Mar 31, 2009

institutional disintegration of the family

Transgender bill passage would mark ‘institutional disintegration of the family’

By GAIL BESSE
Anchor Correspondent
As it appeared in The Anchor, Diocese of Fall River, Mass. in the March 27, 2009 edition.

BOSTON – People with gender identity disorder would have specially protected legal status if a bill pending on Beacon Hill becomes law. “Transgender” and gay activist groups are making this a priority, according to both supporters and opponents of the bill.

Transgender is an umbrella term coined by those advocating that society try to deconstruct the biological realities of male and female, say researchers who have studied gender confusion.

An Act Relative to Gender-based Discrimination and Hate Crimes was re-filed this year after it died in committee following a public outcry against it last year. But its supporters have lobbied fiercely since then; it now has about four times more co-sponsors.

Numbered H1728 in the House and S1687 in the Senate, the bill is currently in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

The Woburn-based Coalition for Marriage and Family (Coalitionformarriage.org), which advocates for traditional values, is making defeat of the bill a priority. In a March 19 statement, Chairman Tom Shields urged people to “put the pressure on now.”

If the bill leaves the committee for a full legislative vote, he predicted, it will pass.

“This dangerous legislation will make it legal for biological men to enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms, further eroding our rights in an attempt to erase the differences between the sexes,” he said.

Bay Windows, a free publication that dubs itself “New England’s largest GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) newspaper,” devoted its March 18 lead article to explaining the bills’ chances. “LGBT advocates have already persuaded a majority of the legislature to back the transgender rights bill, but that doesn’t mean that passage of the bill is a done deal.

“In fact, the bill’s fate will ultimately be determined by a handful of legislative ‘gate-keepers’ who must decide both to support it and to make it a legislative priority. Without their support and commitment to expend political capital on the measure, the bill is dead in the water this session,” the paper reported.

Spokesmen for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC), which represents the state’s four bishops, testified at a 2008 public hearing against this bill.

The lay political action group Catholic Citizenship (Catholic-citizenship.org) noted in a March 23 email: “Proponents of the measure have called for a “lobby day” on Beacon Hill on April 7, signaling the bill’s public hearing may not be far behind. Some parishes have already begun a letter drive in opposition to the legislation. To find out what you can do, contact MCC.”
Massachusetts already outlaws discrimination based on racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, and “gender or sexual orientation” prejudice.

Under this proposal, a new category would be added to the existing hate crime statute, as well as to non-discrimination laws on employment, housing, credit, labor union membership, public accommodations and public education.

The additional category - “gender identity or expression” - is defined in the 15-page bill as "a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual's assigned sex at birth."

Thus, heterosexual cross-dressers, homosexual transvestites and “transsexuals” – people undergoing so-called “sex change” operations – among others, would be given specially protected status.

The Bay Windows article spelled out “four key figures in particular who will be crucial to the bill’s success: House Speaker Robert DeLeo , D-Winthrop; Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth; and Judiciary Committee co-chairs Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, D-Newton, and Representative Eugene O’Flaherty, D-Chelsea, whose committee has jurisdiction over the bill. Of those four DeLeo and Creem support the bill and are signed on as co-sponsors, while Murray and O’Flaherty have yet to take a public position.”

It continues, “The success of the bill also depends on the support of the other members of the Judiciary Committee, who must give the bill a majority vote to send it to the full House and Senate.”

Contact information for 17 committee members and the text of the bill can be accessed through the Massachusetts General Court’s home Web page, Mass.gov/legis/legis.htm.

The Waltham-based parents’ rights group Mass Resistance (Massresistance.org) is also asking people to call for a public hearing to probe how “transgenderism” is quietly getting state sponsorship through a questionable change in the policy of issuing drivers’ licenses.

In January, Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian announced that people could now change their gender designation on drivers’ licenses with simply a note from a “medical provider.”

Lobbyists for homosexual and transgender causes want the American Psychiatric Association to declassify transexualism and transvestism as mental disorders, according to the California-based Traditional Values Coalition.

