Archive for the ‘Same-Sex “Marriage”’ Category

A Glimpse Into the Future

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

As the push for same-sex “marriage” builds in New York, recent news events have allowed us to see into the future, to get an idea of what the world will be like if the definition of marriage is changed.

First, a little background.  In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by virtually unanimous majorities, and the bill was signed into law by President Clinton.  It defines marriage, for the purposes of federal law, as the union of one man and one woman, and it provides that states will not be required to recognize any other kind of “marriage”, just because other states have changed their definition.

DOMA has been challenged several times in the courts.  Three separate federal courts have upheld it as a proper and reasonable exercise of Congressional authority.  One court has found that it is unconstitutional and lacks a rational foundation.  (That decision, by the way, contains the single most absurd statement ever made by a federal judge — that the difference between same-sex couples and different-sex couples was a “distinction without meaning.”  Some things are so silly that only a federal judge could believe them).  Several state supreme courts — including New York’s — have also upheld the same definition of marriage as is contained in DOMA, holding that the definition has a “rational basis” and is not discriminatory.

That wasn’t good enough for the President, who announced earlier this year that the Justice Department would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA.  This,  even though the Justice Department has long held that they have a duty to defend statutes with which they disagree, if there is a reasonable argument to support it.  Apparently, the decisions of multiple federal and state courts are not reasonable enough for this ideologically blinded Administration.

Faced with this dereliction of duty, the leadership of the House of Representatives engaged the services of Paul Clement, a former Solicitor General and a very accomplished Supreme Court advocate, to represent the people of the United States in defending DOMA.

What happened next provides us a clear glimpse into where we are going on this issue.  “Gay rights” groups, seeking to force all opposition to same-sex “marriage” out of the mainstream, began a campaign of intimidation aimed at forcing Mr. Clement’s law firm to withdraw from the case out of fear of negative press, restriction of access to top law schools for recruiting, and loss of clients. Instead of fulfilling their professional responsibilities to their client, the firm buckled — and didn’t even have the guts to admit why they were doing it.  In response, Mr. Clement resigned from the firm and will carry on his defense of DOMA with a new firm.

Interestingly, Mr. Clement’s old firm has given pro bono representation to suspected terrorists incarcerated in Guantanamo, but can’t get up the nerve to defend a duly-enacted statute defending the definition of marriage that has always been understood by our society, and that has been repeatedly upheld against constitutional challenge.

This is a glimpse into the future.  We will be seeing more and more of this kind of “soft persecution” of those who oppose same-sex “marriage” — we will be marginalized, stigmatized, and frozen out of public life and even professional work.  It will be a test of moral courage to see how people respond.

Once More Unto the Breach

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

The Governor of New York State has let it be known that he will soon begin to demolish the foundation of society.

Of course, he didn’t put it quite that way.  Instead, he promised to push for the passage of the so-called “Marriage Equality Act”, which would re-define marriage, which is the fundamental support of a healthy society.  The Governor is apparently not satisfied with the authentic meaning of marriage — a union of one man and one woman dedicated to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.  Instead, he wants to change it to mean something that it cannot — a union between persons of the same sex.

Several times in recent years, the State Assembly has passed the bill to re-define marriage, but it has only come up for a vote once in the Senate, where it was defeated in 2009.  But it has risen again, and it appears that the Governor will put some of his considerable political muscle behind it.

This, in a state where there is a marriage and family crisis — where 41% of births are out-of-wedlock, only 66% of households with children are headed by a married couple, and there are over 50,000 divorces in families with children under 18.  Now is hardly the time to re-define marriage, leaving people with the impression that it is all about adult satisfaction and not about children, and that children don’t need both a mother and a father who are in a stable, life-long relationship.

For more information about this critical issue, and how you can take action, visit the webpage of the Family Life/Respect Life Office.  There you can find resources to get the pro-marriage message into our parishes and communities, and to answer some of the common misconceptions about this issue.

Ultimately, we need to make clear that this is not about “equal rights” or “discrimination”. Same sex couples have the right to live as they wish, but nobody has the right to re-define marriage for all of society.  Please take action today to defend marriage.

