Supreme Court's Obergefell decision is a chance to start from a clean slate, Bill May Insists
For William B. May, it is just beginning.
May, who has been fighting in this area since the days of California’s Proposition 8, says it’s now time to stop defending marriage. As the Supreme Court, in his words, eliminated
from the law "the only civil institution that is specifically geared for uniting kids with their moms and dads," he says it’s time to reintroduce the true concept of marriage to a society that has lost sight of it by being fed a steady stream of false premises.
Catholics for the Common Good,
May is the author of Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue. He spoke with Aleteia Friday, after the Court issued its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, about
he Marriage Reality Movement,
an initiative, he says, that has been eight years in the making, "all with the anticipation that this day would come."
What are your thoughts about the decision?
In a way, there’s a grace from this decision because we won’t have to oppose same-sex marriage anymore. We can get about the business of reintroducing marriage to the culture and to society, starting from the very beginning.
We won’t have to oppose same-sex marriage anymore? What do you mean?
What the court did was essentially eliminate from the law the only civil institution that is specifically geared for uniting kids with their moms and dads. And in doing so they made it discriminatory to teach children that there’s any unique value for men and women marrying before having children. So while all the attention is focused on the outrageousness of the decision, we have to give attention to the right of future children to be born into a family with their moms and dads united in marriage, as the Church teaches, and the right of our own children to discover the truth about love, sexuality, marriage and family, because that affects the decisions that they make in life. Who wants their children to grow up to be single parents and their grandchildren to be deprived of married mothers and fathers? But this is what the court is helping to facilitate by completely severing marriage from the rights of children to be born into it.
As the Church teaches, for every human right, there is a corresponding duty, and our duty is to really help our children understand, help our society understand, help young people understand how important it is to make the choice to marry before having children. And the Supreme Court has redefined marriage as an adult-centered institution that has nothing to do with children and families unless somebody chooses to connect it themselves. And today fewer and fewer people are making the connection.
Until now, the goal for most people has been to keep same-sex couples from marrying, but really the most important thing is protecting our children from corrupted ideas about love, sexuality, marriage and family. …
Roe v. Wade obliterated the right of unborn children to be born. This decision obliterated the right of children to be born into a family with their own married mother and father. We cannot rest until that injustice is corrected and that marriage reality is once again recognized as a priveleged institution that unites children with their own moms and dads. If we focus on that, everything else will take care of itself. …
Our problem is that we’ve been emphasizing what’s essential to marriage, but what’s essential to marriage isn’t particular to marriage anymore, and people just can’t distinguish it. But the only thing that’s particular to marriage is the fact that when it’s recognized by the law, by religions or by the man and woman who chooses to enter into it, it becomes the sole institution that unites kids with their moms and dads. This is Church teaching from the Catechism.