Its brochure “A Gender Identity Disorder Goes Mainstream,” explains: “In reality, no person can actually change into a different sex. Maleness and femaleness are in the DNA and are unchangeable. A man who has his sex organ removed and takes hormones to grow breasts is still genetically male – a mutilated man, not a woman.

“These are deeply troubled individuals who need professional help, not societal approval or affirmation.”

Dale O’Leary, Catholic speaker and author of The Gender Agenda, agrees. In an article published by NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), she wrote: “Patients who suffer from the belief that they are men trapped in the bodies of women (or women trapped in the bodies of men) need real help.

“The promotion of ‘sex changes’ and the normalizing of severe gender identity disorders by radical feminists, pro-same-sex attraction disorder activists and sexual revolutionaries is part of their larger agenda – namely the destabilization of the categories of sex and gender,” O’Leary said. “Of course, we should be kind to people with severe psychological problems. But there is nothing kind about denying them real help, or using them as pawns in the culture wars.”
(The General Court’s main number is 617-722-2000 and the Judiciary Committee’s is 617-722-2396. The Coalition for Marriage and Family is at 781-569-0509 and the Mass. Catholic Conference is at 617-367-6060.)

53 comments :

MgS said...

Okay, you've cited lots of very public issues relating to transpeople - and in particular transsexuals.

So, just how does that have anything to do with the concept of family? Even more significantly, when one is talking about such a small percentage of the population, how can they influence the generally held notion of family at all?

How is a transsexual getting a driver's license with an appropriate gender marker on it going to affect anyone else?

You cite NARTH, but you appear to have failed entirely to have even looked for WPATH, or the WPATH Standards of Care documents for treating transpeople.

It is far too easy to condemn that which is not understood; it is even easier to do so when you fail to take the time learn.

JayG said...

MgS,
What I don't get is that gay people are born that way, born the right way so they should be gay, but transsexuals are born the wrong way, so they need to be surgically altered. What if someone were simply confused?

Renee said...

We already have 'family bathrooms'. They are one unit facilities based in between the men's and women's rooms. For situations when a wife has to help a disabled husband, if a father is with a toddler daughter, or a mother with a older son.

The issue of transgender is debatable. Can a transgnder man, who was born a woman still go to a woman's college? If a woman complains there is a legalized man on campus, is she a bigot? Can a woman be legally a man, if she still retains her uterus, as in the 'man who gave birth', who was really nothing more then a bearded lady.

I've had previously engaged in polite conversation with transgendered previous, I understand that don't feel right in their body, yet a man will never be a woman. Dealing with all the functions of a woman, like a cyclical period, pregnancy, and birth, even breastfeeding. Transgender people may feel a certain way, but they can't mock the biological functions of human sexuality.

MgS said...

JayG:

but transsexuals are born the wrong way, so they need to be surgically altered. What if someone were simply confused?

That's precisely why the Standards of Care exist. Trust me, if one approaches treatment with a sense of honesty with oneself, you will sort out any real confusion before living full time.

Yes, some people do approach the waters of transition that do not need to do so. Few will transition fully (e.g. to the point of surgery) and then decide they made a mistake. There are plenty of opportunities to step back.

There's a growing body of evidence that suggests that transsexualism has significant biological roots to it. Zoe has a good summary here. In some respects, it is perhaps easier to understand transsexualism in terms of some of the more subtle Intersex conditions that are out there.

MgS said...

Rene,

I understand that don't feel right in their body, yet a man will never be a woman. Dealing with all the functions of a woman, like a cyclical period, pregnancy, and birth, even breastfeeding. Transgender people may feel a certain way, but they can't mock the biological functions of human sexuality.

Transsexuals do not "mock" anything. Most are abundantly aware of the limitations of the current treatment options available to them. Trust me, if the 'full meal deal' were an option, most would take it.

I sincerely hope that you understand that there is much more to being a 'man' or a 'woman' than the biological function of what's between the legs. Surely, you aren't going to argue that a woman who does not have children is "less of a woman" than someone who does?

The transgender, and in particular, transsexual, narrative brings home some very important observations about gender. First, it exists on many levels - physical, psychological and social - to name a few.

