The Pope and Civil Unions

Well. This pope continues to amaze!

Yesterday, in a really startling development of prudential judgment (not doctrine) for the Church, the Holy Father made a call for civil unions for gay folk:

In a documentary that premiered Wednesday in Rome, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples, departing from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office and the pope’s predecessors on the issue.

The remarks came amid a portion of the documentary that reflected on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film, of his approach to pastoral care.

After those remarks, and in comments likely to spark controversy among Catholics, Pope Francis weighed in directly on the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”

The remarks come in “Francesco,” a documentary on the life and ministry of Pope Francis which premiered Oct. 21 as part of the Rome Film Festival, and is set to make its North American premiere on Sunday.

The film chronicles the approach of Pope Francis to pressing social issues, and to pastoral ministry among those who live, in the words of the pontiff, “on the existential peripheries.”

I’m surprised by this development, not because it is heterodox (it’s not) but because, well, I just figured he had enough on his plate and would not be courting more controversy what with being a very old man who is already locked in mortal combat with a whole bunch of enemies who will only seize on this perfectly orthodox prudential judgment to smite him hip and thigh.

But as is characteristic for this good, brave man, he is putting the common good and the dignity of the human person ahead of his own comfort and letting the chips fall where they may.

So, first things first. Here is what this development is not. It is not (and cannot be, by the nature of the Catholic theology of marriage) a signal that the Church is going to bless gay sacramental unions. It is not a statement about the sacrament of marriage at all.

What then is it?

It is a reaffirmation that before we speak of gay human beings as gay human beings, it is necessary to really acknowledge that they are human beings, made in the image and likeness of God and having, therefore, the rights proper to human beings.

“But… they’re gay! They have to accept the Church’s teaching that being gay is wrong! He’s selling the Faith down the river! He is a heretic! I knew it!”

Let’s slow down.

Note how much of a hurry this line of attack is in to ignore the basic point the Holy Father is making: that gay humans are human. In the hurry to tell gays what is wrong with them and fix them and tell them they are bad and wrong and sinful, such lines of attack (and that is what they are–attacks) pay only the merest lip service to what the Church regards as the fundamental fact about not just gays, but all people: that they are made in image and likeness of God. Let’s stay with that fact for a while and not hurry past it.

Human beings, made in the image and likeness of God are “the only creatures on earth that God has willed for its own sake” according to the Church (Gaudium et Spes). This means that humans do not exist to serve some other system–including some ecclesial or theological system.

As human beings, gay people have certain rights. Among these, as the pope is stating clearly, are the right to love who they love, to live where and with who they wish, and to share their property as they see fit.

Now it is true that the Church teaches that homogenital sexual relations are contrary to human dignity. It does not, however, teach that “being gay is wrong”. It is, in fact, silent and agnostic on the origins of sexual orientation.

So in fact, the Church’s doctrinal teaching here is pretty circumscribed: homogenital sex is a sin. Much of the rest of it comes down to prudential judgment, which is what Francis is talking about.

Now prudential judgment is about how best, not whether, to implement the Church’s teaching. What Francis is doing here is addressing that. And what he is saying is that the prudent thing–the thing that has in mind the good of the person who is gay–is that Caesar should protect the rights of that person as of any person to love who they love, to live where and with whom they wish, and to share their property as they see fit. Attempts to attack that wound their dignity as human beings.

What he is not doing (and cannot do) is changing the sacrament of marriage. The reason he cannot do that is the same reason he cannot baptize with beer or consecrate Twinkies and Seven Up as the Eucharist. The Church cannot change the matter of the sacraments. The matter of the sacrament of Marriage is one man and one woman.

Francis gets what many Catholics refuse to get: gay people are human beings, not enemies. Christ died for them too. As I have said from the start of his papacy, everything you need to know about him is summed up in the words, “He has preached good news to the poor”. He is not concerned to defend Fortress Katolicus from assault. His confidence in the gospel is more solid than that. Reactionaries freaking out at him have so little trust in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church that they believe God died and put them in charge of saving the Church from the Pope. He has left the Fortress and gone into the highways and byways to gather in those who have been forgotten by the ones huddling in the Fortress and pulling up the drawbridges.

