.  Unfortunately, this is already the perception by many in our society.  If the state began to recognize same-sex “marriages,” “no civil institution would any longer reinforce the notion that children need both a mother and father; that men and women on average bring different gifts to the parenting enterprise; and that boys and girls need and tend to benefit from fathers and mothers in different ways.”[5]

Note: When referring to same-sex “marriage,” marriage is in quotations because there is no such thing as same-sex “marriage.”  Marriage does not and cannot exist outside of its naturally ordered context.  Therefore, same-sex “marriage” is a fantasy and people enter into this fantasy when they vote for legislation that legalizes same-sex “marriage” or broadens associated so-called rights.  Further, the Bible and the Catechism are replete with prohibitions regarding homosexual behavior.  One can have homosexual inclinations/attractions, but just like any other sin, one cannot act on these inclinations.  If one acts on these inclinations, as with any other mortal sin, one must avail himself of the sacrament of reconciliation and “sin no more.”

For more on the Church’s teaching about homosexual behavior, Catechism paragraphs 2357-2359.  Also, please come back for tomorrow’s post, 13-Part Series on Morality (Part 6b: Homosexual Behavior).

[1] Sherif Gergis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson, “What is Marriage,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, no. 1, 246

[2] Gergis, George, Anderson, “What is Marriage,” 252.

[3] Gergis, George, Anderson, “What is Marriage,” 253.

[4] Gergis, George, Anderson, “What is Marriage,” 260.

[5] Gergis, George, Anderson, “What is Marriage,” 263.