Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Same-Sex "Marriage"/Contraception Link

A friend sent me a link to a very interesting article that led me to think more about same-sex “marriage” in conjunction with the contraceptive mindset of our society.

On his blog “Father Talks Too Fast”, Fr. Faulkner addresses the question of same-sex “marriage” in an engaging and creative way  [sorry...I've been alerted that Fr. Faulkner's post was removed in obedience to his bishop. Update: Fr. Faulkner has assured me that the excerpt I have quoted is not erroneous or under question in any way by his bishop.]. I’ve heard parts of the argument put this way before, but not as clearly as Fr. Faulkner presents it. I highly recommend reading the whole article; it makes you think!

Here’s an excerpt (my emphases throughout):
The other counterpoint to a Natural Law "societal good" argument is that a lesbian couple may be just as good of a societal building block as a straight couple. The classic refutation would be: "Perhaps so, but the lesbian pairing doesn't make and rear children, so there's not the reason to privilege it." The immediate response would be that they could get inseminated or adopt. The rejoinder to that will be that since their union doesn't produce the children, the state still doesn't have the same interest. The obvious rebuff to this will be that, then, infertile straight couples should not be considered married. To which the reply would probably be, "Yes, but to grant a privilege to a couple that should likely be fertile (and later on could still be) and then take it away from them is quite different from granting a privilege to a couple that can never be fertile." This is probably enough to convince some on the fence, but not all, nor will it likely convince the staunch same-sex advocate.

This is the most common, and, I think, a pretty darn compelling argument for states enshrining faithful, permanent, childbearing marriage in a protected (and exclusive) status. Religious and non-religious alike have argued it for years. [A recent, much-crisper version of this argument from an economist's point of view comes from
Adam Kolasinski at MIT.] The argument it reasonable, does not rest on bigotry, nor on religiously-revealed truths, nor does it address anything other than civil marriage.

And up until about two years ago, I thought it answered the question, and was exactly what the one man-one woman camp needed to use to get over the accusation of trying to make this an imposition of religious moral views.

But while I still believe the above argument is utterly valid in theory, I don't think it remotely works in America in 2012. It may have been valid in 1950, but not now. The reason is simple: America is not a country dedicated to preserving marriages or forming children within those families. Given that abortion and no-fault divorce are enshrined rights, and that contraception and sterilization are the sine qua non of the "modern family", it's ridiculous to say that civil marriage exists for the procreation, formation, and welfare of children, or that the U.S. values the family as the firm bedrock on which our society rests.

I think Fr. Faulkner is on to something here; he goes on to suggest that the civil marriage should just be abolished – but read his whole post before you scream, “Whaaaaat?!?!” He has some good points.

Regarding the contraception-homosexual “marriage” link, in the comments section of his post, Fr. Faulkner adds the following observation:

A great summary of Lambeth's essential role in this comes from Mary Eberstadt in "The Vindication of Humanae Vitae" in First Things, Aug/Sep 2008:

"By giving benediction in 1930 to its married heterosexual members purposely seeking sterile sex, the Anglican Church lost, bit by bit, any authority to tell her other members—married or unmarried, homosexual or heterosexual—not to do the same. To put the point another way, once heterosexuals start claiming the right to act as homosexuals, it would not be long before homosexuals start claiming the rights of heterosexuals."

Get that? “Purposely seeking sterile sex”.  That doesn’t mean just “artificial contraception”, when you think about it. It can refer to any type of birth control, including NFP, where couples purposely seek sterile sex during the woman’s infertile times and purposely avoid procreative sex during the fertile days. (Yes, I know it’s a licit practice…if there are “serious reasons”.)

Just sayin’.

See also: Is "Sex" A Gift From God?
                Notre Dame, Contraception, and NFP


  1. Nice post Dr. Jay! It seems that only the RCC can enter the debate with integrity of teaching since it hasn't changed its teaching. Also, it seems to me that the discussion on same-sex marriage and homosexuality needs to be discussed in the context of the Church's overall teaching on sexuality. The focus being on chastity. And, it is a teaching that is applied for all people. IOW, if the church is guilty of bigotry against homosexuals in its teaching (which it is not) then it is also equally guilty of bigotry towards me-a single heterosexual. As the church's teaching on sexuality applies to me it would be easy to reject it if I wanted. In fact, my fallen nature wants to reject the church's teaching on sexuality as it relates to me. It is truly the grace of God through Jesus that gives me any chance of practicing this teaching. So, in short, the teaching is difficult for anybody. This should be stressed more imho.


  2. Great comment, Pat! I agree about the focus being on chastity, too - that is a direction I want to go in my next post on this topic.

  3. Excellent post! God help us; it does seem we've gone so far down the wrong road regarding sexuality, and now we wonder why we must face the issue of same sex marriage. Thought provoking stuff.

    I will note that Fr. Faulkner deleted his post, he says in obedience.

  4. Thanks for that info, Christina.

  5. I like this concept. I visited your blog for the first time and just been your fan. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday.


Please be courteous and concise.