California's Roman Catholic bishops are urging parishioners to support a fall ballot measure that seeks to overturn the court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
The California Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday strongly encouraging members of the faith "to provide both the financial support and the volunteer efforts needed for the passage of Proposition 8."
In the statement, the bishops say their position is based partly on the presumption that while all people deserve to be treated with dignity, being raised by a married mother and father is "the ideal for the well being of children."
The conference's executive director says the bishops plan to develop materials that parish priests can use to address the topic between now and election day.
At what point does instructing the faithful how to vote exceed the line between church and state separation? This is a civil issue, after all. The Catholics are not being asked to marry homosexuals any more than they are required to marry legal divorced people.
i would like the RC and any other religious groups to separate their faith issues from civil (secular) rights issues. The Catholics don't approve of divorce but they can't prevent CIVIL marriages from being dissolved in CIVIL divorce.
Now, one suggestion comes from this Op Ed by Oliver Thomas:
Given the state's legitimate, though limited, interest here, shouldn't all couples — be they gay or straight — be given the same civil contract with all the attendant legal rights and obligations? After all, legally committed couples provide the same financial and familial stability, be they gay or straight. In short, everyone who wishes to marry could be given a civil union agreement from the state. Whether a couple goes on to have a wedding ceremony would be up to them and their church. But the thing that would be enforced (or dissolved) by the state would be the civil agreement.
Theologically, this puts marriage back where it belongs. Constitutionally, it protects churches from having the government dictate to them which relationships they should or should not sanction. Finally, this sort of arrangement would be much easier to handle administratively....
Liberal-minded Americans should like this proposed arrangement because everyone gets treated the same, and the state deprives no one of his or her rights based upon sexual orientation.....
Conservatives should like the arrangement because religious institutions will not be forced to recognize relationships that they feel are contrary to the teachings of scripture. Nor will they be forced to call something "marriage" that to them plainly isn't. At the same time, the proliferation of domestic partnerships would create more familial and financial stability.
.....Partnership, not procreation, is the primary feature of current marriage laws.
Civil unions for all. Wouldn't it be deliciously ironic if the result of the Catholic politicking were to eliminate marriage altogether from the secular sphere?