The core mistake of the Righteous (and one in which I, mea culpa, participated in for years) is that they have a long and ever-growing checklist of things that everybody around them have to accept and do before they will accept them as human. Gays are at the top of that list and for many of the Righteous, no gay person will ever be truly acceptable to God, by which they mean themselves.

But the gospel does not start by demanding that people who, often, have no reason to even believe Jesus is the Son of God have to live out some rigorous (and heavily edited to suit MAGA wealth, power, and prejudice) moral code they see no reason to believe is anything but the private fetish of MAGA Catholics. It starts with the love of God and respect for the dignity of each person, including gay persons. In authentic Catholic faith, people come to embrace the high and hard moral teachings of Jesus because they first embrace Jesus as the risen Son of God and the lover of their souls.

What is Francis doing here? He respecting gay persons, because Jesus respects gay persons and he is trying to show them Jesus. He is building bridges of trust and refusing to pull up drawbridges of fear like the guardians of Fortress Katolicus.

Thank God for him through Christ our Lord!

“We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong. We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.” – G.K. Chesterton


33 Responses

  1. Sad that the Pope has to spend so much time trying to encourage Catholics to be decent human beings and treat others with dignity.

  2. “What he is not doing (and cannot do) is changing the sacrament of marriage.” In fact, he is not speaking about marriage at all, whether sacramental or natural. A natural marriage can be elevated to a sacrament by baptism of the married. What he is speaking of could never be elevated to a sacrament at all. He is merely speaking of some kind of civil partnership. I don’t think he should, but whatever.

    1. ALL LEGAL marriages arecivil partnerships, without exception, just about everywhere in the world.

      Many Christians who consider marriage a sacrament for heterosexuals think the same thing for their gay parishioners.

  3. Wow! A column all about little old me! I will have a lot to say about it, but later. In the course of losing touch with my humanity, according to Cardinal George, I have to spend a lot of time today taking care of one of my best and oldest friends in the world, who has dementia. If I understood cardinal George correctly, that makes me just like the KuKluxKlan, or sumpin.

    I will make a prediction, though I could be wrong about this. This is going to be a column with a huge load of responses, probably more than your abortion columns. Nothing seems to get people of a certain bent (you might say)* quite so excited as their fertile, febrile yet feeble imaginings about a lot of stuff they know nothing about, a lot of people they don’t know and know nothing about, but they can’t stop thinkin’ and thinkin’ and thinkin’ and thinkin’ and thinkin’ about, for some reason or other that I just can’t imagine.**

    I will leave you with this much for right now, though. The issue is not now, and never has been, the alleged “moral issue” that a certain class of so-called Christian has made it out to be.*** The issue is, and always has been, what some heterosexuals**** think about it.

    Cardinal O’brien, Archbishop Nienstedt, Cardinal McCarrick, Abp. Branson, St Joseph Calasanz, St. Peter Damien, Bishop Vangheluwe, here we come! If I have time, I might even get to the Boy Scouts.

    *or you might not, but I certainly would

    **well, actually, I don’t need to imagine, because I am pretty sure I already know.

    *** And the actual, real moral issue of what has been done to gay people for 2000 years in the Name of the God Who Is Love is of course not a matter of concern for God’s BFFF’s, and never has been either.

    **** And a lot of alleged heterosexuals, desperate to convince others, but especially themselves.

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot in the last day about the fact that the Church spends exactly zero time and zero resources trying to make civil divorce and remarriage by straight people illegal. Sure, people talk about the results of no-fault divorce, people talk about Eucharist for the divorced & remarried – we talk about annulment proceedings, the lifelong nature of marriage, hard teachings, adultery – but nobody seriously campaigns for to make it against the law again. Nor do we try to legislate against premarital sex, or the use of birth control, or any number of other things. There’s a recognition that prudentially we do not need to and shouldn’t *legislate* adherence to the Church’s every teaching.

    Some folks are seemingly terrified that people will miraculously forget what the Church teaches about sex if we’re not constantly cramming it down people’s throats. Trust me, they know. In fact, they often “know” a teaching far harsher than what the Church Herself gives (sadly due to Catholics who also seem to prefer a harsher yoke than Christ’s.) We are good family friends with a gay couple who are civilly married. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, this couple brought up the Church’s teaching on marriage in a friendly way, and they were, weirdly, sort of pleasantly surprised and comforted to know that the Church also disallows marriage to straight couples who are unwilling to have children or definitively unable to ever (excuse the specificity) have heterosexual intercourse. That it’s not merely a negative exclusion of one type of person, but a positive requirement for sex open to life.