The physical is undeniable, and the transsexual today is doomed to what one might consider a passable facsimile.

The psychological is much harder to pin down, and the only thing I can say there is that for those who need to transition, it is truly the only option that brings any significant relief.

Social gender is an interesting piece because it describes how someone fits into the broad fabric of society in their day to day life. It is driven more by presentation and body language cues than anything else, and encompasses that unspoken language between men and women.

To point and claim that someone who isn't "biologically female" isn't a woman is a very short-sighted analysis, for it immediately excludes a whole range of people - from those who are infertile to a surprising variety of very subtle intersex conditions.

JayG said...

"biologically female" is a chromosomal definition, it is a straw man to declare a woman is not female unless she bears a child, as she's female from conception, and obviously so from before birth. And the rare exceptions when the chromosomes are not quite right, as just that, exceptions that actually prove the rule that there are two sexes, and they fit together nicely, they are complementary sexes, not opposite sexes.

MgS said...

And the rare exceptions when the chromosomes are not quite right, as just that, exceptions that actually prove the rule that there are two sexes, and they fit together nicely

Perhaps, but those same exceptions should also give you pause for thought when considering transsexuals. If chromosomal variation is a perfectly natural occurance, then why wouldn't other forms of variation be similarly naturally occurring?

Renee said...

Actually my post isn't short-sighted at all. The difference between a man and a woman really is all between the legs, we have completely differing ways how we react to sexual orgasm for instances which are radically and also complementary, it's what in between the legs that is the starting point on how our sexuality affects our brains and our social interactions in relationships.

I understand one may feel different, but one does not have the right to mutilate their body and force everyone to accommodate a legal rouse, that sexuality isn't based on biology.

Here you are condemning us for merely acknowledging the birds and the bees.

Here is where your complete argument fails...

If biology has so little to do with being a man or a woman, as you assert with my lack of understanding, then why do transsexuals do everything in their capacity to change themselves psychically and hormonally, they should be completely happy with who they are and accept their bodies?

As Jay mentioned, have it one way or the other, but you can't have it both ways.

Really I wish no one any harm, but I will use my voice and stand up when someone wants to play gods and mess around with mother nature. I totally get it, that not everyone will be in the hetero-norm, but there reasons for the 'norms' essentially because as individuals we are created out of biological norms. We all have a biological mother and father, we have the right of human dignity to be loved by both of them equally and united as one family unit. even if we may not be heterosexual ourselves.

If it wasn't for the biological function to mate, reproduce, and raise children, human sexuality would be completely non-existent from an evolutionary theory stand point. Sexuality exists solely from a scientific point of view for the reason to keeping the species alive.

MgS said...

If biology has so little to do with being a man or a woman, as you assert with my lack of understanding, then why do transsexuals do everything in their capacity to change themselves psychically and hormonally, they should be completely happy with who they are and accept their bodies?


Nice try. I did not, for a moment, claim that biology had "little to do with gender". I merely pointed out that there is a great deal more to gender than just biology. Remember the other two axis I mentioned? Specifically psychological and social?

Let me be VERY, VERY clear here:

Yes, transsexuals are sexual beings. It's damned hard to have sex with a man if you have no vagina.

Intriguingly, with respect to orgasm response, many MTF transsexuals describe a significant change in their orgasm response post-surgery. Whether that is physiologically similar to a chromosomally normal female is unknown, but how much of that response is happening in the brain? Rather a lot, I suspect - and there's little doubt that hormones have a dramatic impact on the brain's functioning.

BUT ... and there is a big BUT here:

The bigger part of transition is in fact living and socializing as a woman (or as a man in the case of MTF Transsexuals).

Secondary sex characteristics make a huge difference in how one is perceived socially. The physical changes that a transsexual undertake facilitate achieving that basic acceptance.

A girl with 5 o'clock shadow looks subtly wrong, doesn't she? So, losing that shadow via electrolysis changes that dramatically.

Primary sexual characteristics (genitalia in particular) are only critical in environments where nudity is an issue - private bedroom moments and more public places like locker rooms.

