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Why are gay marriages banned by the Catholic Church? Doesn't a person have a right to live and love in the way he or she was created?

Are the Church’s teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality only a set of prohibitions? God created man as male and female and destined them for each other in a bodily way as well. The Church believes that, in the order of creation, man and woman are designed to need each other’s complementary traits and to enter into a mutual relationship so as to give life to children. That is why homosexual practices cannot be approved by the Church. Christians owe all persons respect and love, however, regardless of their sexual orientation, because all people are respected and loved by God. The Church accepts without reservation those who experience homosexual feelings. They should not be discriminated against because of that. At the same time, the Church declares that all homosexual relations in any form are contrary to the order of creation. (CCC 2358-2359 / YOUCAT 415, 65]

But what the Church actually presents is a vision of the beauty of marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman who are committed for life and open to the transmission of new human life.

Of course, our understanding of marriage has been damaged by the fruits of the sexual revolution: infidelity, cohabitation, contraception, sterilization and abortion. What is our problem with changing the definition of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples? Are we being “unfair”?

With regard to marriage, Pope John Paul II in ‘Theology of the Body’, referred to Our Lord’s teaching. When Jesus was asked a question about marriage and divorce, He referred back to the beginning – to God’s original purpose for marriage.

Jesus said: Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate (Mt. 19: 4-6).

John Paul recognized that at the root of the current cultural divide is confusion about the nature of the human person. There are two basic competing philosophies in the world today.

1) Humankind is the result of a blind process of evolutionary development.

2) Humankind was created by God in his image and likeness, giving man a supernatural origin and destiny.

The first philosophy sees man simply as perhaps little better than an animal, incapable of controlling his impulses. The other sees man as being capable of discipline and love.

There is no man on earth who is not descended from a union of a mother and a father. Therefore it is a painful experience for many homosexually oriented people that they do not feel erotically attracted to the opposite sex and necessarily miss out on the physical fruitfulness of the union between man and woman according to human nature and the divine order of creation. (YOUCAT 65)


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