    Tangentially: Our archdiocesan pre-wedding paperwork required two witnesses to affirm that as far as they knew there was nothing preventing my husband and I from performing “the marital act”, which was a source of much hilarity and ribald jokes among the friends who filled it out for us. 🤦

    1. Your first paragraph is why I largely made peace with the idea of gay marriage years ago. We don’t live in a Catholic country that only recognizes marriages that the Church would recognize. According to the state, divorced people may remarry, a Catholic may marry a Protestant without a dispensation, and two Catholics can get married without involving the Church whatsoever. None of these are real marriages according to the Catholic Church (even if some, but not all, have the potential to be) and the Church isn’t making much of an effort to fight these much more common problems.

      I know some people, like you, who think the Church needs to preach more about sex. Some genuinely think there are large swaths of people who honestly don’t know the Church position on these matters. What I have instead found is that, even among many (usually lapsed) Catholics, they know little else about Church teaching. They know the Church’s stance on birth control, but couldn’t tell you what a sacrament is. We need to refocus on teaching how to pray, how to know Jesus, how to experience mystery and contemplation. As a traditional-leaning person, I think this can only happen by embracing traditional liturgy and devotions by more than just the very-conservative (and yes, I think the liturgical reform after Vatican II was mostly a mistake, but don’t want to derail this discussion). If someone doesn’t have a real relationship with Christ or His Church, or doesn’t even understand the basic ins and outs of Catholicism, then I honestly don’t know how preaching more about sex is going to have any real effect on what they think or believe.

      1. Sorry I wrongly phrased this sentence: “I know some people, like you, who think the Church needs to preach more about sex.”
        I meant to really say “Like you, I know some people who think the Church needs to preach more about sex.”

      2. Yes! There seem to be a whole lot of people who know “No birth control, no gay people” and have no idea what the Eucharist is, or why Confession is beautiful and important, or the value of fasting, or how to let rote/written prayers and Scripture shape and guide our extemporaneous prayer and relationship with God and the saints, etc.

  5. Hopefully, I’m going to get some time to address a lot of this later, but I don’t have that time right now. But I do want to thank you, Mark, for what you did have to say. I’ve read it a number of times already as I’ve had time today, but I’m still pretty busy. But I wanted to address this one remark: “ Now it is true that the Church teaches that homogenital sexual relations are contrary to human dignity. It does not, however, teach that “being gay is wrong”. It is, in fact, silent and agnostic on the origins of sexual orientation.”

    I’m not even sure what that means. My dignity is quite fine, thank you very much, when it is not under attack by everyone who thinks they know the mind of God. But it does indeed teach that being gay is wrong. We have been informed repeatedly that being gay is a “inherent tendency towards grave moral evil” and “intrinsically evil“. I probably have the words mixed up a bit, because I don’t have enough time to go look it up and get out the exact quotes. But it’s close enough.

    The first thing wrong with us is that this is the entirety of Catholic theology: we are all broken, we are all sinful, we need God to save us from ourselves. The problem is, that it is only explicitly spelled out for gay people. Everybody is intrinsically evil, so we are told. “THERE IS NO ONE RIGHTEOUS. NO, NOT ONE!” Pretty clear I think. So why are gay people singled out? Why is our particular sin so very very special? As I’ve remarked many times on these very pages, a 2000-year-old vicious, ancient, and very durable prejudice hides out under the shield of “sincere religious beliefs“. Very much, as Mark has pointed out repeatedly, how being against abortion is used as a shield for every bit of sociopathy possible.

    The Catholic Church, like the Mormon church, has tied its panties into knots over this. While admitting that being gay is an inherent and intrinsic, and not caused by bad parenting, not caused by sexual molestation, not caused by bad psychology, not caused by bad choices or too much po0rn,not caused by anything, they nevertheless want to say that it is somehow different from every other sin, and have acted accordingly.

      1. There is Something In the bible which might have Something , in a vague, general sort of a way, to do with the subject, at least as it MIGHT have been understood by a people and a culture 2000-3000 years and a universe away from us in language, culture, morality, knowledge, compassion, socio-economic circumstances, and understanding…

        But that is about as close as it’s going to get.

