Marriage: not for two loving adults?

3 Oct

The new archbishop of San Francisco is Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee for the defense of marriage and one of the foremost proponents of CA’s Prop 8 ban of same-sex marriage.

Yeah, think about the conversations at the Vatican leading up to that decision.

To give you a sense of Cordileone’s potential impact symbolically and practically on the Catholic LGB commmunity and LGB-rights movement in SF and beyond, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry notes that Cordileone believes that the very term “gay and lesbian” is “politically charged” and merits scrutiny (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/us/san-francisco-catholics-see-strict-message-on-gays-in-choice-of-new-leader.html?_r=0). Try speaking up now, people formerly known as lesbian, gay and (brace yourself) bisexual.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then, but what strikes me about Cordileone’s marriage rationale is that he doesn’t name the issue in LGBH terms (after all, that would require his saying “gay and lesbian,” right?) Rather, he believes that “marriage has been and should remain a child-centered institution.”

While this may sound reasonable, I’ve always been of the mind and heart that marriage is about two people who love each other, and it’s OK if they can’t or don’t have kids. In fact, it’s more than OK. It’s a right, it’s a privilege, and it’s a separate question from marriage (to my knowledge, child-bearing is not a marital vow in any faith). We (I am half of a married with no kids couple) shouldn’t feel less than or wrong for not having kids.

And by the way, Bishop Cordileone, since it’s legal for same-sex couples to adopt children, then by your definition, same-sex marriage should be a no brainer.

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