Bishop Poprocki: Proposed Gay Marriage Law is a Lethal Attack on Religious Liberty

Cardinal George and the bishops of Illinois have come out swinging against the proposed gay marriage law that has been introduced in the Illinois state legislature.

Illinois already allows civil unions between gay people.

I have not read this proposed law, but it sounds as if it would change the legal definition of marriage entirely. It also would not alter corresponding Illinois laws, which were probably originally intended to deal with discrimination based on race.

According to what at least one bishop is saying, this would lead to a situation where religious institutions which do not support same-sex marriage would be forced to participate in it.

This growing trend throughout the Western world to force religious people in general and Christians in particular to participate in activities which are against their faith is a huge step into active religious persecution under the law. For years the push has been to silence Christians by demanding that they not speak about or use any symbols of their faith in public places. This in itself is both discrimination and an attack on the civil liberties of Christians.

The new push is to broaden this move into legal discrimination in what amounts to a form of legal persecution of people of faith. It uses things like gay marriage and birth control to force Christians to actively violate their faith or face government fines and penalties. This is done in the name of  whatever lie is most useful. “Women’s health” is used in the case of using the ruse of birth control to advance the HHS Mandate. “Tolerance” is used in the push to force religious institutions to participate in gay marriages.

However, the availability of contraception is not at stake with the HHS Mandate. It is about using the brute force of government to attack religious liberty. In the same way, the push all over the Western world to force Christians to participate in same-sex marriages is not about tolerance. In fact, it is the exact opposite of tolerance. It is intolerance and active government discrimination against people of faith.

Bishop Thomas Poprocki of the Diocese of Springfield Illinois has written a letter to the people of his Diocese outlining his concerns about the proposed legislation. All the bishops of Illinois are writing similar letters and asking that they be inserted in Sunday bulletins.

I try to let you read full documents instead of excerpting them whenever I can. I also try to give you original sources. Whenever someone excerpts a document or paraphrases it, they are interpreting it. No matter how objective they try to be — and modern news sources don’t appear to try very hard — they must, by the nature of selecting what to quote and rewording things in paraphrasing, put their own interpretations into it.

I want Public Catholic readers to be able to form intelligent opinions based on the real facts.

Here is Bishop Poprocki’s letter in its entirety.


  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    There is a lot of trouble coming down the road, we have battles on marriage, religious freedom, and even gun control in sight, all contentious, none look likely to compromise. Keep your head down, I’m no longer sure this won’t get very ugly.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I know. Bad moon rising.

  • Darren

    Knowledgeable are you are about the specific laws in Oklahoma, how would such a thing impact your state?

    As the closest contemporary parallel, are religious institutions that are opposed to civil divorce in Oklahoma required to provide nuptials to those who are legally divorced? Are religious institutions legally required to provide spousal benefits to illegitimately remarried employee spouses? Are those institutions entitled to consider this illegitimate marital status in their hiring decisions?

    I appreciate your answer. These questions are important in understanding the level of threat that homosexual marriage poses to our traditional institutions and religious freedoms.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      “are religious institutions that are opposed to civil divorce…”
      Except there probably are no religious institutions opposed to civil divorce per se.

      “Are religious institutions legally required to provide spousal benefits to illegitimately remarried employee spouses?”
      Probably so, and this is not good.

      “Are those institutions entitled to consider this illegitimate marital status in their hiring decisions?”
      Not sure, I sure hope so.

      The bigger problem comes in when (in the IL law, for instance) Catholic property owners such as the Knights of Columbus are forced to rent their hall to same-sex couples, or even worse, for a Catholic school to be forced not to discriminate against a candidate for a teaching position who is “married” to a same-sex partner. Basically, laws like this would force Catholic schools to shut their doors, and force businesses everywhere to either shut down or violate their own consciences.

      A similar law in IL related to adoption and foster care has already forced Catholic Charities to cease providing adoption/foster care services.

      • Darren

        “Except there probably are no religious institutions opposed to civil divorce per se”

        Not the Catholic Church? Doesn’t the church teaching consider those who have obtained a civil divorce and then remarried to be in a state of adultery? Are priests required to perform marriages for those who have divorced? I was under the impression this was not the case.

