Kirsten Andersen

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Abp. Cordileone on gay ‘marriage’: ‘How can we do this to our children?’

Kirsten Andersen

SAN FRANCISCO, April 3, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone serves his Church in one of the most homosexual-friendly locales on earth – San Francisco – but that hasn’t stopped him from speaking out against same-sex “marriage.”  He recently spoke at the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., and in a widely circulated interview with USA Today, the archbishop made the case for traditional marriage.

In that interview he emphasized that marriage is ordered primarily toward the raising of children by their mother and father, the basic building block of civilized society.

“A society that is careless about getting fathers and mothers together to raise their children in one loving family is causing enormous heartache,” Abp. Cordileone told the paper. “To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.”

Asked the archbishop, “How can we do this to our children?”

The archbishop called the ongoing Supreme Court hearings over the constitutionality of California’s gay marriage ban and the Defense of Marriage Act the “Roe v. Wade decision of our generation,” referring to the controversial 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. 

“No matter what the Supreme Court rules, this debate is not over,” said Cordileone. “Marriage is too important and the issues raised by treating same-gender unions as marriages are too fundamental to just go away. Just as Roe v. Wade did not end the conversation about abortion, so a ruling that tries to import same-sex marriage into our Constitution is not going to end the marriage debate, but intensify it.”

The archbishop pointed to scientific studies showing that both mothers and fathers are necessary for the ideal upbringing of children. 

“Modern social science evidence generally supports the idea that the ideal for a child is a married mother and father,” he told USA Today. “The scientific study of children raised by two men or two women is in its infancy ... several recent studies ... are painting a less sanguine portrait that some professional organizations have yet acknowledged about whether two dads can make up for the absence of a mom, or vice versa.”

The archbishop shared with USA Today his worries that those who believe what the Church teaches about marriage will find themselves increasingly marginalized and even persecuted.  

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“[T]his is not just a debate about what two people do in their private life, it's a debate about a new public norm: Either you support redefining marriage to include two people of the same sex or you stand accused by law and culture of bigotry and discrimination,” said Cordileone.

“If you want to know what this new public legal and social norm stigmatizing traditional believers will mean for real people,” warned the Archbishop, “ask David and Tanya Parker, who objected to their kindergarten son being taught about same sex marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized it in that state and wanted to pull him out of class for that lesson. He was arrested and handcuffed for trying to protect his son's education, and they were told they had no right to do so.”

Cordileone said the fundamental problem with the debate over marriage right now is one of semantics – the two sides are talking about two drastically different concepts using the same word. 

“[T]here are really two different ideas of marriage being debated in our society right now, and they cannot coexist: Marriage is either a conjugal union of a man and a woman designed to unite husband and wife to each other and to any children who may come from their union, or it is a relationship for the mutual benefit of adults which the state recognizes and to which it grants certain benefits. Whoever is for one, is opposed to the other.”

Added Cordileone, “Those of us who favor preserving the traditional understanding of marriage do not do so because we want people who experience attraction to their same sex to suffer. We recognize and respect the equal human dignity of everyone. Everyone should be treated equally, but it is not discrimination to treat differently things that are different. Marriage really is unique for a reason.”

To read the complete USA Today interview with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, click here.

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