Geoff, get a grip. It's not marriage equality. It's marriage redefinition.
Marriage has never been available to all. You, yourself, before you abandoned your vocation, refused marriage to at least one couple, didn't you? So, this equality semantics is just a vain attempt to paint people with deviant sexual desires as victims of bigots.
No, when the people are asked, they always answer that marriage requires a slot a and a tab b to become one flesh.
November 4, 2009 5:15 AM
Your statement “Marriage has never been available to all” is technically accurate. When I was born, President Obama’s parents would have been denied a civil marriage license in seventeen states. Asian Americans were not permitted to marry Caucasians in the State of California in the first half of the twentieth century. Today, a prisoner has a right to civil marriage, even though most of his/her civil rights have been taken away for the commission of a crime. A same sex couple who have been together for twenty years and raised a family together is denied that same civil right due to the passage of Proposition 8.
“before you abandoned your vocation” My attorney has on file copies of correspondence with my bishop John Steinbock. My letters to him were sent via certified mail and the US Post Office states that these were delivered to him and receipt of the letters is recorded by the Postal Service. Those letters provide legal evidence that I did not “abandon” my assignment. I was removed as pastor of St. Paul at California State University Fresno by bishop Steinbock. I was also suspended by bishop Steinbock as a priest and I was stripped of salary and health care benefits, even thought canon law requires a bishop to provide support for his priests. When my canon lawyer invoked those canons, the bishop simply chose to ignore church law.
“You, yourself,… refused marriage to at least one couple, didn’t you?” Yes, I did. In accord with canon law of the Catholic Church, I denied sacramental marriage to couples who did not, or would not; meet the criteria set forth by the Catholic Church for sacramental marriage. However, those couples were free to enter into Civil Marriage by simply obtaining a Civil Marriage license from the County and most of them exercised their right to a Civil Marriage. The point here is clear, there exists a sharp distinction between a Civil marriage, to which all citizens have a legal right and a religious marriage, the right to the latter may be (and is) determined by the various religious organizations. No religion is required to marry anyone they chose not to marry.
Your first statement “It's not marriage equality. It's marriage redefinition” is in fact correct; however, it is you and the religious right who are attempting to redefine Civil marriage by layering onto it religious understandings. These religious understandings are limited to some religions and not embraced by all religions in our nation. The Episcopal Church, Reformed Judaism, Buddhists and many other denominations have in fact had their right to officiate at what they consider valid marriages infringed upon by laws such as Proposition 8 in California and Question 1 in Maine. It has been through an inappropriate attempt to dictate Civil Law by the Catholic hierarchy and the current leadership of the Mormon Church that Civil Marriage has been redefined. This redefinition of Civil Marriage by religious hierarchies constitutes an infringement on the religious liberties of those who do not subscribe to your very narrow theological understandings and views. They further compromise the Non-Establishment Clause of our Constitution, which makes possible a live and let live pluralistic society. By doing this, you undermine both religious freedom and religious tolerance in our society.
“So this equality semantics is just a vain attempt to paint people with a deviant sexual desire as victims of bigots.” This is the heart of the religious right’s position and it transcends the question of marriage. They fully understand the position that the California State Supreme Court took when it struck down the ban on same sex marriage. The California Supreme Court cited and quoted an amicus brief filed by the APA in the Court’s opinion issued on May 15, 2008 that struck down California’s ban on same sex marriage. Specifically, the court relied on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) brief in concluding that the very nature of sexual orientation is related to the gender of partners to whom one is attracted, so that prohibiting same sex marriage discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, rather than just imposing disparate burdens on gay people.
The Court invoked the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution as its rationale for extending the right of Civil Marriage to Same Sex couples. They cited the American Psychological Association’s assertion that homosexuality is a sexual orientation. Your assertions that these are “people with deviant sexual desires” contradict the science of psychology. Your assertion that these same people are “victims of bigots” is accurate and in fact is a blunt rephrasing of the Court’s opinion in striking down the ban on Same Sex marriage in California.
You conclude your E-mail by stating, “No, when the people are asked, they always answer that marriage requires a slot a and a tab b to become one flesh.” When people were asked in 1933 Germany who they wanted to lead the country as Chancellor, they elected Adolph Hitler. When people were asked by Pontius Pilate who they wanted to free, they voted to free Barabbas. When he then asked them what he should do with Jesus, they voted “Crucify him.” The problem with an appeal to popular vote to determine what is ethically correct is that it requires an informed and selfless electorate.
In mid-nineteenth century America, it was a Proclaimation of Emmancipation issued by President Lincoln that freed the slaves. Had it been subjected to a popular vote, it probably would never have become law. It was an Executive Order by President Harry Truman which forced the racial integration of the US Civil Service and the US Armed Forces, had it been put to a popular vote at the time, it most assuredly would have failed. It was an Order by the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down “separate but equal,” if it, had been put to a popular vote it would have failed. It was back room arm twisting of US Senators by President Lyndon Johnson, that forced the passage of Civil Rights laws in the mid 1960’s. If those Senators had not been coerced by Johnson, who was the former Senate whip for the Democratic party, that legislation would probably never have passed. It certainly would never have been approved in a national referendum in 1965.
I do not know who you are “Anonymous,” but apparently, what I have written has struck a nerve with you. I encourage you to consider the possibility that perhaps, the American Psychological Association and various Supreme Court Justices are correct about both sexual orientation and civil law. That perhaps you and a narrow majority of the electorate are in error on these points. Consider further the human suffering, which your stance has and is causing countless innocent and law-abiding citizens in our country.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- How It All began
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight