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The Nature Of Marriage Is Not Defined By Popular Whim

The debate over “social issues” in the United States recently brought many important topics, those typically reserved for the backburner in American politics, to the national stage for the first time in a long time. With the focus of the media shifting towards these issues, however, we have seen vicious attacks from political pundits, and more importantly, from legislators and policy makers who threaten our liberty and way of life.

The sacred institution of marriage, one of those social issues that only right-wingers supposedly care about, is under assault here in the U.S. by radical legislators, judges and a president who view those of us seeking to protect marriage as hateful and bigoted. In the month of February alone, significant battles for the protection of marriage took place in California, Washington, New Jersey and Maryland as proponents of so-called same-sex “marriage” went on the attack.

Judges in California overruled voters who passed Proposition 8 to put into law what has long been sacred tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman. These judges said that the citizens’ vote to protect marriage only served to “lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians.”

Washington State governor Chris Gregoire, a Catholic, said, “This is one of my proudest moments,” after signing a law that redefines marriage in her state.

New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, sponsor of the same-sex “marriage” bill vetoed by Gov. Christie, said the veto was, “[A]bout nothing but feeding into peoples’ prejudices against gays and lesbians.”

In Maryland, where opponents of same-sex “marriage” were referred to as “cowards,” legislators passed a bill to redefine marriage that Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed.

And while promoting LGBT “rights” as part of its international agenda, the Obama administration again made clear this month that it will not defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a law of the United States that the president has the constitutional duty to enforce.

Of course, this isn’t just a problem in the United States. Across the pond, our friends in the United Kingdom are facing similar threats as plans move forward to legalize same-sex “marriage” in the U.K. by 2015 with the support of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the proposal to change the legal definition of marriage “constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history,” and launched a campaign and petition to defend marriage in the U.K. last week that already has over 60,000 supporters.

“For thousands of years, the union of one man and one woman has been the bedrock of societies across cultures, all around the world,” Lord Carey said. “Marriage is now an integral part of the modern world not because of a government diktat, or a church decree, but because it has stood the test of time – and proved to be the fundamental building block for every stable society.”

Catholic Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury in the U.K. also criticized Mr. Cameron’s proposal saying:

This I believe is such a moment for the British people as for the first time in our history a government is proposing to change the meaning of marriage and to re-define its identity as the life-long union of one man and one woman. What the Government now proposes to legislate into law constitutes nothing less than a seismic shift in the foundations of our society.

We face a mindset which sees progress only as a continuous shifting of our society further and further from its Christian foundations until we have nothing left for family and society to be founded upon than changing, political fashions of thought.

The social issues make many people uncomfortable in American politics, but they are truly fundamental to the future of our society. It’s easy to say we need to only focus on the economy and energy when millions are out of work, and gas prices are soaring. These are serious issues that affect family life as well, and that require our attention; but what kind of country will we have when the family is not protected, when the disabled and elderly are tossed aside, and the government has taken away our basic right to life?

While opinions do change over the years, the nature of marriage – the foundational building block of our culture and country – is not defined by popular whim. The media and radical policy makers may continue to distort this basic truth, but it is out of love, not hatred, that people in the United States and United Kingdom work to defend marriage and the family, and thus, their culture and their future.

A version of this article first appeared on CNSNews.com.


Father Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International, the world’s largest international pro-life organization.


  • Mal

    Politician, Lynne Featherstone, recently asked: Who owns marriage? To me, it is like asking ‘who owns gravity?’ Or, who is responsible for defining elements like gold and iron? Thankfully, the answer is not politicians and judges. The vast majority of people in the world would say that these properties, phenomena and laws simply exist in nature. None of us owns them, and so none of us could effectively re-define or corrupt them.
    Because human beings have biological bodies we are also conditioned by nature. We all have basically the same biological characteristics – except for minor differences in shape, size or colour, or some weaknesses and shortcomings. However, there is one significant feature that clearly subdivides us, namely gender. Yes, we do have our personal likes and dislikes, attractions, lusts and desires but each one of them is not as critical a feature as gender. When two people from the two genders commit themselves to a union there is a perfect and natural blend, merger – marriage. This natural marriage is beautiful and meaningful. Love blossoms, pleasure is experienced and the potential for society to grow, to sustain itself are the products of this union. No other relationship, no matter how loving, is like it. This is why it is celebrated all over the world. Nobody owns this phenomenon. So, politicians keep your noses out. Do not try to corrupt or destroy what is beautifully and meaningfully designed in our nature – for our good.

  • florin

    May 10th, by now you know that Obama has declared he believes that men should be able to marry men and women marry women. And Catholic politicians, in particular Nancy Pelosi, have celebrated this as a victory for human rights. Well, they need to learn that we can’t have everything we want just because we want it. A man may want to have sex with a boy child – should that be legalized and then celebrated? The majority of cases in the Priest ‘sex scandal’ involved homosexual Priests having sex with adolescent boys…should that be legalized and celebrated? A man desires a married woman and wants to have sex with her – should that be legalized? Where will it stop? Shep Smith on Fox declared that Obama has finally come into the 21st century – in other words, morality has evolved to the point where anything goes sexually…how sad, how very sad. But, despite polls showing a different story, I do not believe the majority of Americans approved of same sex marriage. They may say they do so as not to seem biased but then they vote against same sex marriage. And polls do not determine morality. Still, we have to pray and hope that Catholics will come to understand and to live their faith and not vote again for Obama in the next election.