2012 / Religion / LGBTQITSLFA
Head of Seattle Prep—"Seattle's Jesuit High School Since 1891"—Endorses Marriage Equality, Urges Voters to Approve R-74
by Dan Savage
on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM
From a post that went up today on the President's Blog at Seattle Prep's website:
I am committed to conservatism: I am more conservative on social issues than is the norm in the Pacific Northwest. I believe interpretations of our Constitution should preserve the original intent of our Founding Fathers. And my worldview is grounded in Catholic faith tradition. It is for these reasons that I support Washington’s gay marriage law....
The crux of the issue is a fundamentally different understanding between the Church hierarchy and most lay Catholics regarding the basic purpose of marriage. The bishops clearly and repeatedly state that the primary purpose of marriage is reproduction. And, if this basic premise is accepted, it does logically follow that there is no place for gay marriage for obvious biological reasons. But reproduction is not the primary purpose of marriage. It perhaps was during the time of ancient Israel when high infant mortality rates and threats to tribal existence demanded multiple births. We, however, do not live in that time. The primary purpose of marriage today is found in the Genesis creation stories, especially the second one: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (Gn. 2:24)
For those more inclined to divining truth from modern day mythology than Scripture, I suggest watching the first 10 minutes of the Pixar film, Up. A couple that desires children experiences deep loss and sadness when they find out that they cannot conceive. But does that make their marriage any less of a marriage? When a couple practices birth control (natural of course) while having sex, are they less married at those times than when sperm is free to encounter egg? And are married couples who choose to not have children really not married couples after all?
The answer to these questions is, of course, a resounding “no.” That’s because the primary purpose of marriage is unitive, not procreative. It is the union that makes the marriage sacramental. Marriage, in and of itself and regardless of the presence of children, is a path to God.
Kent Hickey is the president of Seattle Prep. You can—and should—read his entire letter here. (Via Slog commenter Mr. Barky.)