        Not sure about the Knights of Columbus, I could not find out their legal status from a brief web search, but if the Masons can refuse to accept Catholics, and private golf courses can refuse to accommodate women, balcks, or Jews, I am not sure why the KofC could not organize under a legal structure allowing them to do likewise.

        I suspect the adoption services was due to accepting of state money, which puts it in a semi-governmental role, and thus subject to all applicable laws, and not really a religious institution any more.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          “Doesn’t the church teaching consider those who have obtained a civil divorce and then remarried to be in a state of adultery?”

          Not necessarily, no. Civil divorce is just a secular means of dividing property and visitation rights, etc. It’s the “remarried” part that causes the “state of adultery”, and even then, not always (they may have an annulment or never have married in the Church in the first place). I don’t think anyone is worried that Catholic priests will actually be forced to officiate at same-sex ceremonies, although the way things are going, who knows?

          ” if the Masons can refuse to accept Catholics, and private golf courses can refuse to accommodate women, balcks, or Jews, I am not sure why the KofC could not organize under a legal structure allowing them to do likewise.”

          All I know is that there have already been examples of fines for businesses who declined to rent out their facility to, or photograph same-sex couples.

          You have somewhat of a point about the tax laws, but it is still unfair because the government is basically saying, “we’ll take your money (tax) and then we’ll give it back to you just as long as you think the way we want you to think…otherwise we’ll give it to these guys who are opposed to everything you hold dear” It’s marginalizing behavior, which typically precedes outright persecution.

          The worst thing about same-sex marriage is that it’s a denial of reality (see the bishops three points above) Other than that, it’s bad in the fact that it starts to lay the foundation for marginalization and then persecution.

          • Darren

            ”You have somewhat of a point about the tax laws, but it is still unfair because the government is basically saying, “we’ll take your money (tax) and then we’ll give it back to you just as long as you think the way we want you to think…otherwise we’ll give it to these guys who are opposed to everything you hold dear”

            No argument, there! We have a long history, though, of the government doing just that. The Quakers have been fighting this since the founding of the union: Citing Beliefs, A Quaker Takes On IRS. They used to throw them into prison for refusing to fight in the armed services.

            But, until our government decides to let people withhold tax payments if they are used to support objectionable practices, what is there to do? There are certainly things that I would like to not pay for!

            How about it Rep. Hamilton? Something like a line-item-veto for tax dollars?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      It would be entirely different in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has a Constitutional (state constitution) provision defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A statute attempting to change this would be unconstitutional and would not stand.

      • Darren

        Yes, but a Federal Supreme Court ruling could overrule the state constitution…

        And the divorce question?

  • kenneth

    I would add one correction to the map. Illinois has had a civil union law since June 1.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I didn’t know that date, but I knew they had this law. I guess the map is out of date.

    • Ted Seeber

      Speaking of Corrections- Washington has had Gay Marriage outright since December 19.

  • Bill S

    The Catholic Church is spending way too much time, money and energy fighting against gay marriage. It’s not the Church’s call.

    This country is going to give gays their long deserved rights and is going to prohibit discrimination just as it has for race, color, creed and religion. No religion is going to take those rights away.

    • SteveP

      Bill S: The idea that homosexuals do not enjoy equal protection under the law is incredibly offensive; to make the equivalence to chattel slavery is beyond the pale. Further, as “gay” is self-identified, it is absurd that a WASP can be fully protected while closeted and then, the next day after “coming out,” be oppressed.

      “Same-sex marriage” is utterly absurd and I refuse to hear any more of it. If there were a shred of honesty or integrity in such proponents they would call it what it is: the desire for assignable State or Federal pension survivor benefits.

      • Sus

        “the desire for assignable State or Federal pension survivor benefits.” – That’s not the only reason, but is part of it.

        • SteveP

          Sus: I do understand the top two are pension survivor benefits and estate tax. Some years ago — ignoring that survivor benefits really benefit women who (on average) die some years after men die (on average) and women (on average) have a lower lifetime income usually due to childbearing and rearing – I would have agreed that pension survivor benefits are assignable and everyone ought to be able to execute an assignment. For example, a single brother might assign to a married sister; a married woman might assign survivor benefits to a nephew or someone entirely unrelated.

