Catholic Church must rethink stance on gay marriage

November has been a monumental month for gay rights. Historical movements in the United States, France and Spain have given hope to gay rights supporters, especially in the sphere of gay marriage.

In response to these events, the Vatican has stated that the fight against gay marriage has not been lost and pledged to never stop fighting. Claims those in the Vatican made against gay marriage were unnecessary and rude. One would think that those in the Vatican would be too busy helping those in need to waste time attacking those trying to bond in holy matrimony.

In the U.S., voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington legalized gay marriage, and voters in Minnesota rejected a proposal that defined marriage as solely between a man and a woman. In Wisconsin, Rep. Tammy Baldwin made history by becoming the nation’s first openly gay person elected to the Senate. The tides are changing, so much so that it is expected that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon be discussing if it is unconstitutional to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples.

Earlier this month, Spain’s highest court upheld a 2005 gay marriage law that allows couples to marry and adopt children. France has also introduced legislation that would allow gay couples to marry and adopt children; it will be debated in January 2013.

On Nov. 10 the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, ran a front-page article that claimed the Catholic Church has not lost the fight against gay marriage. The author Lucetta Scaraffia wrote, “You could say that the church, on this level, is bound to lose, but this is not the case.” Scaraffia said the church remains “the only institution” that is capable of defending traditional marriage, as it is “the foundation upon which all human societies have been built until today.”

The fact that the Catholic Church considers itself to be the last great organization against gay marriage is not exactly a bragging point. This idea can easily be turned against the church and can be used to call it archaic, which it has been called for numerous other reasons. Stating that the church is the foundation of all societies is not only pompous; it is quite a stretch.

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, wrote in a separate editorial in the L’Osservatore Romano, that if we accept gay marriage, “why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate, polyandry.” This is an outdated argument – substitute in “bestiality” or “incest,” for example – all have been used as so-called reasons to prevent two humans in love from being given the rights and respect they deserve.

The church continues to state that it accepts homosexuals, maintaining that they should be respected; actions, however, speak louder than words. If they are to be respected, they cannot be denied rights given to others.

Preaching tolerance and in the same breath saying that homosexuals are “intrinsically disordered” and should live a life of chastity is ridiculous. L’Osservatore Romano should re-evaluate what it considers to be front-page news.

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