Chicago’s Cardinal George: Gays Can’t Marry Because They Can’t Consummate the Marriage

Since Illinois is on track to legalize gay marriage in the new year, Catholic leaders are freaking out. The Chicago Tribune‘s Manya Brachear reports that they’re now taking a different approach to combatting the inevitable march of progress. Instead of resorting to arguments like, “BUT THE BIBLE SAYS SO” — an argument that tends to go nowhere — they’re making the case that gay marriage should be forbidden because it’s “unnatural”:

“I love you, Benny, but this can never be.”

“Marriage comes to us from nature,” Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George said in a recent interview. “That’s based on the complementarity of the two sexes in such a way that the love of a man and a woman joined in a marital union is open to life, and that’s how families are created and society goes along.… It’s not in our doctrine. It’s not a matter of faith. It’s a matter of reason and understanding the way nature operates.”

“You want to be sure that everybody has a chance at happiness. That’s a very persuasive argument,” George said. “But we all want that, and nobody should be disdained or persecuted because of their sexual orientation… But when we get behind the church and behind the state, you’ve got a natural reality that two men or two women… cannot consummate a marriage. It’s a physical impossibility.”

So being opposed to gay marriage has nothing to do with his faith. It’s just that gay marriage isn’t “natural.”

You know what’s unnatural? A wafer magically turning into a 2,000-year-old dead man’s body. But Cardinal George has no problem accepting that one.

But, in his mind, because a gay couple can’t produce a child, that should prevent them from having the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Cardinal George doesn’t oppose a man and a woman marrying if they’re infertile and unable to “create families.” He doesn’t care if two people are too old to produce children. So clearly children don’t matter to his argument. It’s just this arbitrary rule about needing to be *theoretically able* to have children that he thinks should reign supreme when it comes to civil rights.

In other words, he’s talking out of his ass because his bigotry has finally reached its limits. He’s out of options for why gay couples shouldn’t have the same rights as him, so he’s just throwing anything he can on the wall to see what will stick:

(Oh! You know what else is unnatural? Choosing a life of celibacy and ignoring your body’s hormones. But Cardinal George has no problem accepting that one, either.)

That’s gotta be a sad moment in a hater’s life: when everyone around you has moved forward and left you in their dust. And the studies are showing that most Catholics (75%) support either civil unions or gay marriage. At some point, the list of people opposed to marriage equality in Illinois will be whittled down to Cardinal George, Peter LaBarbera, Laurie Higgins, and a smattering of people over the age of 90.

(Also unnatural: Miracles.)

Cardinal George’s words are doing some good, though: He’s driving even more Catholics out of the church and into a more tolerant, loving world.

So keep talking, Cardinal. You’re the best spokesperson we have for why our state needs to legalize gay marriage immediately and why we should stop listening to Catholic leaders as if they have any real wisdom about marriage to share with the rest of us.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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