For the past three days my Facebook newsfeed has been a sea of red equal signs. It has been nearly impossible for me to tell who is posting what, simply because everyone has the same avatar. I understand why. The issue before the Supreme Court this week is monumental, and one that has the potential for enormous change here in our country: the issue of gay marriage. It is a polarizing issue, and one advocate feels compelled to scream public support for. "No H8!" and "Marriage equality for all!" has been shouted at me in all caps. I've remained relatively silent on this issue, mostly because I don't want the public lynching. You see, I hold the totally un-cool position of being against gay marriage.
Hear me out
Now, before you start Googling my home address and lighting your torches, my position is much more nuanced then those three words. I actually take little issue with same-sex civil unions being recognized legally, and frankly I don't feel the government needs to be all that involved. If two dudes (or two chicks) want to apply for a license, pay the money, buy the white dress (or dresses, or tuxes or whatever), then far be it from me (or the federal government) to tell them they can't. Legally? I don't care one way or the other. Civil union away, gay folks.
Why I oppose gay marriage
Philosophically however, gay marriage is a whole different issue to me. I am Catholic. I follow Catholic doctrine and believe Church teachings. I wasn't raised Catholic — I just converted in 2011 — and the journey that led me to God and this religion was long, researched and prayerful. I mention this because there is this overwhelming belief that Catholics are lemmings, blindly following what they have been taught since infancy. I came to Catholicism as an adult, only after considering all Christian religions and deciding the Catholic Church's unbroken apostolic teachings were the most authentic.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, marriage is "the lifelong partnership... between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children." It is one of the seven holy sacraments, and the only sacrament entered into with another person. It exists essentially for two reasons — as a visible expression of God's love for us, visible daily in the love between husband and wife, and to allow spouses to receive the supreme gift of marriage, a true expression of their love, a child. That's it. Because of this definition, gay couples cannot be married. Their bodies do not have the capability to work together towards the common task of procreation. For me the issue is just that simple.
Gay marriage doesn't threaten my marriage
I won't be upset if the Supreme Court legalizes gay "marriage." I won't feel threatened, as though my entire way of life is at stake. My truth is still my truth, marriage will still hold the same definition to me and a government decision won't change that in any way. I do have two concerns though: I don't want to see the Catholic Church forced to perform (or even recognize) the ceremony. Within the church there are several levels of marriage, and I don't want to see a legal civil union raised to the level of a "valid” or "sacramental" Catholic marriage.
And I'm curious how some insurance issues would be handled. If a married gay person was employed by the Catholic Church, I'm assuming their spouse would legally have to be covered (unless all spouses were excluded). With that coverage, would it also apply to paying for non-traditional methods of achieving pregnancy (which the Church opposes)? Current trends with the recent HHS mandate imply that it would, in the same way that the Church is being required to provide birth control and abortion coverage. If that is the case, then religious freedom would be at stake.
Having said all of that, I have two sons. One (or both) may very well grow up to be gay. If they are, I will still love them as perfectly and as passionately as I do now. If they were to find love and want to marry, I imagine I would want them to have that ability legally. But for now, I'll leave my profile pic as it is: a picture of the love exchanged between my husband and I, and not a big red equal sign.