        The issue is not whether it’s a sin, whatever that might mean this week, but why it is such an extra special, significantly different sin from all of the other sins that “we are all sinners“ are constantly committing, having been infected by original sin as every single one of us is…

        Not that i buy that bit of horse pucky, either.

        I will admit to being a human being, an imperfect human being, and I am ready to except the consequences of that. After that point, I grant no authority to any supernatural being.

  6. It’s interesting that it’s more orthodox than most people imagine.
    Like you said, it’s a matter for Caesar. The Church has for much too long held that civil unions are incompatible with marriage and by allowing civil unions they might leave the impression that it’s okay for Catholics to enter into a civil union and not need to seek Catholic marriage.
    I get that. But on the other hand, if any bishop somewhere agreed that civil unions can be allowed, then it potentially sows even more discord.
    By cutting off from the matter on civil unions, the Church is actually reinforcing its traditional teaching on marriage.

    The message changes to this: “You can have a marriage without a civil union, and you can have a civil union without a marriage. However, if you’re a faithful Catholic, being in or out of a civil union is inconsequential to your faith. God calls you to something yet greater, and if you are called into marriage, you ought to be married, not enter a civil union, not live together in a free relationship or anything like that.”

    This strengthens the traditional understanding of a marriage between a man and a woman because if the Church is not discussing the validity of civil unions, it can reaffirm its teaching on Catholic marriage completely separate from what the state thinks a “civil union” or “marriage” should be.

    For most Catholics who get married for life, there’s no question whether to also enter a civil union, but it’s now separate from the Catholic concept of marriage.

    I also hope it will reinforce the understanding of the difference between divorce and annulment. While you can break a civil union or get a divorce in a civil marriage (some jurisdictions allow you to seek a civil annulment instead), you cannot divorce from a Catholic marriage, and an annulment is something fundamentally different.
    That said, even if you get an annulment:
    Psalm 15, 1.4c: “LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy mountain? […] Who keeps an oath despite the cost,”
    This really drives the point home. If you had a civil partner, you might no longer be considered a husband and wife in the eyes of God, but you should still provide for your ex-spouse and you absolutely have to consider his or her well-being. (In practice, it would mean that even if you seek legal civil annulment, you should not seek to maximize your own assets when they’re divided.)

    It really shows that the Church is letting her children grow and take responsibility for our actions. Yes, there are rules, but she will no longer fight to have those rules imposed upon you, it’s entirely your choice in that matter.

  7. > As human beings, gay people have certain rights. Among these, as the pope is stating clearly,
    > are the right to love who they love, to live where and with who they wish,
    > and to share their property as they see fit.

    None of that requires “Civil Unions”. A revocable trust document, Medical POA, and Attorney in Fact documents cover the property and medico-legal interests of the friends, and should they become guardians of a child, a will can cover most of the rest. It’s about like drafting a pre-nup. But no. That wasn’t enough. The activists rejected “Civil Unions” when they were offered: they demanded to use the word “marriage”.

    If we’re no longer to presume the words used in our law have any relation to nature, that it’s all positive, and self-contained, it seems to me the most prudent thing to do is expunge the word “marriage” altogether. Substitute something like “Domestic Corporation”. Do away with “Survivor Benefits”. Anything that presumes a natural family has to go. liberté égalité fraternité

    Then we can stop abusing language, at least. Orwell got it right: control the language, control the thought. I think the pope understands that too.

    1. @ tom lieth

      Lying about it really doesn’t help your cause.

      The bulk of the anti-marriage initiatives also banned civil unions are any recognition of gay peoples relationships. They were never “offered”, but clearly denied when they were requested.

      Why should I accept as valid and valuable for the likes of me what you would not accept umder any circumstances for yourself. Why should I have to pay thousands of dollars to have some of the rights that you can have for $100 marriage license? I know this, because we paid thousands of dollars 15 years ago to provide us some of the protection that is available to you for your hundred dollar marriage license. I live in California, and even with that, Our attorney advised us that it might not hold up if someone was really determined to take it down. Fortunately, my husband’s family is not that way.

      But you just admitted just that when you said “A will cover most of the rest“. Most is a loophole you could drive a very large cathedral through. And those documents don’t necessarily hold up in foreign jurisdictions, though they will recognize a legal marriage, at least in the civilized world.

