Archbishop Piero Marini
Former papal master of ceremonies (Archbishop Piero Marini, NOT to be confuses with current MC Monsignor Guido Marini) made a bold statement in the press. "It is necessary to recognize the union of persons of the same sex, because there are many couples that suffer because their civil rights aren’t recognized. What can’t be recognized is that this union is equivalent to marriage."
I respectfully but vigorously DISAGREE with his excellency. It is true that ALL human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation/inclination have by virtue of their HUMAN PERSONHOOD basic human rights. These rights come from their human nature and are not given or bestowed by any state or government. The right to life, the most basic and foundational of all, begins at the moment of conception. From that right comes our other human rights, such as the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom to address wrongs, and the right to access of basic human necessities (food, clothing, shelter, employment, education, medical treatment).
All individual PERSONS have rights but not all ideologies, agendas, platforms, philosophies, policies, etc. have equal rights or equal veracity. Some are based on reality and truth, others are based on false, erroneous assumptions, wrong conclusions and distorted perspectives. A racist has human rights but racism has no rights whatsoever. No individual and no society is obliged to recognize let alone condone or tolerate ideologies which contradict truth, threaten the common good or violate the Natural Moral Law. Hence, an abortionist has human rights but abortion itself and the idea that abortion is a viable option enjoys no protection and has no right to be treated as equal with the position of the right to life of the unborn.
There are no black rights and white rights; men's rights and women's rights; gay rights and straight rights. There are just HUMAN RIGHTS. Marriage is a natural institution which existed BEFORE the church and before the state. It is the foundation and cornerstone of the FAMILY which is in turn the keystone of both church and state. Society and civilization depend on the family and de facto depend on marriage.
Recognizing civil unions is wrong not just for moral reasons but for metaphysical ones as well. If the secular legal authorities can recognize and treat as equal both traditional marriage and gay civil unions, then that same authority can and must by logic and reason recognize polygamous and incestuous unions as well. If the natural estate of marriage can be redefined and reinvented in one aspect (to move from the restriction of only opposite gender unions to include same gender unions), it opens the door and even mandates that the other restrictions be eliminated as well. So, from one man + one woman = marriage moves to include two men or two women, then there is nothing stopping multiple spouses so that it becomes one man + many wives or one woman and many husbands. It also means that the state cannot outlaw a brother from marrying his sister, a parent marrying their child, and so forth.
Then what about couples who live together who are not married? Why should they be penalized for not having a civil license? Why not have a license for concubinage and cohabitation? Don't couples who live and sleep together have rights? YES, as persons, they have rights but cohabitation and concubinage has no rights. Likewise, persons with a homosexual orientation or inclination has the same human rights as all human beings, but they do not have a right to reinvent marriage anymore than a polygamist does.
Rights are not the same as privileges, however. Married couples have certain privileges, as do parents, since society benefits and depends on marriage and the family. Individuals retain their inalienable rights but these two estates, marriage and family, must be protected and supported with some reasonable privileges and benefits to encourage individual persons to consider both.
No human being should ever be treated disrespectfully nor with hostility, ever. Unjust discrimination is a sin and is a crime because it is evil. At the same time, not all human activity or ideas are of equal value. Not all promote the common good and some, in fact, threaten it. If two unmarried heterosexual or two homosexuals persons live together, there is little the law can do and no one should threaten their lives or safety. They should be treated with respect but living in sin does not. Sex outside of marriage is fornication. It is immoral and sinful. Neither should society reward sinful behavior by granting privileges but treat them like all individuals. Two individuals living together are as much human as a married man living with his wife but the former is not a protected estate while the latter is. Human rights cannot be denied but not all human relationships or living arrangements have equal protection. We must separate PERSON from IDEOLOGY. That is not being mean, nasty, bigoted or prejudiced. It is being natural and traditional. What if a group of persons living in the same neighborhood just declared to everyone else: 'we are a separate state' or 'we are a separate nation.' Would the US government, the commonwealth (or state) or the world have to recognize it? Just saying something is does not make it so. Calling a relationship marriage does not make it a marriage.
"But they just want to be happy." or "they're good people." Both can be very true statements, but individual happiness and personal goodness do not define reality. We must conform to reality, reality does not conform to us (solipsism). It is like a man declaring he is now a woman. Biologically you are either male or female, but some in society want to allow people to redefine themselves, even their gender. I cannot change my human nature so that now I am an animal or a plant. We call some people vegetables but that is an oxymoron. Human beings are a physical body and an immaterial soul (which is a rational intellect united with a free will). We cannot remake ourselves into angels and angels cannot become men. Marriage cannot be reinvented or redefined, either. Society has a vested interest, not just the Church and religion, but the state and civil government as well, in protecting and promoting traditional marriage. Obviously, there will be people who freely choose to live together without being married. Some freely choose to have children outside of marriage as well. That is their choice but we must reward, defend, protect and promote traditional marriage and traditional family, not just as another option but as the norm and ideal. It will not be 100% but the common good warrants that we honor and cherish it as a goal to aspire and not just a simple choice. Children deserve to born and raised in a loving family where mom and dad are husband and wife so that BOTH genders positively influence and educate and form them. Exceptions should be just that, exceptions and not mere alternatives.
I think we can and must have a civil, polite, respectful and rational debate and discussion. Not a diatribe and nothing with anger, hostility or animosity. Those who disagree with us are not monsters nor are we. I just fear that compromise is not always the best solution. If we keep to the one basic truth that all human being have basic human rights, we can differentiate rights from privileges. Unfortunately, the pro-abortion supporters content they have reproductive rights. No, there are human rights, period, and the right to life is not subservient to any other right, privilege or alternate lifestyle. Likewise, marriage is a natural institution which is not open for redesign or being cloned.