Varia

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Two lawsuits have now been filed challenging NYC’s crisis pregnancy center law:  here and here.
  • Pro-lifers continue to make progress in state legislaturesSouth Dakota enacts a 72-hour waiting period that also requires a woman to receive counseling about alternatives, and Arizona moves forward on a ban on sex- and race-selection abortions.  New York, clueless as always, continues to mire in the Culture of Death.
  • A UN report shows that changing sexual attitudes and behavior — particularly reducing promiscuity and adultery — actually does reduce HIV transmission, as evidenced by the experience of Zimbabwe.  Apologies to the Holy Father (who was pilloried in the press for pointing this out) will no doubt be forthcoming.
  • The real (i.e., eugenic) effects of pre-natal testing can be found in the abortion rate for handicapped children.
  • When Illinois’ civil unions bill was being considered, Cardinal George warned that it would threaten Catholic programs, and was derided for it. Well, what do you know — he was right, and Catholic Charities will probably be forced out of the foster care field: .
  • Bishop Tobin of Providence calls for an end to “Catholic apathy” on the defense of marriage, and strongly denounces efforts to legalize same-sex “marriage”.
  • The Vatican is investing in a company that specializes in adult stem cell research.
  • There are substantial concerns about the new Irish coalition government, and its policies on life and marriage.
  • Scholars crunch the numbers and find that Christians who attend church actually divorce less often than those who don’t.
  • A very nice profile of Maria McFadden Maffucci, editor of the indispensable Human Life Review. She denies it, but she really is a pro-life “hero”.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Two Men from Illinois

    Thursday, February 24th, 2011

    On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln stood on the steps of the United States Capitol building and took the oath of office as President of the United States.  At that point, seven states had already voted to withdraw from the Union, and the beginning of hostilities loomed at Fort Sumter.  As he stood to address the nation, the new President was aware of the situation, and of his responsibilities.

    One of the goals of his Inaugural Address was to reassure the citizens of the southern states that he would faithfully enforce the laws of the United States, including those that recognized slavery.  Many in the South believed that Lincoln was a radical who would flout the laws — and violate his own oath of office — in order to advance his anti-slavery policy agenda.  Of particular interest to the southerners was Lincoln’s position on the Fugitive Slave Act, an evil law that required federal officials to return escaped slaves to their masters — a law that Lincoln bitterly opposed on principle.

    As Lincoln rose to speak, he was well aware that he was no longer just a politician, but he was the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, who had taken a solemn oath that he “will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

    Here is what Lincoln went on to say about the Fugitive Slave Act:

    I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.

    In short, Lincoln promised to put his own policy preferences aside, to fulfill his oath to uphold even laws that he found odious.   He promised to be faithful to the Constitutional obligations of the presidency, even though that upset the anti-slavery forces who elected him.  This episode is, in part, why Lincoln is considered one of our greatest presidents.

    Flash forward to the present day, and we find a very different situation.

    The issue of same-sex “marriage” divides our nation.  Five states have legalized it and two others (including New York) recognize out-of state “marriages”, but forty-four states refuse to recognize it or its equivalent (“civil unions” or “domestic partnerships”) by statute or constitution.  That’s a pretty broad consensus against the re-definition of marriage.

    In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act by overwhelming majorities, and President Clinton signed it into law.  This law provides that only marriages between one man and one woman will be recognized under federal law.  That law has been challenged, and a federal district court in Massachusetts found it to be unconstitutional.  That case is currently on appeal.

    Now, remember that the President of the United States is, under the Constitution, the chief executive officer of our government.  That means that it’s his constitutional duty to implement and defend the laws of the United States, when they are challenged.  It is not for him to decide which laws shall be implemented, and which shall not — he’s required to execute them all.

    Remember also that President Obama favors the legal recognition of same-sex “marriage”.  He’s not willing to say so explicitly now, but he did say it back when he was a State Senator in Illinois.   He claims that he’s “wrestling” with the issue, but nobody has any doubt about the outcome of that match, based on his statements on the campaign trail, and his record in office.

    So it really comes as little surprise that today he announced through his Justice Department that he has unilaterally decided that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, since it cannot, in his view, be supported by reasonable arguments.  As he intended, this decision has pleased to no end the “gay rights” movement, which has diligently supported him.

    Make sure you understand what has happened here.  The President of the United States has decided that there is no reasonable argument to support the authentic definition of marriage, and believes that a ban on recognition of same-sex “marriages” violates some hidden provision of the Constitution that only he properly understands.

