Nem tanto ao mar nem tanto à terra?
The goods of marriage are many and varied, but, except for the category of possible reproduction with one’s spouse, same-sex couples are able to participate in them equally with straight couples. Moreover, given what we know about sexual orientation, a ban on marriage for gay and lesbian people would seem, according to Church teaching, to abridge a fundamental human right, and so constitute an attack on their human dignity. Beyond that, many gay and lesbian couples calling for the right to marry are recalling to our culture the social and cultural importance of marriage. Rather than living quietly in a legally unrecognized state, gay and lesbian couples asking for marriage affirm the dignity of the institution. Finally, to reject the most intimate relationships of LGBT people as dangerous to the civil polity stokes savage homophobia, which the Church opposes.
As Christians, we are called by Jesus to one fundamental task in life—to love God and others as well as we can. For most of us, the call to love is answered principally, though not exclusively, in the context of our most intimate relationships, those uniting spouses and those of parents and children. As Catholic Christians, we embrace a moral tradition that addresses social policy in light of the common good, a reasoned assessment of the rights and duties incumbent upon us in order that we may participate in the flourishing of society. Marriage is a key institution, with an array of social goods that include, but are not limited to, procreation. We can all share in those wider, socially critical benefits of marriage, gay and straight, parents and the childless alike. Why would Christians deny to any of our brothers and sisters, at least in the realm of our civil life together, the opportunity for the blending and sharing of life toward, we hope, the “mutual perfection” that Pius XI said was the wider purpose of marriage? Love requires no less than our support of love.