Yes, there are physical issues that a transsexual addresses as best as they can through a variety of procedures. These facilitate the much more critical social transition that takes place.

However, it remains debatable to claim that gender is exclusively defined by genitalia, as you seem to be arguing.

If that is the case, then why do we have terms like "Tomboy" to describe a girl whose social behaviours and interests are "typically masculine"; and a boy who expresses interest in the socially feminine is called a "sissy"?

Gender is much, much more complex than biology alone. It has significant social and pyschological dimensions that we cannot rationally ignore.

Further, the persistence of transsexuals in pursuing their goals (even in the face of enormous social condemnation and all too frequent social rejection by their families), is a very strong clue that there are psychological factors at play that are quite fundamental.

To define women (or men) strictly in terms of their procreative features when there are so many social and psychological factors that are quite unrelated to reproduction and sexuality seems to me a very short-sighted view.

ps. I'm not denying "the birds and the bees" as you put it - rather I'm pointing out that there is a lot more to the picture. To draw upon nature a bit, consider natural hermaphrodites such as slugs, or perhaps certain species of fish which change sexes quite naturally. It's not as black-and-white a world anymore, is it?

JayG said...

Perhaps, [is that a concession?] but those same exceptions should also give you pause for thought when considering transsexuals. If chromosomal variation is a perfectly natural occurance, then why wouldn't other forms of variation be similarly naturally occurring?

I suppose I have paused to think that there are many more transsexuals than people with chromosomes that are as I said, "not quite right" which is not how you restated my position as "chromosomal variation". And you stretch my "not quite right" into Natural, and still come up short because whatever you call my pointing out of these Chromosomal abnormalities at least they can be pointed to in my example, They are observable, while you are left speculating that "other forms of [chromosomal] variation" would be "naturally occurring." In other words, you don't have the data.

Perhaps you and John will discover both the naturally occurring transsexual gene and the naturally occurring gay gene. Oh wait, the Genome project is finished...never mind.

MgS said...

(1) Chromosomal variation is naturally occurring. I don't see how you can argue otherwise.

Whether one calls it an "abnormality" or not does not change the fact that it is a variation and it occurs quite naturally.

(2) I didn't say other forms of chromosomal variation, I said other forms of variation - in the very broad sense. We all vary quite dramatically from each other as individuals. My point was, and remains, that transsexualism certainly has significant attributes of natural variation.

As for "I don't have the data" - bullfeathers. There's tons of data, and I've provided you with linkage to some fairly decent summarization of it. It's your responsibility to actually pay attention to such things.

(3) Oh wait, the Genome project is finished...never mind.

The genome might be mapped, but it is not by any means fully understood. Nor have I ever claimed that there is a "transsexual gene". I think if you spend some time reading linkage I have already provided, you will find that the evidence tends to point to a multi-factor causality which is far from fully understood at this time.

But let me ask you this - we do not deny Intersex individuals equality rights in society, so why do you advocate denying another naturally occurring phenomenon that same equality?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

MgS, allow me to provide an answer. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," had this to say:

"Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfill the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase." (No. 17).

What are some of these good reasons? See here:
https://www.amazines.com/
Christian/article_detail.cfm/707722?articleid=707722

JayG said...

MgS,
You're simply observing a behavior and labeling it the effect, when the behavior very may well be the cause. That is why you remain vague about your "variation".

I am not denying anyone their rights, I am insisting on the long standing cultural and worldwide definition of marriage. I see no reason to grant special status to a group, as we are a nation of individuals with individual rights.

MgS said...

You're simply observing a behavior and labeling it the effect, when the behavior very may well be the cause. That is why you remain vague about your "variation".

I'm sorry, but the evidence speaks against transsexualism being the cause of the identified variations.

If you are expecting some definitive statement from me that says that "Factor X is directly and causally related to transexualism", you won't get it. This is because the evidence is not yet so conclusive.

Inconclusive evidence, however, does not justify systemic discrimination and marginalization of people. Period.

JayG said...

MgS,
I think we'd have to define "systemic discrimination and marginalization" before we use your inconclusive evidence to declare that someone has be discriminated against or marginalized. Else someone could use those terms to mean that they don't like not getting their way.