          However, when suggesting that the legal implications of marriage accrued since the founding of the US are what need to change – for example a named heir, regardless of relationship, would not be taxed on inherited property – the suggestions have been met with: if it is not “marriage,” it is not equal.

          Thus no compromise is met with no compromise: marriage is between a man and a woman. Any other combination is absurd and any intimation that the restrictions on marriage are equivalent to the American Black experience is incredibly offensive.

  • BethE

    I believe that you are wrong in your comment of “force Christians to participate in same-sex marriages”. If you are not in favor of getting gay married, you do not have to have one. Your church does not have to have one. Your religious official does not have to officiate over one. You can have all of the non-gay marriages your facility can handle! You just can’t prevent places that _do_ accept gay marriage as a sacrament or as a celebration from celebrating.

    • Ted Seeber

      Given your hatred of heterosexual unions, and the general trend towards forced sterilization in the United States, I have NO doubt that is coming next.

      • Darren

        Ted;

        I am curious about this particular trend: forced sterilizations. I have seen you mention this in other postings, though never with any sources. Do you have references to indicate that forced sterilizations are occurring, in what numbers, etc.

        Considering that my wife’s sister, who is mentally retarded, has had 5 children removed from her by social services due to extreme neglect (all happily adopted, good luck to them, most children in their situation are not so lucky) and even though forced sterilizations are _technically_ legal in the jurisdiction, we were told by our attorneys that it would never happen, even if she had murdered all five of her children instead of merely criminally neglected them…

  • Zachary Martinez

    Suppose there is a heterosexual couple who married in the Catholic Church, but then who obtained a civil divorce, without a Catholic Church annulment, and then one of them sought to marry someone else outside the Catholic Church. This remarriage would be against the Catholic Church’s teaching, and invalid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Suppose they approach the Knights of Columbus wanting to hire their hall for the wedding: would the Knights of Columbus let them? If they decided not to, would the Knights of Columbus be in their legal rights to do so? How is this case similar or different, from the case of the homosexual couple who marry under the laws of the State of Illinois, if same-sex marriage were to be legalised, seeking to hire the same hall? It seems to me that, if the Knights of Columbus and similar bodies, announced that they would only permit their facilities to be hired for Catholic Church weddings, that might work for them – they would not be directly discriminating against gay couples, and arguably as a Catholic religious organisation, it is their right to restrict their services to members of their faith only.

    What about the “Christian Identity” churches which believe that Jews are the descendants of Satan through Cain, or that non-whites are an inferior creation that preceded Adam? (As disgusting as these ideas are, there are churches out there that teach these things.) Should they have a religiously-based exemption to discrimination laws? If an interracial couple wanted to hire their hall for a wedding, should they be able to refuse saying their religion rejects interracial marriages? To be consistent, however big you want to make a religious exemption to laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, surely you must make the same sized religious exemption to laws against discrimination on the basis of race?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Actually, legislators can write the law any way they chose.

      • Darren

        “Actually, legislators can write the law any way they chose.”

        Interesting. So, how have legislators written the laws? All of the hypotheticals that Zachary has proposed are currently legal (being a jew, being an interracial couple) except married homosexuals, so presumably KofC and such would have encountered them in, say, the 40 plus years since the US Supreme Court ruled that descrimation against interracial couples was no longer allowed.

        Are the laws written so that non-church religious corporations, such as the KofC, may descriminate against these groups?

        How have you chosen to write your laws?

  • Sus

    Rebecca has an excellent post on the front page of her blog called “Marry for Life by Marrying Right”. That’s all gay couples want to do. I’ve seen it suggested that gay people do have the right to marry people if they are of the opposite sex. That isn’t “Marrying Right”. That’s getting married to a person they aren’t attracted to. How can that be a good idea?

    • Ted Seeber

      Attracted to is the absolute WORST way to make the decision on who to marry.

      • Sus

        Attraction is part of marriage for me. I wouldn’t have all these kids without it!

  • Bill S

    ““Same-sex marriage” is utterly absurd and I refuse to hear any more of it.”

