News broke yesterday that on June 6, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that a Wisconsin law defining marriage discriminates against same-sex couples. Crabb’s ruling countered a referendum passed in 2006 by a majority vote. The referendum defined civil marriage as a union oif one man an done woman, stating that legal statuses identical or similar marriage would not be recognized by the state.
Immediately thereafter, county clerks throughout Wisconsin began jumping on the bandwagon to destroy the sanctity of marriage by granting marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in their counties. This all transpired, mind you, in spite of the fact that most Wisconsinites do not want marriage tampered with in their state, including yours truly.
When I watched the evening news last night, I was angered, disappointed, and saddened by the self-satisfied air of District Judge Crabb, and her matter-of-fact claim that she has the right to pass judgment on God’s law. Worse was a similar attitude in the country clerks interviewed by the news team. Even if we take out the religion factor (which we really can’t but I’m doing it for the sake of argument), the majority of Wisconsin residents do not want same-sex marriage legalized in their state. So much for democracy in Wisconsin.
This morning, I was delighted to see a CNA news story highlighting comments from Madison, Wisconsin Bishop Robert C. Morlino, expressing his disappointment and concern over the future of the family in our country. He warns that this is yet another warning sign that the fundamental basis of society – the family – is in danger.
What I like even more it Bishop Morlino’s strong stance against same-sex marriage and his pledge to “…continue to speak strongly about the truth and beauty of marriage and encourage my brother priests and deacons, and all the lay faithful, to do the same.”
Go, Bishop Morlino!!
Although I try to keep track, I’m often unable to remember which states have legalized same-sex marriage and which have not. If you’re living in one of the former, you have my condolences. If you’re living in one of the latter, you are very fortunate and I beg you to stand even firmer for the dignity of marriage in your state.
I want to pause for a brief disclaimer here, because I do want to point out that I’m not bashing gays and lesbians. I adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church which says:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (CCC 2358)
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (CCC 2359)
That being said, I ask you to join me in praying for our own families and for families throughout our country. We need grace, strength, and conviction to whether the storm that seeks to tear us apart. I like this prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers. Some years ago, we received a copy as a gift from then-Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan. Our family has found it to be an absolute treasure (not only because of the giver, but especially for its content.) Will you pray the prayer with me?We bless your name, O Lord,
for sending your own incarnate Son,
to become part of a family,
so that, as he lived its life,
he would experience its worries and its joys. We ask you, Lord,
to protect and watch over this family [and all the families of our country], so that in the strength of your grace
its members may enjoy prosperity,
possess the priceless gift of your peace,
and, as the Church alive in the home,
bear witness in this world to your glory. We ask this thought Christ our Lord.
—from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.