Catholic Church: 'Gays Can Be Good Parents, But Same-Sex Marriage Is Still Unjust'
As the U.K. government prepares for its first-ever vote on marriage equality, the Catholic Church in England and Wales conceded in a recent statement that gay couples can make good parents; however, the Church, which is vehemently opposed to same-sex unions, maintained that gay marriage is "unjust" and should not be legalized.
The concession, which U.K.-based Pink News called a "surprising acknowledgement," was included this week in a document submitted to Parliament urging legislators to vote against same-sex marriage. Ultimately, despite some gentle words, the Church was unequivocal in its condemnation of marriage equality.
From the Church's briefing on same-sex marriage:
We recognize that many same sex couples raise children in loving and caring homes. Nevertheless, marriage has an identity that at its core is distinct from any other legally recognized relationship, no matter how much love or commitment may be involved in these other relationships…
The basic argument that is advanced in favor of same sex marriage is one of equality and fairness. But we suggest that this intuitively appealing argument is fundamentally flawed. Those who argue for same sex marriage do so on the basis that it is unjust to treat same sex and heterosexual relationships differently in allowing only heterosexual couples access to marriage. Our principal argument against this is that it is not unequal or unfair to treat those in different circumstances differently. Indeed, to treat them the same would itself be unjust.
The document also argued that permitting same-sex marriage would threaten "subtly, but radically, to alter the meaning of marriage over time for everyone."
Still, the Church stressed that while it "does not condone same sex sexual activity," it "condemns unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
In the U.K., same-sex couples have had access to civil partnerships since 2004 -- and the Church, in its document, implied that it supports this system.
"Our opposition to same sex marriage is not based in discrimination or prejudice; it is based in a positive effort to ensure that the unique social values currently served by marriage carry on being served by that institution in the future,” the Church's letter to Parliament also reads.
However, as Gay Star News points out, civil partnerships -- though a step in the right direction -- fall short of marriage in many ways. Limitations in financial rights, rigid notions and biases relating to gender, and travel restrictions are among some of the shortfalls cited. Ultimately, the LGBT website concluded that "separate is not equal."
The following YouTube video, narrated by a U.K. lawyer, explains some of these limitations (story continues below)
On Feb. 5, U.K. Parliament members will convene to vote on plans to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
According to the BBC, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will allow same-sex marriage and give religious organizations the option to offer such marriages.
The issue has divided both parliament and religious leaders in the U.K.
The BBC notes that the Church of England, Roman Catholic Church and a number of other denominations have vocally opposed the bill, some religious groups -- including Quakers and Liberal Judaism -- have expressed their support.
(hat tip, Think Progress)
Correction: An earlier headline indicated that the Catholic Church had said the words: "gays can be good parents, but same-sex marriage is still unjust." It has since been changed to reflect the fact that this is a paraphrased statement and not a direct quote.
What the hell do priests know about marriage? Or being good parents? Doesn't keep their ignorant mouths from yapping.
The Catholic Church has been just wonderful raising children.
Why anyone pays any attention to those twisted queens is beyond me.
[quote]What the hell do priests know about marriage? Or being good parents?
Same goes for male gynecologists. What do they know about a woman's hoo-hoo? That's just so gross.
I have a gay friend who converted to RC as an adult (we have not discussed the details as to why). He is a regular church-goer, and while I don't understand that choice, or more specifically why he sticks around, I accept it.
[quote]The document also argued that permitting same-sex marriage would threaten "subtly, but radically, to alter the meaning of marriage over time for everyone."
Complete, total, and utter bullshit. In what way, precisely would the marriage of two men or two women have any effect whatsoever on the marriage of a man and a woman? None, but it sounds scary! Perhaps, the Roman Catholic Church could enlighten us by pointing to some demonstrable evidence of this supposed "radical change" in places that have recognized marriage equality for some time, like Massachusetts for the past nine years. [Oddly ironic that Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.]
[quote]Those who argue for same sex marriage do so on the basis that it is unjust to treat same sex and heterosexual relationships differently in allowing only heterosexual couples access to marriage. Our principal argument against this is that it is not unequal or unfair to treat those in different circumstances differently. Indeed, to treat them the same would itself be unjust.
More bullshit. And, as an extra added sweet touch, the Catholic Church attempts to claim victim status on behalf of heterosexuals.
The world would be an infinitely better place if the Catholic Church paid much closer attention to the whole "feeding the hungry," "clothing the naked," and "visiting the sick and imprisoned," charge that Jesus championed and much less time worrying about what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms.
Things are looking up. They used to call gay marriage an "abomination." Now it's merely "unjust."
i hate catholics
I don't hate Catholics or anyone else. But the hateful evil bigot who calls himself the "pope" did not say that homosexuals can be good parents. In his so-called "Christmas" speech, he declared war upon us, and vowed that the Roman Catholic so-called church will never stop fighting against our equality. He specifically said that we are an evil threat to children, and this is coming from the head of a worldwide pedophile syndicate that has been providing sanctuary, protection, solace and all sorts of assistance to child molestors for centuries. We must rise to the challenge of this so-called "pope" in his declaration of war against us, and we must fight against the Roman Catholic hate group with all that is within us. We must exploit their every weakness, and we must never forget that this is one of the most evil organizations which has ever existed. The mafia, the costa nostra, every crime syndicate, is sponsored and supported by the Roman Catholic hate group. They bury notorious gangsters in places of prime prestige right in the Vatican.
Child abuse and its attempted denials has radically altered the meaning of Catholicism over time for everyone.
The Church is on the wrong side of history and knows it, which is why it is slightly softening its tone, while 'maintaining its standards.'
Transparent hypocrisy. It's losing its 'fight', and needs to prepare somehow for the future that humane progress will bring.
What is so amazing about Catholics is that almost all of the priests are closeted homosexuals, and yet they maintain this anti-homosexual hatred.
"What is so amazing about Catholics is that almost all of the priests are closeted homosexuals, and yet they maintain this anti-homosexual hatred."
And you have a problem with this why?
Congressman Aaron Shock, flaming as I type
"A few priests can be trusted around little boys, but God is still imaginary."
They're really scrambling to find justification any more.
Now THAT is some warped logic!
50% of Roman Catholic priests in the US are gay. God knows how many nuns are lesbians. Enough already with RC's anti-gay agenda. They have so many queens in their midst that they make Paul Lynde look straight.
I can't believe they have the nerve to use the word unjust to try to perpetrate exactly that.