    It’s not your call.

    “If there were a shred of honesty or integrity in such proponents they would call it what it is: the desire for assignable State or Federal pension survivor benefits.”"

    That’s part of it. But not all of it. How about: “the desire for equal rights”.

    We’ve had gay marriage in Massachusetts for years. Believe me, it is no big deal.

    • SteveP

      Bill S: Yes, it is actually my call. I have already suggested to the legislators of this locality, both State and Federal, that marriage ought be stripped of legal implication. As marriage rate has fallen dramatically in popularity it is nonsensical to incur the expense to administer what people do not want. Rather any number of people can go to the nearest State office and get a shiny certificate that declares State acknowledgment they are married. Legally meaningless but fulfills precisely what “same-sex marriage” advocates desire: State recognition of their erotic entanglement.

      • Bill S

        “I have already suggested to the legislators of this locality, both State and Federal, that marriage ought be stripped of legal implication.”

        First of all, I doubt that they will take your suggestion seriously. And secondly, why to you want to make things more difficult for straight couples, just because the state would allow gays to marry. My father used to call that: “biting your nose to spite your face”. It makes no sense at all. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

        • SteveP

          BillS: I am familiar with Aesop, thank you. Rather than guess at motivation, you might prove or disprove the logical result of the push for “marriage equality:” the only way for equality to be achieved is if the State takes no interest at all in any aspect of those seeking marriage. The only way for the State to have no interest is to void legal reference to marriage.

          • Darren

            The state may enact legislation governing conduct in which the public interest is at stake, such as preventing legal entities operating in the public domain (re. corporations) from discriminating against certain groups, say, Catholics.

            The state may also provide services of its own, such as pensions and preferential treatment of inheritors based upon agreed-upon relationships (heirs).

            By virtue of being a secular institution, the state’s choices are supposed to be based upon non-religious public goods. In the past, this has been to the benefit of Catholics (and most other religions), in those times and places where Catholics have been in the minority (re John F. Kennedy being _eligible_ to run for president) and churches still enjoy exemptions from taxation and employment laws that are not extended to non-religious non-profit organizations.

            Up until ten or so years ago, the secular public consensus was that gay marriage was bad. That has now shifted so that the public consensus is that prohibiting gay people from marriage is unfair in a way similar to prohibiting people of disparate races from marrying was unfair prior to 1968. Now, it is overwhelmingly only religious principles that feel maintaining the status quo is necessary. Thus, since it is a matter of public policy, with only religious institutions objecting, the law may now be changed, just as it was in 1968, or for that matter 1865.

            • SteveP

              Thank you, Darren, for the response. However, I’m really not interested in the tangent you present. No offense intended.

              • Darren

                Oh, none taken.

                And, from your earlier post, I would be just fine with the state removing itself completely from all matters relating to marriage; let it become a purely religious matter, like baptism.

                …but talk about rewriting culture!

    • Ted Seeber

      It is a big deal. It caused you to leave the Church.

      • Bill S

        How did gay marriage cause me to leave the church. I don’t see the connection. What I am saying is that gay marriage has had no discernible impact on my life nor will it have any on anyone living in a state that allows it.

        • Darren

          Ted Translator 1.0:

          By advocating for a position contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church, you are no longer in the Catholic Church. Perhaps you might like Anglicanism?

          • Bill S

            And by advocating for a position contrary to the policies of the United States, you are no longer an American. Perhaps you might like living in England.

            I will no longer be in the Catholic Church when I decide, not you or anyone else. What, no dissent in the Catholic Church? I don’t think so.

            • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

              Look, a primary teaching of the Catholic Church is that Christ founded the Church, and the Holy Spirit protects the Church from making errors in its official teaching. Bill, you don’t even believe in God at the moment. I’m glad that you don’t want to be pushed out of the Church, but the Church is a voluntary association of those who have faith in Christ and in His promises regarding the Church.

              To us, people like you look like “fifth column.” I’m not saying you are, but that’s what it seems like. Why would you want to remain in a group in which you disagree with foundational premises of the group (such as that God exists, and that He founded a Church which he protects from error?)

