Defense of marriage in Minnesota

The Winona (Minnesota) Daily has an opinion piece about the defense of true marriage, and the attacks on true marriage by proponents of relationships that are contrary to nature.

My emphases and comments.

Dick Houck: Marriage based on children, not love

By DICK HOUCK | St. Paul | Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Recent letters to the editor allege that support for maintaining the traditional definition of marriage in the eyes of the law is based on fear and bigotry, particularly religiously motivated bigotry. [Which would make resistance to contrary-to-nature unions a… hate crime.  Right?  That’s the next phase, folks.]

However, a closer examination of the institution of marriage and the reason government recognizes it shows those claims are false.

Man and woman naturally complement each other physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. They were made to give themselves completely and fully to each other, for the two to become one. Marriage is merely one man and one woman making a complete and total gift of self to the other, for the rest of their earthly lives, and this is consummated in the act of sexual intercourse, which reflects and echoes this two becoming one in a physical way.

The two literally become “one flesh” and this one flesh union is the sole means by which human life is transmitted. [There are a lot of people trying to change that.] This procreative capacity of marriage is the reason the government recognizes and bestows financial and legal benefits on it that are not bestowed on any other union. Those benefits are given to bind the husband and wife together, to bind the children to their mother and father, and to help the mother and father financially support their children, because children do best when they grow up in a stable home with their mother and father.

Recognizing marriage and endowing it with government benefits helps guarantee such an environment for children, and government has a compelling reason to do this in virtue of its responsibility to safeguard and promote the common good.

Government is justified in denying same-sex relationships as equivalent with marriage for the simple fact that same-sex sexual acts, such as sodomy and mutual masturbation, are inherently sterile and can never under any circumstances result in the transmission of human life.

In the words of a venerable law professor from Minnesota “The government is not in the love business, but the baby business.” [Stop here.  Do you see a problem with this?  What contrary-to-nature unions involves is  It isn’t love, properly understood.  Whatever it is it is something … and there’s no denying that it could be strong or emotional.  But it isn’t truly love.]

Moreover, when the government changes the legal definition of marriage, all laws that mention marriage are automatically changed, and some of these changes jeopardize the religious freedoms of religious organizations and individuals.

For instance, in Washington, D.C., and in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities was forced to abandon its adoption services because it would not place children with same-sex couples in contravention of Catholic teachings. [Could that actually be a form of child-abuse?  Allowing children to be adopted by same-sex couples?] A more ominous example is found in Canada, where a Catholic bishop was brought before a human rights tribunal accused of hate speech on several occasions for preaching homilies that merely articulated and explained Catholic teaching that same-sex sexual acts are sinful.  [What did I say?]

Although he was acquitted, in a similar case from Sweden, a Protestant pastor was convicted of hate speech for preaching a similar homily and his conviction was upheld by the highest court of Sweden and only overturned on appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Proponents of same-sex marriage claim this is a matter of civil rights, but what about the religious freedom of religious organizations and ordinary citizens? Isn’t that a civil right? Yet recognition of same-sex marriage would imperil that civil right. [It won’t be for long if they have their way.]

Lastly, where is the discrimination? All men and all women are treated equally. There are many things the law prevents us from doing, murder for example. “Marrying” someone of the same sex is one of those things and that does not discriminate.

We thus encourage all people of goodwill in this great state to support the Minnesota Marriage Amendment.

Dick Houck is president of the Catholic Defense League.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. teaguytom says:

    Up until the Protestant Revolution, Christian based governments didn’t bless marriages. It was the Church alone that blessed marriages between couples. The state only jumped into the arena after the protestant rulers decided that they WERE the heads of the Church in their kingdoms. Even in America, where we recognize no state religion, the government pretends to have some authority to bless marriages. Its obviously purely civil, since there is no religion the state can claim other than secularism. The state needs to get out of the business of marriage period! The state did not belong in running the reformist churches and it doesn’t belong in granting marriages in the “secular church” The congress and state houses can’t even be ethical within their own chambers. How can they be expected to be an authority on morals, values, abortion or marriage?