    So, the President has directed the Justice Department not to defend the law in any further court challenges.  In other words, he has told executive branch employees that they should fail to do their duty.  Just as he has decided to refuse to do his.

    Of course, the President has decided to eat his cake and still have it too.  He also said that the Defense of Marriage Act would continue to be enforced.  Huh?  He is basically saying that he he considers a federal law to be invalid, that he will not defend it when it is attacked, but he will nevertheless implement it.   How precisely an executive agency will be able to enforce a law that their boss has declared to be invalid is a mystery.

    The only way that makes sense is that the President is begging for people to sue the federal government for the recognition of their same sex “marriages”, because he has already decided to surrender to them in court.  In other words, he wants to overturn the authentic definition of marriage, but he wants a court to do the deed, instead of using his political muscle to pass a law repealing it.

    The President should re-read Lincoln’s Inaugural Address again.  That’s how a statesman behaves in a time of great public controversy — by doing his sworn duty, even if he finds it distasteful, even if it will annoy his backers.

    There’s a different man from Illinois in the White House now, and a very different standard of constitutional integrity.

    Varia

    Sunday, February 13th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Live Action visited the Bronx Planned Parenthood clinic, and again the undercover video shows the clinic workers to be indifferent to sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.  (Please note that I have significant qualms about the morality of the practice of shooting these undercover videos.)
  • The claim is being made by Planned Parenthood and their media sock puppets that Live Action doctored the videos. Remember, this will be the theme you will hear forever in the objective media: “Live Action, which has been accused of doctoring videos…” Here’s Live Action’s crushing response.
  • If they did nothing wrong, then why is Planned Parenthood is re-training staff on how to report child sexual abuse?
  • Senate Democrats are rallying around the one cause in which they never, ever waver from their principles: retaining federal funding for abortion. And the Catholic former Speaker of the House is leading the fight to keep money flowing to the abortion industry.
  • The religious sister in charge of the Catholic Health Association, despite recently writing to the USCCB and acknowledging that the local bishop is the ultimate and definitive authority on moral medical ethics, but still says that she continues to disagree with Bishop Olmstead’s decision in the case of the Phoenix hospital. I always thought the phrase was, “Roma locuta, causa finita”.
  • A Catholic hospital in Chicago is offering help to women who in the midst of a multi-day second-trimester abortion — they’ll work to reverse the abortion. This is precisely why authentic Catholic health care is so important.
  • None of our “leaders” in Albany seem willing to defend marriage.  Our Governor says he will push to legalize same-sex “marriage”, and the leader of the allegedly pro-family party says that they’ll allow a vote in the State Senate.
  • The President announces a glitzy new educational initiative, a “Race to the Top” initiative. But Catholic schools aren’t allowed to enter the competition. Maybe it’s because they’d win, hands down.
  • Very sad to read how many parents discourage their daughters from a religious vocation.
  • Msgr. Charles Pope on diversity and unity in the Church. They call us “catholic” for a reason.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Sunday, February 6th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Probably the most shocking expose yet by Live Action of the appalling practices of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, this time covering up sex trafficking and child abuse.   This evil organization should be defunded.  Which is the purpose of a new website from a coalition of pro-life groups.
  • The pro-abortion forces are also getting desperate, resorting to lying about the content of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, claiming that it doesn’t protect underage women who are raped: .  In response to the lie, the bill’s sponsors are clarifying the language.  Um, given the track record of abortion clinics that overlook parental notice laws and statutory rape laws, isn’t there a wee bit of hypocrisy here?
  • At least one public official understands the correct response — the Governor of New Jersey vetoed a bill that funded Planned Parenthood.
  • On the other hand, the Administration is now considering whether the health care law gives them the authority to require all private health insurers to cover contraceptives.  Gasoline on the fire.
  • The clueless New York Times “analyzes” the reasons for the high abortion rate in New York City and finds that’s it all because of inadequate sex education and lack of access to contraceptives.  All the usual suspects were interviewed, no abstinence educator was contacted, no acknowledgment that abortion is being used as the birth control of last resort.  Nothing but the party line, as always.
  • A handy reminder that the Philadelphia abortionist — remember him? — is the exemplar for the state of abortion law in the United States.