      We didn’t demand the use of the word marriage, we demanded what you have. The same rights, the same responsibilities. Nothing more, and nothing less than what you have. But you give away that game as well with your idea that you want to expunge the use of the word marriage, lest us dirty Homo sully your extra special sacred institution. (It doesn’t seem to bother you when heterosexuals do it as a matter of course, with a 40% divorce rate, a 25 to 35% adultery rate, and the president was proud of the sexual assault and marriage to three different women, when he’s not paying off porn stars). This is why, as Mark says, accusation is confession for hyper conservative Christians. You would destroy the word marriage just to make sure that we can’t have it. Or were you just kidding? It’s really hard to tell.

      Here you go mate. Focus on your own damn family, and if you don’t like the word marriage when applied to mine, you don’t have to. I really don’t care. If you want to talk about words in our law having a relationship to nature, then you’re right, we are to get rid of the word marriage. And divorce. Like religion, none of those are found in nature. But I’ll tell you something about nature. Gay people exist. Gay people have always existed, despite the efforts of your church to wipe us out, to Jaul us,, denigrate us, Debase our natural instincts for love, sex, romance, family, and community, and turn them into some thing dirty.

      I can’t imagine what you possibly can get out of this kind a vicious attack. But obviously, you get something out of it.

    2. At no time were civil unions offered by SSM opponents. They fought that tooth and claw along with everything else. They wanted a winner-take-all no quarter fight, and they got exactly that.

      Trust documents and the like are expensive and incomplete work arounds to civil union/marriage. They cannot confer the same rights as regards health insurance, Social Security survivor benefits, veterans pensions etc.

  8. @tough luck

    I don’t know if that’s going to work at all, though I absolutely agree with you. Here’s Cardinal Burke McGrumpy, the guy that wears more gold and bling than a drag queen.

    “First of all, the context and the occasion of such declarations make them devoid of any magisterial weight. They are rightly interpreted as simple private opinions of the person who made them.

    These declarations do not bind, in any manner, the consciences of the faithful who are rather obliged to adhere with religious submission to what Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and the ordinary Magisterium of the Church teach on the matter in question.

    The particular and sometimes deep-seated tendencies of persons, men and women, in the homosexual condition, which are for them a trial, although they may not in themselves constitute a sin, represent nonetheless an objectively disordered inclination.”

    Thanks, McGrumpy, of reminding me about the “objectively disordered”. Talk about the simple private opinions of the person who made them. for the record, my marriage is perfectly well ordered. We were even married by a certified Christian minister, by our own choice, is a completely civil ceremony.

    Next, we have Abp. Sally, who had the time to do an exorcism of a spot where some civic, peaceful protest occurred because a statue was there once, had time to turn on the sprinklers on the homeless, but has no time to actually help homeless people. And let us not forget that he deliberately disobeyed covid restrictions, and allowed a big wedding to occur. 7 people got sick. Right to life, allrighty.

    “The Holy Father clearly differentiated between a civil arrangement which accords mutual benefits to two people, and marriage. The former, he said, can in no way be equated to marriage, which remains unique.

    I would add that a civil union of this type (one which is not equated to marriage) should be as inclusive as possible, and not be restricted to two people of the same sex in a presumed sexual relationship.

    There is no reason, for example, why a brother and a sister, both of whom are unmarried and support each other, should not have access to these kinds of benefits.

    Once again, demonstrating that he has absolutely no understanding of what the institution of civil marriage is about. It isn’t just some benefits, sally. There are rights, obligations, and responsibilities. There is the establishment of a new family, however so much it makes his eyebrows cross. There is the establishment of legal next of kinship, perhaps the most important one, except for the right to care for those children whom heterosexuals produce and then abandon without a thought. Except for my friends who have their own bio-children, whom Sally would deny the protection of having legally married parents, something that his bother-sister act idea would not benefit in the slightest.

    But since we’re talking about CHILDREN, who are so precious to the church, let’s move on to Abp. Tobin, who has been accused of covering up child sexual abuse by priests while serving as the auxiliary bishop to Pittsburgh. According to that diocese, over 300 local priests were “credibly accused” in 2019.

    ““The Holy Father’s apparent support for the recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples needs to be clarified.

    “The Pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the Church about same-sex unions.

    “The Church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and must have their personal human rights and civil rights recognized and protected by law.