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    A couple of homeless people here who receive help from an organization I volunteer for announced to me recently that a local Lutheran pastor was going to marry them soon. The problem is, that although one of them is legally female, they appear to be men, one in his 50s or 60s, the other in his early 20s, with a sort of father/son relationship. I wrote and hand delivered a letter to the pastor pointing out that it appears to many who know them that God created them both men, an insurmountable impediment to them being married to one another in the Christian and Biblical sense.

    The state would have no problem marrying two men, if one of them is legally considered female. And apparently the Evangelical Lutherans have no problem with their pastors performing union ceremonies for people of the same sex. And quite possibly tolerate pastors attempting to “marry” people of the same sex if one of them identifies as the opposite sex.

    Obviously, regardless of any of this we try to help the poor with their legitimate needs. My letter to the pastor was confidential and I have not wanted to be unkind or discourage them from coming to us for help.

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    Suggested Google search:

    child abuse same sex marriage

  4. Cecilianus says:

    The title of the piece is disturbing. Marriage is based on love. That is the only reason I will ever get married – because I love my bride. Marriage was instituted for the good of the couple, and for their happiness and salvation.

    Same-sex unions are neither loving, nor marriage.

    Reducing marriage to a Darwinistic means for manufacturing babies rather than an act of love is Manichaean. If that were the “primary purpose of marriage”, God help the infertile.

  5. RichardT says:

    The conflict between religious freedom and “anti-discrimination” is happening on this side of the Atlantic too. Yankees might like this one:

    The Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, Lord Sacks, said today that anti-discrimination policies in Britain have led to an “erosion of religious liberty” – that was leading to a new “Mayflower”:

    “We are beginning to move back to … the 17th century – a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom elsewhere.”

  6. digdigby says:

    Charles E. Flynn –
    That reminded me of the NOT so famous Duke University Rape Case

    Two ‘married’ men, in the hip, university milieu adopting a very young boy (in this case black because it was easier) can make a fortune ‘selling his company’. This case was BURIED in silence. Gee! I wonder why?

  7. jdscotus says:

    Fr. Z.,

    I have a question and would like to know what people think. I apologize for the length of this note, but I want to make sure the question has some context; otherwise, it would sound like it’s coming out of the blue. Robert George, in an interview at NRO, pointed out that a recent study on same-sex “marriages” concluded that a great proportion of them were “open” relationships. So I thought about it and remembered that our government requires proof of a bona fide marriage in order to grant a Green Card to a non US citizen wishing to marry a US citizen.

    (You may find the list of ways to prove your marriage is the real deal here: Interestingly, here are three points, among many others, that our government will consider as proof that a marriage is legit: 1) Your mutual child’s birth certificate or a doctor’s report indicating that you are pregnant; 2) Evidence that one spouse has made the other a beneficiary on his/her life or health insurance or retirement account; 3) A car title or other titles to property showing joint ownership. If found guilty of fraud, by the way, one can be sentenced to 5 years in prison, fined $250,000.00 and deported. How could the government enforce this policy now? I see no way it would be possible.)

    The purpose of requiring this proof of a bona fide marriage is, of course, to prevent fraud, wherein sham “marriages” are pretended in order for one or both parties to benefit, usually financially. Of course, we know that one of the primary arguments in favor of same-sex “marriage” is that homosexuals are denied health benefits and a host of other legal protections and entitlements that automatically come with heterosexual marriages. But go back to George’s point about the open relationships that found disproportionately among homosexuals. Those types of relationships by their very name denote non-commitment. 20 years ago, in the pages of The New Republic, Andrew Sullivan made what he called a “conservative” case for same-sex “marriage.” Among his arguments was that the responsibilities of marriage would encourage homosexuals to practice monogamy and lead more stable lives. Well, I suppose we shall see, but the recent study that George cited does not inspire confidence in me that such a change in behavior will occur.

