Just asking--could we stop talking past each other?
Last week’s March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. brought same-sex marriage into the forefront of social media discussions, from Facebook profile pictures to quick-fire Twitter arguments. What is so frustrating about this debate is that the two sides seem to talk right past each other.
Consider one exchange wherein I tweeted, “Marriage isn’t a ‘requirement’ to procreate, but every kid biologically has a mom & dad & deserves to know and be loved by them.” One actively homosexual man tweeted back “I don’t disagree but where is your concern for all the straight people shirking that responsibility?” Here, I am addressing how a baby born through sperm/egg donation to a homosexual couple will be purposefully deprived of having one of his or her biological parents in the picture. The man with whom I was conversing is talking about how there are problems with heterosexual couples, too. In this exchange, we are not tackling the same question. How are we ever supposed to reach a consensus?
At the March for Marriage, Archbishop Cordileone reminded us that there are a lot of people with goodwill on both sides of this debate (though it is only logical that they both cannot be correct). He said,
It is difficult to take the Archbishop’s words to heart, however, when this debate is an emotionally charged one for so many people. Whether we think that marriage is being further eroded in our country or whether we feel that we or someone we know “deserves the right” to be married to someone of the same-sex, this is not an exercise in debate club, but an issue of momentous significance to our nation. It is for this reason that I rarely, if ever, have had the opportunity ask sincere questions of same-sex marriage advocates.
I firmly believe in marriage as defined by the Church and want to see natural marriage upheld. However, I do not think same-sex marriage advocacy came out of the blue. It is, rather, the natural progression from a culture that already supports no-fault divorce, limitless contraception, abortion, and other practices that are contrary to the true unitive and life-giving purposes of marriage. My aforementioned tweeting companion expressed the common mentality when he said that procreation and marriage do not have to be linked. His position is understandable considering the state of marriage in our nation for the last fifty years.
The following are several questions that I would ask without guile to intelligent, well-meaning advocates of homosexual marriage. Perhaps the answers would give me more insight into why they are fighting for something that seems illogical to me and, conversely, perhaps my questions would give them more insight into why I stand to defend a traditional definition of marriage.
- Rights. Advocates discuss the right to get married a lot. What is not discussed much at all is the rights of children involved. While not every same-sex couple will use sperm or egg donation to have children, many will. When a life is created in this way, a child is being purposefully deprived of their biological father or mother. This is different than adoption, when adoptive parents choose to adopt a child who is already parentless. How do you see a child’s rights in circumstances such as these? Do you see any worth in a child growing up with his or her biological parents?