    “However, the legalization of their civil unions, which seek to simulate holy matrimony, is not admissible.”

    So many distortions, denials, and god knows what else. Must have their civil and human rights recognized and protected by law? Bullbleep. My right a family, my right to be free from religious discrimination, my right not to be made a criminal while kiddy-diddling priests are given a pas.s.

    Francis was quite clear. you want an objective immoral relationship? fornicating, adulterous congressman cheated on his first wife, dumped her, cheated on his second wife, for whom he left his first, cheated on her, divorced her, married his third wife IN THE CHURCH. We could talk about the president, on wife number 3, after cheating on her and paying off a porn star while she was giving him his fifth child– that we know about.

    no, it doesn’t seek to simulate holy matrimony. That is rather the point, or Sally’s point.

    Now, back to me. A civil union is what all marriages are– legal recognition of a relationship that entails a number of rights, obligations, benefits, and responsibilities. Whether or not it is in the church is entirely irrelevant, except to the church.

    And no one is asking them. And that is what has their cassocks in a thoroughly uncomfortable bunch.

    More later when I have time.

  9. Coming soon to a Catholic Church near you:

    Future statement by the Pope: “The use of artificial birth control by Catholics may be allowed for sufficiently proportional reasons, given certain circumstances that might call for it. Its a matter of prudential judgement.”

    Catholic reactionaries: “The Pope is a heretic!”
    Catholic apologists: “Actually, what the Pope is saying is in line with Catholic doctrine and with statements made by previous Popes,”

    Liberal media: “The Catholic Church says artificial birth control is okay. Is the Church changing its views on sexuality?”
    Conservative media: “The Catholic Church says artificial birth control is okay. Is this the beginning of the end of Western Civilization?”

    Catholics who have gone to absurd lengths and sacrifices in order to adhere strictly to NFP: “What the heck just happened?”
    The overwhelming majority of Catholics, who simply ignore what the Church has to say about birth control: *shrug* 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️ *whatever*

    1. One is not like the other. Your post shows that you have pretty much zero idea of the difference.
      The Church has control over secular laws in exactly one country on Earth, in Vatican, and even there they defer some of them to Italy.

      1. Was that directed at me? I was making a joke about the usual responses from the usual suspects regarding any off the cuff “controversial” statements made by the Pope.

        I’m not sure what your response has to do with any of that.

      2. @3vil5striker: I know what you meant, and you could have just as well said “Future statement by the Pope: “Christ is not present in the Eucharist” and it would have carried the same meaning.
        Sure, there are things that can change and will change. I just don’t think it would be possible to maintain continuity with theology of the body, and to make a case for artificial contraception that wouldn’t also invalidate a lot of past teaching. Just a thought.

  10. Only a little bit of time this morning. I’m so busy destroying western civilization and attacking god’s plan for humanity that i’m just overwhelmed.

    As a veteran of the marriage wars, I can tell you what civil unions are.

    First and foremost, every legal marriage is exactly this: A CIVIL UNION— a recognition by the state of the creation of a new family. That’s one thing that really offends the Marriage Cossacks: how dare we call ourselves a family! Only some people get to do that. We’re trying to TAKE THEIR WORD FROM THEM! We are being so goddaam UPPITY when we do that. Imagine! THE NOIVE OF IT! And who likes uppity?

    But here’s the thing: religion does not own the word family.

    And if the two “institutions”, civil union and marriage, are truly, legally identical, then why do you need two separate words to describe them? “Uppity” is again the operational word. But of course, they are neither legally identical or equal, by intention. Abp. sally admits this explicitly, Mr Lieth admits it implicitly with the word “most”. It’s fine with him if my friends Andy and Paul, A devoted couple for 45 years, have to spend literally thousands of dollars to have something nowhere near as good as what he can have for $100.

    Religion in most of the world is not a requirement for marriage. Especially in the civilized world, it is completely optional. Religion does not own the word MARRIAGE, just like it doesn’t own the words morality or family. Marriages in Rome were civil affairs, as were marriages in the hyper religious Massachusetts Bay Colony, as indeed marriages arejust about everywhere. You get a marriage license from the state, not from the church.You get a divorce through the state, not from the church. Though if you have enough money, like a certain former republican powermonger, the RCC will look the other way if you adulterize and fornicate your way through three marriages, with children, and you can still get married IN THE CHURCH. You can even pretend that despite your two children from your first marriage, if you want to marry your second wife, your first marriage can be deemed never to have been valid. Tra-la-la. that tune is Frankly Schubertian.