    So, my question is, Is there a way to make marriage more unappealing to carpet-baggers by applying the penalties already in use by our government for the prosecution and punishment of Green Card fraud to these new things wrongly called “marriages”?

  8. Mundabor says:

    To think that homosexuals may become monogamous because they are married is the same as to think that one’s cat will start to bark because one has decided to call him “fido”.

    There isn’t scarcity of homosexual couples living in what they call stable relationship. If it was as the “conservative” chap says, these “couples” would stay together. It doesn’t happen.


  9. chcrix says:

    “Is there a way to make marriage more unappealing to carpet-baggers ….”

    Yes, quite easily. Just make marriage serious again. Make it as difficult to get a divorce as it used to be in say 1950, and there will be next to no takers for gay marriage.

    The Church should lead the way on this by ending the routine granting of annulments.

  10. jdscotus says:


    Yes, you are quite right on that point, no question about it. However, I was thinking in terms of secular law, especially as juxtaposed with our government’s official position on what constitutes a bona fide marriage.

  11. Charles E Flynn says:


    Thanks for posting the link to the Duke story.

    I have had some dealings with what is referred to as the FBI’s Charlotte Division. Years ago, I provided a tip via email, and had a few telephone conversations with an agent from that office. I will not go into detail, but I was really impressed with the agent’s concern for the appropriateness of the punishment to the crime, and how the FBI wanted to make sure that a young man who did not profit from his crime would learn his lesson without having his life ruined.

  12. JimP says:

    On a related note, and showing that the devil plans his attacks ahead, I ran across this a little earlier this week: “No ‘him’ or ‘her’; preschool fights gender bias” .

  13. Kerry says:

    To assume all opposition to ‘homosexual marriage’ automatically implies bigotry also asserts that there is no legitimate argument against it. For instance, “Hater!” “Are you saying there are no legitimate arguments against what you believe?” Teeth will catch fire at this question. (Teeth catch fire comes from American Digest.)

  14. frjim4321 says:

    I wonder if there is more vitriol here than necessary. It is certainly true that we cannot extend the sacrament of matrimony to same-sex couples, however it is indeed true that the term “marriage” is not used univocally by the church. We acknowledge “natural marriage,” “canonical marriage,” and “sacramental marriage.” All are essentially different, yet all are “marriage.”

    I would remind all posters of the USCCB document “Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning” (1991) which on page 55 states:

    We call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issues related to self-acceptance without society bringing additional prejudicial treatment.

    Surely the caution herein applies to society at large would also apply to the church itself.

  15. Elizabeth D says:

    Sorry Fr Jim, Marriage was clearly willed by God from the beginnig as the union of a man and a woman and that is consistently the way the Catholic Church has understood that. If some think two men can be married, that is heresy. I will pray for you Fr Jim.

  16. David2 says:

    My take on the whole “homosexual marriages do not involve love” thing:

    It is possible for two same sex attracted persons to enjoy a close bond of disinterested friendship that could accurately be described as “love”. However, if we say that to love someone is to desire the objective good for them, then people who love each other do not assist each other to break the sixth and ninth commandments.

    Is that the point you were driving at, Father?

  17. jdscotus says:

    Pray for the moronic bishops who wrote such utter nonsense. It sounds like it was plagiarized from a high school newspaper.

  18. JPManning says:

    Most heterosexual marriages are based on mutual pleasure. Gays see everyone else following their desires and don’t see why they should be the only ones to constrain themselves.

    The solution is to witness to Christian marriage. If gays can have their unions recognised on their own terms then we have the same right. The church needs to urgently and aggressively campaign for our marriages to be recognised as permanent. Then we can really start witnessing to the good of marriage.

  19. BaedaBenedictus says:

    John Zmirak had a great piece in Crisis magazine about the issue this week. In it he makes an interesting proposal: establishing “covenant marriage” laws for Catholics or other Christians who wish to enter in legal marriages that are defined as permanent. If the gays can get their own form of unions, why not us?

    Since it’ll probably pull my comment into moderation, I won’t post the link. But googling “John zmirak surrendering marriage” will bring it up.

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