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December 13, 2004


Herb Ely

I guess it will depend on the sequence. If the state declares that marraige can take place between two people of the same gender, the church should say that it no longer recognizes marriages "created" by the state. The church should then require that all couples registering in a parish, or joining the church through the RCIA, have their marriages celebrated sacramentally - unless. of course they were married in another chruch. This would draw a clear line. I'm suggesting that the church take this position now.


All right! Let homosexuals "marry" by emptying marriage of meaning in society! Yeah! That makes great sense! Of course, the very idea implicitly admits how important marriage is, and that pretending to allow homosexuals to "marry" is really a sham.

David Ely

Right, which is why the terms should be separated. Some people don't want gays to get married because they think of marriage along the lines of how their church defines it. That's their prerogative, but that shouldn't prevent them from getting married. Instead, if you separate the terms, then legal unions won't interfere with the so-called sanctity of marriage. Legal unions (both hetero- and homo-) would allow committed couples equal rights under the law, while churches can decide for themselves how to define marriage with respect to their own sacraments.

Herb Ely

David, Thanks. From a secular point of view it is just a matter of semantics. From a sacramental point view, it is much more.

David Ely

It's sad that a matter of semantics has meant that loving, committed couples can't visit one another on their deathbeds.

I'm all for the complete seperation idea. I also think that "marriage" should be eliminated as a legal term, replaced by "civil union" to descibe *all* legal unions. The word "marriage" could be retained by the churches and defined however they prefer. Leave it up to each church to decide what to recognize and how they want to do that.

The only stake the government needs to have in civil unions is in promoting family-raising through tax breaks, codifying a relationship for insurance companies and hospitals to use, and marking its start and end relationship (whether by divorce or death) for property and custody disputes (and maybe a few other reasons I've overlooked).

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