By Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D.
As a pro-life leader, theologian, wife and mother I feel it is necessary for me to finally weigh-in on the issue of so-called “gay marriage” in light of Obama’s recently-declared support for same-sex so-called “marital” unions. This article is not a full-blown treatise on the subject. I intend here to provide a concise argument as to why same-sex sexual activity is not the
moral, social, cultural equal to heterosexual marital unions—and thus should not be granted equal status in law. In addition, I will also explain who or what is to blame for the moral and intellectual break-down on the subject of marriage represented by the current advocacy for “gay marriage.”
Legal recognition of homosexual bonds as marital bonds ultimately means that gender, human sexuality, being a husband or a wife, motherhood and fatherhood have no objective moral meaning. This also means that the family itself has no objective moral meaning. The moral law rooted in nature is completely dissolved. There are no longer any natural familial moral bonds, thus no longer any natural moral ties and thus no natural moral responsibilities arising from the very nature of the family.
If the bond between two men or two women may be considered the equivalent of the one-flesh marital unity between a man and a woman, a bond that gives rise to the family, we are then saying that all human ties are strictly a matter of the will—only when persons
choose to be connected to one another—by emotional, legal or artificial contrivance—
that they are then connected. And if the fundamental building block of society, namely the family, is essentially a matter of choice, those choices can be undone by personal will. The family simply becomes an arrangement of the will—no one is in essence
a mother, a father, a husband or wife. The family unit is turned into a mere fragile arrangement of personal volition. Indeed, being a husband or wife, mother or father is nominal, not real.
The family is no longer a unit cemented by innate natural familial bonds that actually cause persons to be mother and child, brother and sister—essential identities embedded in nature itself that produce innate responsibilities to which persons who have such identities must be held accountable. Nothing here should be interpreted to mean that sterile couples who adopt children are not parents. Their heterosexual marital unity, unlike “gay marriage” participates in the truth of marriage and is a public sign of that truth. Their sexual unity is oriented towards life in a way that “gay marriage” can never be.
It is simply a lie that lesbian or homosexual sexual activity is equivalent to sexual activity between a wedded man and woman. I will even go on and say that making them equivalent is an insult to the very meaning of marriage and the family. Gay sex, is self-enclosed, of itself sterile and a societal dead-end. Since the family cannot come from such sex—the government does not have a compelling interest in protecting such unions.
Why must the law protect marriage—and when I say “marriage” I mean, of course, the lifelong bond between a man and a woman upon which the family is built? Sex between a married man and woman is categorically different from gay sex. It is sex that confirms the meaning of masculinity and femininity—and it is sex that confers responsibilities that arise from the commitment of husbands and wives, especially when, from such sexual acts, new human beings are conceived. Society, indeed the entire future of the world
, depends on these kinds of stable sexual unions that provide the necessary innate security for children. For this reason alone, the government has an interest in protecting marriage.
Society is not
the consequence of arbitrary self-willed human relationships. Marriage is the first building block that creates, not only brothers and sisters, but future marriages that produce cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, grandfathers, grandmothers, great grandfathers and mothers, as well as great uncles and aunts. Laws do not create these worlds—innate natural bonds create these worlds—worlds that of themselves cause human identity and human responsibilities. Absolutely nothing can replace such natural world-building! And the law cannot create the moral responsibilities that come from such bonds—it can only call persons to live up to them! Again, for this reason, government has an interest in protecting marriage.
How did we come to this point—that homosexual bonds should be considered the equivalent of marriage? The truth must be told. It is indeed the heterosexual community that is to blame, not homosexuals. Heterosexuals have given up on the meaning of human sexuality. Heterosexuals are the ones who no longer believe in marriage. We have said so with 50 years of contraception, unquestioned sexual activity outside of marriage, living together without marriage, rampant divorce, including no-fault divorce, rampant out-of-wedlock pregnancies, artificial reproduction—and then add to this— 40 years of abortion. Heterosexuals have already said that sex, marriage and the family have no meaning—they become what we subjectively, privately, by a sheer matter of the will, say they are—and nothing more. We simply have no moral, cultural place to stand upon which we may say that homosexuals can’t call what they do “marriage.” After all, most
heterosexual activity isn’t marriage either! It too is dead-end sex that cannot carry the world into the future.
What is the answer ultimately? If we really want to fight a battle against “gay marriage” the heterosexual community needs to get its act together. We can’t carry on the way we have—we cannot privatize our sexual ethical behavior and then claim that the government needs to publicly protect what’s left of the institution of marriage. This healing of the sexual ethic is primary the work of the Church—a Church that greatly contributed to the cultural moral demise by remaining silent on contraception and by allowing Catholic politicians to support legalized abortion with ecclesial impunity. Is it any wonder that the likes of Catholic Nancy Pelosi, who supports legalized killing of the unborn contrary to the teachings of the Church, lauds Obama’s support for “gay marriage” also contrary to the teachings of the Church and, like Obama, even dares to say that this is the Christian thing to do!
And in some ways this is the most odious and insulting aspect of the entire debacle. Obama justified his position that “gay marriage” should be legally recognized by wrapping it in the Christian religion. He said that his so-called evolution on the subject was the consequence of his Christian faith and he told ABC News: “It's also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated." So with such deep critical thinking—how can we deny homosexuals access to a right that heterosexuals enjoy? It just isn’t fair.
Unfortunately Obama failed to quote Christ’s own doctrine on marriage: “Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and declared: ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one’ Thus they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined” (Mt. 19: 4-6). Jesus, in the next passages, even dares to forbid divorce and remarriage.
For Obama the Golden Rule is real doctrine and Christ’s view on marriage merely His opinion that may be set aside. I mean, if the president is going to quote the Bible in an attempt to dismantle the God-given meaning of marriage it would only be truly fair and honest of him to acknowledge Christ’s specific view on the subject.
Obama’s application of the Golden Rule in this case is completely misplaced. Of course Christ called us to: “treat others as you would wish to be treated.” But if society seriously accepted Obama’s invocation of the Golden Rule we would have to advocate all sorts of irrationalities. After all, saying gays have the right to marry as do heterosexuals is like saying that not only those who excel at running the 100 meters but even poor runners have just as much right to compete in the Olympics—since all that matters is that the poor runners also love the sport and wish to participate in it as much as the good runners. Obama’s application of the gospel is like saying those who are tone deaf should be
allowed to sing at major concert halls, since such persons may actually love and have an appreciation for music—even more than those who actually have the ability to sing. After all, if Obama really put his version of the Golden Rule into practice then track stars and great vocalists must allow poor runners and bad singers to do what they do since Christ said: “treat others as you would wish to be treated.” Obama’s Golden Rule is not about love and acceptance at all, rather it’s a means by which the truth is distorted. Thus Obama’s gospel is not the Wisdom of Christ, but an invitation to insanity.
We must recognize that we are in a war for the truth, and it is a moral battle. This is not a time to be afraid to speak the truth. But speak always the truth in love—recognizing that homosexual persons have God-given dignity and basic human rights—and those rights must never be denied. But they simply do not have the right to marry—they do not have the rights to the privileges of marriage. Those who publicly defend marriage are going to be misunderstood, called names, mocked, belittled and derided. Nonetheless, those who understand what is at stake cannot hold back—the truth must be defended and marriage fought for—as civilization itself depends upon this sacred institution.
Dr. Monica Miller is the Director of
Citizens for a Pro-life Society — an activist pro-life group that she founded in 1986. She is also an Associate Professor of Sacred Theology at
Madonna University. The present article is published here by kind permission of the author. [Brief bio]