  • Yet another study showing the benefits of marriage to health and longevity.
  • How porn normalizes the brutalization of women (warning — the article I include here is safely readable, but the one from the Atlantic Magazine that it links to is very, very graphic)
  • The highest constitutional court of France has declined to create a right to same-sex “marriage”.  I wonder if our judges who love to cite foreign law will take note of this.
  • Some foolish legislators like to target pregnancy support centers (like NYC’s City Council).  Others are smart enough to praise them, like South Dakota’s State Legislature.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Archbishop Dolan, in his role as President of the US Bishops, has written to Congress to lay out the Bishops’ legislative concerns.
  • Must-read of the week — Kathryn Jean Lopez reflects on the reaction to the Tuscon shootings, and why we still countenance violence against the most innocent among us.  Here’s how she closes: “Abortion is a violence we should open our eyes to see and stop rather than keeping quiet and accepting it. It’s one that a civil society can work to stop. Peacefully, with love and support.”
  • Excellent rebuttal of the “lazy slander” against pro-lifers, that we only care about babies before they’re born, and do nothing to help mothers afterwards.
  • Two fine opinion pieces today about NYC’s tragically high abortion rate:  one by former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin in the NY Post and another by Bill McGurn in the Wall St. Journal.
  • Well, the House GOP leaders have made their statement by voting to repeal the health care law.  Now it’s time to make a difference by defunding abortion.
  • In a further step along the way to the compete commodification of human life, rich clueless celebrities who buy the services of surrogate mothers are now denying their humanity, calling them “gestational carriers”.
  • Our Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers on the Supreme Court have declined to hear the Washington DC same-sex “marriage” case — you know, the one where “We the People” were trying to get the issue on the ballot so that democracy could have a say on the law, but a panel of bureaucrats decided that the “We the People” should go into the corner and be quiet?
  • Sargent Shriver, perhaps the last of the old-line Catholic, pro-life Democrats, has passed into eternal life.  One of the good guys.  Rest in peace.
  • Eduardo Verastegui — the unfairly-handsome actor from the pro-life movie “Bella” — is going to finance the building of the largest pro-life women’s clinic in the United States, in Los Angeles.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Monday, January 10th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • An overview of the national campaign to shut down pregnancy support centers.  For more information on what’s happening here in New York City with the New York City Council bill that targets pregnancy centers, see here.
  • Ross Douthat, in the Times, reflects on the paradox in American culture when it comes to the unborn child.  His closing line says it all: “This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed.”
  • Here’s the Times’ formula for marriage — it’s all about me, how you make me feel, how much “self-expansion” I find in our relationship (and they’re not talking about my waistline!).  You can even take a quiz to see how selfish, er, I mean “self-expansive” your attitude towards your marriage is.  Me + me + me + me + me = Unhappiness + Divorce.
  • The impending GOP effort to repeal the health care law piecemeal will likely include a new attempt at banning abortion funding.
  • A profile of the new pro-life members of Congress.  80 of the 87 new GOP House members are pro-life.  And here’s an interview with Chris Smith, pro-life hero in Congress.
  • Strong anti-porn article in the New York Daily News.
  • More proof, this time from Spain, that the availability and use of contraception does not reduce abortion, since abortion is being used as the contraceptive of last resort.
  • Justice Scalia repeats his position that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion.  The Justice is certainly not a Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Ruler, but he is a dedicated legal positivist, and believes that if legislatures pass laws authorizing the killing of human beings, that’s perfectly fine with the Constitution — despite its guarantee of equal protection of law to all persons.
  • In announcing his “transformational plan for a new New York”, our Governor made sure to find space for a call to pass the radical Reproductive Health Act and to legalize same-sex “marriage”.  Start contacting your legislators.
  • Those enlightened, tolerant souls over at Apple Corp continue to rebuff the Manhattan Declaration (the interfaith statement of religious commitment to life, marriage, and religious liberty) by rejecting their app for the iPhone.  Apple, which is happy to receive the money of Christians for their gadgets, calls the Manhattan Declaration “objectionable and potentially harmful to others” because of its opposition to same-sex “marriage”.  If you haven’t signed the Declaration yet, please consider doing so, and please sign their petition to Apple.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Thursday, December 30th, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a statement regarding the Holy Father’s comment about condoms.  In essence — there were no changes in Church teaching, as any attentive reader would already have understood.
  • Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix revoked the Catholic status of a hospital that approved an abortion (and which has been involved in cooperation with contraception, sterilization and abortion in other cases) and that refused to acknowledge the bishop’s authority to oversee their compliance with Catholic ethics.  Story and Bishop’s Olmstead’s full statement.
  • Rather than humbly submitting to the judgment of the Bishop, the Catholic Health Association has once again wounded unity in the Church by siding with the hospital against the Bishop.  Amazing, since the Ethical and Religious Directives, which is cited as authoritative by CHA, gives the ultimate moral authority to the diocesan Bishop, not to CHA or to the hospital.
  • More facts about the situation, directly from Bishop Olmstead.  For those who want the Canon Law side of the story, check out this analysis.
  • One of the tactics of the same-sex “marriage” movement is to brand us all as “haters”.  The strategy is to “marginalize, privatize, anathematize”.
  • Meanwhile, this headline says it all: “Obama ‘wrestling’ with same-sex marriage”.  Yeah, as if the outcome of that wrestling match is really in doubt.
  • It appears that Sonia Sotomayor is now a leader of the “liberal wing” of our Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers on the Supreme Court.  This will, no doubt, become even more evident when the first abortion or “same-sex marriage” case reaches Mount Olympus.
  • A Ugandan Archbishop decries child sacrifice, which is rampant in that troubled nation.  The Cult of Moloch lives on.
  • Speaking of the demon and his devotees, the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, has ejected one of its chapters because they didn’t want to perform abortions.  Oh, but they’re just “pro-choice”, not “pro-abortion”, right?
  • While the Cult of Moloch continues to say that crisis pregnancy centers mislead pregnant girls, check out Kathryn Jean Lopez’s piece on the MTV show “16 and Pregnant”, and you’ll understand how our culture and the abortion industry consistently and blatantly lie to pregnant women.
  • Some useful advice from scientists — really.  If you want your relationship to survive, make sure you speak about “we”, instead of “you and me”.  You could also follow their advice delay sex until marriage, which can strengthen your relationship.
  • What do men want more than anything else from the women in their lives?  To be admired.   Here’s the other side of the story — what women want is to be loved by a man they admire.  Now that’s an agenda for a good marriage.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Sunday, December 19th, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • More responses to Time Magazine’s slander against the Holy Father from Tom Peters, Fr. Zuhlsdorf and Kathryn Jean Lopez.   For my response, see below.
  • An appalling story on the international surrogate parent business — a gross example of the objectification of the human person as an economic commodity, and the commercial and emotional exploitation of the poor and the desperate.
  • I typically refer to the pro-abortion movement as the “Cult of Moloch” because of its religious adherence to the sacrifice of children.  Here is a scary account by a former clinic worker, who relates that the clinic in which she worked was pervaded with the occult and looked upon abortion as a form of sacrifice.  On the positive side, this same woman credits prayer witness outside of the clinic as being instrumental in her conversion.
  • Speaking of the death-cult, Planned Parenthood has released its annual report, and once again the numbers are jarring.  $363 million in federal funding.  324,000 abortions (a 6% increase over the previous year) and only 9,400 adoption referrals. Another $700 million spent on spreading contraception and abortion internationally.  Time to defund the billion-dollar Murder Incorporated.  Joint the fight.
  • And, if you want to see the real-world effect of the work by the Temple of Moloch, read about the creeping genocide that is resulting from the high rates of abortion among blacks and Hispanics in New York City.
  • The new political climate, and the results of the November’s elections, means that key new GOP House leaders are likely to push for restrictions on federal funding for abortion.
  • Same-sex “marriage” advocates are gearing up for the battle in New York next year. See here and here.
  • If you want a glimpse into the Strange New World, check out this review of a book about “polyamory” (romantic/sexual relationships with multiple partners).  Coming soon to a “right to privacy” near you.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez examines two competing views of the role of religion in public life: Sarah Palin’s v. John Kennedy’s.  See also Rick Santorum on the same issue.
  • The European Court of Human Rights decided a major abortion case this week, in a challenge to Ireland’s pro-life laws.  The court did not invent a fundamental right to abortion, but  did rule against some parts of Ireland’s pro-life legislation,  which undermines the abilities of nations to restrict abortion.
  • A heartrending story about a funeral held for babies who were stillborn, and whose bodies were abandoned in hospitals, the “unwanted dead”.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)