    But you STILL have to get A LEGAL DIVORCE through the state before you can legally get a divorce, and especially if you want to have all of those juicy, Juicy benefits the Mr. lieth and Bishop Sally, says are all that marriage is. just benefits. Nothing else.

    Secondly, and most important from the standpoint of real people in the real world, civil unions are a recognition that we gay people have a legitimate, moral claim upon the heterosexual majority, something that even Mr. Lieth implicitly recognizes— MOSTLY. Even Francis recognizes that, however belatedly he managed it. Ironically enough, this even comes from the people who would wish us out of existence if they could. Why does this echo so much with the sociopathic rhetoric of the sociopathic anti-abortion industry? some lives matter, right? And under that battle standard, as Mark do frequently points out, you can justify any lie, any cruelty, and any fake morality.

    It is, as St. Oscar Levant put it, the REAL tinsel.

    But this is also what civil unions are, at least in the sense that Mr. lieth and Abp. Sally mean it: a definitive statement that although they recognize our claim is legitimate, they will be goddam-go-to-hell if they ever recognize that we are their equals, that we have a place in the world, that our lives, families, children, faith, freedom, morality and assets are every bit as valid and valuable as theirs. That is what all of that panties-in-a-bunch whining is really about— they have to share that extra special word that they don’t own with those dirtyhomeaux, who are positively ruining its good and noble associations. Not like Gingrich and his three marriages. not like Trump and his three marriages plus porn star and payoff. Not like Rush Limpy’s four marriages. I have known a number of gay couples over the years whose marriages, legal or not, surpassed in length and durability of all three of Gingrich, of all four of Limpy, and of all three of Jabba the Trump’s. I knew one gay couple that had been together for 70 years— longer than i think all TEN of those good christian marriages.

    Newsflash: if the existence of my marriage somehow sullies or threatens yours, your marriage really isn’t worth all that much then, is it?— something that Mr. lieth also acknowledges implicitly. And if my Big Gay Marriage— 19 years now, 12 of them legal— can somehow affect your poor, weak widdle heterosexual marriage, i can only conclude that one of you is a raging ‘mo. John Paulk and Douglas Mainwaring would, I am sure, agree.

    As I have said many times, gay marriage didn’t redefine marriage, family, heterosexuality, morality or anything else except this. Gay marriage redefined gay people as fully the moral, familial, social, sexual, legal, and cultural equals to any heterosexual.

    And that is what gets their holy knickers into a thoroughly uncomfortable twist. No bigot likes uppity. And by demanding for marriage, instead of settling for the mere crumbs they would maybe, perhaps grant to us if absolutely forced to, we were being uppity.


  11. How could I forget thay great Christian Rock band, Viganó and the Schismatics. I would love ot unoack this, but I dont have the time. enjoy.

    Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano writes:

    Experience teaches us that when Bergoglio says something, he does it with a very precise purpose: to make others interpret his words in the broadest possible sense. The front pages of newspapers all over the world are announcing today: ‘The Pope Approves Gay Marriage’ – even if technically this is not what he said. But this was exactly the result that he and the Vatican gay lobby wanted.

    By dint of provoking, he hopes that some bishop will grow tired of daily feeling afflicted by his doctrine and morals; he hopes that a group of cardinals will formally accuse him of heresy and call for his deposition. And by doing so, Bergoglio would have the pretext of accusing these prelates of being ‘enemies of the Pope,’ of placing themselves outside the Church, of wanting a schism.

    Bergoglio is a candidate for ‘pontiff’ of a new religion, with new commandments, new morals, and new liturgies. He distances himself from the Catholic religion and from Christ, and consequently from the Hierarchy and the faithful, disavowing them and leaving them at the mercy of the globalist dictatorship. Those who do not adapt to this new code will therefore be ostracized by society and by this new ‘church’ as a foreign body.


    All right. One little bit of unpacking.


    Aside from the lobby of the Vatican being the gate is it place on the planet, next to trumps living room, he is saying that the church is entirely corrupt, corrupted, and corruptible. And I’m sure he believes that there is only one person who could save it. VIGANÓ!!!

    Make that VigaYES!!!!

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