Notre Dame Gives Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

Notre Dame Gives Benefits to Same-Sex Partners March 3, 2015

Last fall, the University of Notre Dame, one of the premiere Catholic universities in the country, decided to extend benefits to the same-sex spouses of faculty and staff after the federal courts overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court rejected a request for a stay of the lower court rulings.

University of Notre Dame told its employees Wednesday it will extend benefits to same-sex spouses, following a Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in Indiana.

The Catholic school in South Bend, Indiana, emailed benefits-eligible employees about the change Wednesday evening, two days after the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals on decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage in Indiana and 10 other states, effectively legalizing it in those places.

“Notre Dame is a Catholic university and endorses a Catholic view of marriage. However, it will follow the relevant civil law and begin to implement this change immediately,” the email said…

“As a Catholic University, we’re aware of the church’s teachings, but we’re also aware of our obligation under civil law,” Jack Dunn, director of public affairs for Boston College, told NBC News.

But in reality, Notre Dame, as a private religious college, would almost certainly not have to grant such benefits if it did not choose to do so. Indeed, there is no Indiana law that would compel such benefits on the part of any private company either. This has prompted a furious response from three ND professors, law professors Gerard V. Bradley and John Finnis and political science professor Daniel Philpott. In an essay at The Public Discourse, they rail against that decision as contrary to church teachings.

When a university’s administration, knowing that “same-sex marriages” are in a Catholic understanding not truly marriages at all, nonetheless gives without legal coercion many signs and solid tokens of approving such commitments to non-marital sex acts, everyone can readily infer that the university actually does not regard any kind of sex acts between adults as grave matter, provided that these acts are consensual and, perhaps, linked to some notion of commitment. This inference and its logic apply to the vast majority of its students whose inclinations are heterosexual, and whose temptations—enhanced by the perceived indifference of the university—are rather to fornication (and pornography and self-abuse) than to sodomy….

The baneful effects of this structure of sin will be difficult to contain. It will be reinforced, for instance, if and when such a university accepts that an open commitment to an unchristian kind of sexual relationship is little or no impediment to being appointed to holding high office and high academic posts in it….

By extending marriage benefits to same-sex couples, a university would directly cooperate in, encourage, and promote the grave injustices committed by those of its employees who, deeming themselves (and being legally deemed) married, will—usually in circumstances utterly remote from emergency rescue of orphans—adopt children. Even worse, some couples may use third-party reproduction to create children with the intent to bring them up motherless (if the couple is male) or fatherless (if the couple is female) and in a domestic educational context of active approval of intrinsically immoral sex. No Christian institution should ever cooperate with such gratuitous wronging of children….

Finally, institutions that assimilate civil same-sex “marriage” into the category of true marriage will lose their credibility in the fight to defend religious freedom against the federal judiciary, powerful currents of influence, and coercive laws.

Mmmmm, Catholic tears taste better than holy water.

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