Catholics and gay marriage?
Marriage in the Catholic Church requires the ability to have sexual intercourse
There is a narative in the secular media that the Catholic Church is "anti sex". However, the Church places sex at the core of marriage. There is no such thing as a Catholic marriage unless the couple can have intercourse. The couple does not necessarily have to have the ability to conceive if one of them is infertile, but they have to have intercourse for a valid sacramental marriage. Without intercourse the two cannot be "one flesh", and that is what marriage is.
This requirement of having intercourse is true for all people seeking to have a marriage recognized by the Church, regardless of gender or sexual identification. Two people of the same gender cannot have intercourse, although there may be attempts to simulate it. Therefore, there can be no marriage in the Church. There are other reasons why people of the same gender cannot be married, but this makes it a non-starter.
What about non-sacramental marriages?
The Church considers sex between two people of the same gender "intrisically disordered". The Catholic Church is not setting aside homosexuality as a special kind of "yucky" sin. There are are all kinds of expressions of human sexuality which the Church considers unhealthy (sex before marriage, masturbation, contraception, etc.). The Church asserts that the negative reprocussions of acting out sexually, are not limited to "card carrying Catholics". If something is physically, emotionally or spiritually unhealthy, then it affects anyone who does it.
Was marriage simply a legal convenience introduced in medieval times?
Some advocates for same sex marriage say "civil" marriage was introduced in medieval times simply as a way to divide up property and that it had nothing to do with Church. The history of "civil" marriage is more complex than that. It was intimately related to the Church and the teaching of Christ. Jesus talked about marriage as based on love 2000 years ago, its not just a social arrangement. A hundred years ago the Catholic Encyclopedia addressed the proposal that historically marriage has been open, and effectively demonstrated the theory as a late artifact of wishful thinking on the part of revisionists.
Official civil unions were introduced in the colonial period and they included prayers. The Council of Trent officially instituted marriage as a Sacrament in the 1500's but Jesus instituted marriage himself 15 centuries earlier and Christians in the Church followed it from that time forward (Mat 19:5, Mark 10:7). Catholics believe marriage is a religious concept designed by God before any government existed, before any law of man had been written. Marriage is God's idea. Catholics believe it is not for us as humans to tamper with. The word "Marriage" appears all over the New Testament (Mat 22:30, 24:38, Mk 12:25, Lk 2:36, 17:27, 20:34-35, 1 Co 7:38, 2 Co 11:2, 1 Ti 4:3, Heb 13:4, Rev 19:7, 19:9) and it is clearly drawn out as a relationship between one man and one woman. We cannot get around that without throwing out the Bible as "hate" literature, which is a strategy of those opposing the Church.
Some people assert that opposing gay marriage is just like opposing interracial marriage. The difference is that affirming interracial marriages affirms the institution of marriage. A black man has essentially the same reproductive system, and he can make children with a white female. They can have intercourse, which is the basic requirement for marriage which is not true of two people of the same gender.
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- Marriage, Divorce, Annulments
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- Contraception in the Bible
- The case against contraception from natural law
- The Early Church Fathers and contraception
- Father James Martin's book: Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community ...