In his column for The Long Island Catholic, Bishop William Murphy condemns New York Governor David Paterson's recent order that state agencies recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of New York State. The governor's order came in the wake of the decision legalizing gay marriage (at least for now) in the state of California.
And what are the bishop's reasons for opposing gay marriage?
"Sexual relationships are essentially private matters until they are made public by public action. Then they have to be scrutinized to see if they correspond to what is good and right and true for the common good of society. In all these levels, sexual intimacy between persons of the same sex does not pass muster. They do not serve the common good. They cannot do so because they contradict biological teleology and the natural law."
Like so many other gay marriage opponents, Bishop Murphy assumes that same-gender relations are all about sex. What does he think, same gender couples spend all of their free time giving each other reach arounds? Has it ever occurred to the good bishop that a same gender couple can have a mutually fulfilling relationship in the same way that those of us who are in heterosexual marriages experience?
Bishop Murphy continues, "I fail to understand how this can be called marriage, no matter how many people want to call it that. No matter how much some may wish to apply the term “marriage,” it does not fit because it fails the test of truth and authenticity."
The test of truth and authenticity? What the fuck are you talking about, Bishop Murphy? This is an example of the biased mindset inherent in the anti-gay marriage crowd, the assumption that a marriage between a man and a woman is considered automatically to be "authentic". I would be interested to know how many of the marriages that Bishop Murphy presided over ended up in divorce. How many of them were marriages of convenience? How many of them are now stale, loveless marriages where the couples stay together merely for the sake of the children or because a divorce is simply too much of a bother? Is a marriage between an older rich man and his young trophy wife really authentic? Does it really serve a societal good?
How about a marriage between a man and a woman where there is no intention of producing children from the union? My uncle, who lost his first wife to cancer eight years ago, is getting married to the woman with whom he has been in a relationship with for the last seven years. They are both in their mid-sixties, and clearly they do not plan to have children. I am happy for the both of them and look forward to attending their wedding this fall. But let's be honest, there is no societal benefit to their marriage. Why then should it be legal for them to get married but two people of the same gender in a monogamous relationship for the same amount of time or longer does not meet the bishop's "test of truth and authenticity"? And what would a celibate old man know what an authentic marriage feels like anyway?