              To make such a comparison to America is utterly nonsensical. No one ever claimed that America was directly founded by God and protected from error. It is a political arrangement – that is all.

              • Darren

                Whoa, Dave, some good points about the Church, but be careful about the Americanism:

                ”No one ever claimed that America was directly founded by God and protected from error. It is a political arrangement – that is all.”

                Ummm… Actually, lots of people do. I am willing to bet that the vast majority of Rep. Hamilton’s constituents would agree that America was ordained by God, founded by men acting in God’s interest, and was very close to infallible up until the point that the liberals and atheists hijacked the country and then everything has gone to (literal) Hell.

                There is, though, a very real conflict between who actually “owns” the Catholic Church: the laity and local priests or the bishops and cardinals? This is a uniquely Catholic conflict, as disaffected Protestants could just start their own church, thank you very much.

                And yes, you are correct, to make such comparisons is nonsensical – which is not the same as such comparisons not being made.

                • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

                  I hope you are wrong about the Americanism. There may be some folks who actually believe that, but they are very mistaken in my view.

                  “There is, though, a very real conflict between who actually “owns” the Catholic Church: the laity and local priests or the bishops and cardinals?”

                  The answer is “neither.” Christ owns the Church. He purchased Her with His blood.

                  • Darren

                    “I hope you are wrong about the Americanism. There may be some folks who actually believe that, but they are very mistaken in my view.”

                    Pretty much any neo-con evangelical or Tea Party-er, not so sure about the neo-con Catholics, though.

                    “The answer is “neither.” Christ owns the Church. He purchased Her with His blood.”

                    Nice!!! That was beautiful!

              • Bill S

                “Look, a primary teaching of the Catholic Church is that Christ founded the Church, and the Holy Spirit protects the Church from making errors in its official teaching.”

                Such an assumption carries no weight in establishing the legality of gay marriage. Of our founding fathers, only one, Carroll from Maryland, was Catholic and I don’t know if he would accept that statement either. Papal infallibility is very limited and has never been used to rule on any political issues in another sovereign country. The last time it was used was when Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary into Heaven (as if that is even physically possible now that we know the Heaven is not somewhere up above us like the International Space Station.

                • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

                  Papal infallibility is not the only way that the Church’s teaching is protected from error. In fact, it’s not even the primary way, by far. A more common exercise of the Magisterium is in ecumenical Councils, but any time that a particular teaching is held always and everywhere, it is considered to be part of the deposit of Faith.

                  Seriously, Bill, you think that the Church (and Catholics) literally believe that Heaven is somewhere out in space?

  • Bill S

    1. There is no teaching that is protected from error that addresses gay marriage. Bennedict is not infallible when he speaks out against it.

    2. Pius XII declared Ex Cathedra that Mary was assumed into Heaven. Paintings depict this. Where do you say Mary’s body went?

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    Bill,
    1. Marriage was simply and clearly defined by Jesus, and this definition of marriage has been followed since (and before) then, and by almost every society in history as well. Matthew 19:3-6

    “Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him,* saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female” and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

    2. Her body went to Heaven. Heaven is not part of the physical universe. Sure, paintings depict her body as going up. The physical heavens are a symbol of Heaven, but not Heaven itself.

    • Darren

      Nice answers, though to be fair it should be said not “almost every society”, but instead almost every Western society. Plenty of native societies, Eastern cultures, Muslim cultures, and even Old Testament Jews departing from that.

      ”For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

      And yet we have divorce aplenty, or the fatuous Annullment, “Oh, they were never _really_ married.”

      Which is to say, if we truly feel that the institution of marriage is under attack and wish to defend it, we have some pretty easy actions that would give us better return on the investment, such as no longer granting annulments, no longer granting legal recognition to second marriages and the children produced by them, no longer tolerating those who have had annulments or divorces in public office, etc.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        There are departures as to the number of women a man may marry, but never a departure such as that a man may marry a man. Even the Roman Empire, where homosexual relations were fairly common, did not go so far as to call it a marriage, with the possible exception of an Emperor or two issuing an “executive order” on his own behalf.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          I don’t disagree that there are serious problems with divorce/annulment, etc. and that these problems also need to be addressed, but this discussion is about gay marriage and religious liberty.

          • Darren

            Dave, you have argued in good faith, so continuing the discussion is well worth the effort, from my perspective.

            I have yet to receive an answer to the question from Rep. Hamilton, but if the Catholic Church is not _required_ to provide nuptials to divorcees, despite their being otherwise legally entitled to such services, then why would they be required to provide such services to homosexuals wishing to marry? The Church is free to define legitimate marriage any way it so chooses.

            So far as non-profits or religiously affiliated corporations, then that is a matter of business law, not religious expression. I have yet to receive an answer from Rep. Harris on this as well, but if entities such as the Knights of Columbus can refuse to provide services to or employ people that are living in violation of Catholic principles, such as remarried divorcees, then I see no reason why they could not also deny services to married homosexuals.

  • Bill S

    Dave,

    Those two answers are just ludicrous. 1. You should consult modern psychologists and not a two thousand year old story. 2. Everything is part of the physical universe.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      Well, yes, consulting psychologists instead of purported words from God would make sense if you are an atheist, but if you aren’t going to try to interact with people that actually have different foundational assumptions than you, then our conversation is a waste of time.

      By the way, after some experiences related to a couple of my kids, and the experiences of a couple of families I know well, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers are the absolute last people on the face of the earth that I’d consult about anything (with the possible exception of politicians and lawyers)

    • SteveP

      BillS: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a very astute observation. Given microscopes we know that two unique chromosomes join to form a unique DNA strand. An old-fashion term for coitus is “to make love” implying “love” is a concrete manifestation in space and time.

      Of course, you are welcome to believe that love, and marriage, is a self-identified subjective emotional state possibly influenced by dopamine and oxytocin. However, the majority of the population, both currently living and their ancestors, appear to disagree.

  • Bill S

    “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”

    Why am I wasting my time defending gay marriage to people who quote a two thousand year old story to justify their bigotry?

    • SteveP

      BillS: Bigotry? Hardly. I’ve acknowledged secular marriage is distinct from sacramental marriage and have been referring to the former with the exception of today’s 1:44 PM comment. My compromise position has been made clear: there will be “marriage equality” when anyone and everyone can marry. To realistically achieve that there can be no influence between a person’s status — married or unmarried — and the legal system.

      Sacramental marriage, on the other hand, will not change and it is kind of you to not ask that it change.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        My compromise solution would be to get rid of civil marriage altogether, and then amend tax laws such that the tax code favors those who are raising children (it already is like this, partially)

        Make pension benefits, etc. assignable to anyone. I think it should already be this way.

        • Sus

          Dave, are saying in your compromise that unless you are married in the church, you would not be married?

          A fair compromise would allow churches to say no in performing the marriage. There are many churches who would welcome the couple.

          I don’t know about the Knights refusing to allow receptions. I want to say it is up to them bit I’m not sure how they are classified.

          • Dave

            No, people could get married any number of ways, but the government wouldn’t care one way or the other. Lots of details regarding property, children, etc. would need to be worked out though.

            • Darren

              This is something that I would support, in effect you would be replacing civil marriage with domestic partnerships: legal contracts allowing joint ownership of property, durable medical power of attorneys, etc. Child rearing provisions could be handled seperately, or in the same agreement, I am not well versed on current partnership laws.

              Church marries or doesn’t marry whoever it chooses, those marriages no longer having any legal standing.

              From the traditional marriage standpoint, though, this domestic partnership would quickly become the new normal, the default marriage, and as a wholly civil instrument, there would seem to be few justifications to limit it two man/woman, or even only two people, after all, if we are putting civil marriage into the contract law arena, there are no limits on the types or numbers of people that may sign up.

              • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

                If government is going to make marriage (or domestic partnership, as proposed) anything other than between one man and one woman, they might as well just let anyone sign up, because that’s how it’ll end up anyway. The reason it is limited to one man and one woman is because that is what is best for the resulting children. If we are going to divorce ourselves from that logic, then there is no other rational basis by which to limit it.

                In fact, I’d say that a brother and sister, or three sisters, or two or three close friends have just as much a right to get the benefits as a romantic partnership of two men.


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