MgS said...

You want an explicit example:

Denying a transsexual a gender-appropriate designation on government-issued identification. (e.g. A Driver's license)

You might look at that and say "what's the big deal?". Well, it is a "big deal". Among other things, when that marker does not match social and physical presentation, it invites serious harassment by law enforcement. (don't laugh, it's all too common). Even more worrisome is in the circumstance where one is arrested (legitimately or otherwise), the individual is placed in the "men's prison" based on that gender marker. I don't think you really want to consider what happens to a MTF transsexual in such circumstances - it's not pretty.

It can also present enormous difficulties acquiring documents such as passports, and further complicates passing through customs without good reason.

The fact you do not have a working definition in your head for the term 'systemic discrimination' tells me that chances are very good you have never experienced it.

MgS said...

P. A. Melanson:

Your argument rests upon two errors in my view.

Error number one is to equate transsexuality with homosexuality. They are distinct conditions, only linked in the common understanding by common political cause to end the discrimination and fear which GLBT people are treated in general.

Transsexuals are not necessarily homosexual, any more than cisgender people are necesarily straight. It doesn't work that way.

The second error I take exception to is the characterization of sexual relationships in general. The reasoning in those characterizations strikes me as following the logical fallacy Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Among other things, to characterize a sexual relationship solely in terms of procreation is extremely limited, and once again creates a logical inconsistency when one considers the apparent validity of relationships where one or both members is Intersex, but unable to produce offspring.

If one is to assess the qualitative differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships, then show me the evidence for the claimed differentiation.

Thirdly, I haven't been talking about gay marriage, I've been talking about transsexuality and the legal obstacles that are arbitrarily placed in front of them for no good reason.

Lastly, even if I were to accept the tenets of the catechism-based "common good" argument, that argument fails - quite spectacularly - to demonstrate that the consequences raises fears about are in fact real. When the population incidence of homosexuality is very low (optimistically 2%-5% of population), and the incidence of transsexuality is even lower (<1%), I fail to see how such small numbers are going to materially affect the general population's experience and understanding of family and marriage.

Also, coming as I do from Canada, where gay marriage has been a reality for some time now, I simply see no evidence whatsoever that the claimed problems are in any respect real. They are, fundamentally bogeymen intended to promote fear.

MgS said...

Jayg:

One last thought on the subject of transsexuality as "behaviour".

Behaviour, in general, responds positively to therapeutic techniques like Behaviour Modification.

Intriguingly, transsexuality has never responded positively to such techniques. (and yes, they have been tried)

JayG said...

The "qualitative differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships" can be summed up in a simple statement - if it don't fit don't force it. This is why one can legitimately claim homosexual relations are unnatural, they go against the nature and natural use of the sexual [and digestive] organs.

As far as behavior modification I'd simply ask if it is so effective then why do we have so many people suffering from addictions, so many behavior problems in our schools, and even in our workplaces? I see amidst all this discussion of the difference between hetero/homo/trans-sexuality not a clarification but so much confusion, I am forced to ask if it is intended.

JayG said...

As an aside MgS, no one should be allowed to be raped, especially in prison. I disagree perhaps on how to address that, but would never justify that barbarism against anyone, nor even the threat of it.

MgS said...

As far as behavior modification I'd simply ask if it is so effective then why do we have so many people suffering from addictions, so many behavior problems in our schools, and even in our workplaces?

Behaviour problems - in general - can be addressed. Few people choose to do so actively.

Addictions are different issue, because they combine the body's physical response to alcohol/narcotics/nicotine/whatever with certain habitual behaviour. The habits can be addressed to some extent (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous), but the physical addiction is another issue entirely.

I see amidst all this discussion of the difference between hetero/homo/trans-sexuality not a clarification but so much confusion, I am forced to ask if it is intended.

What confusion are you referring to?

If the claim that a transsexual is not necessarily a homosexual confuses you, then to me, it means that you have a great deal to learn about the subject of gender and sexual identity.

The "qualitative differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships" can be summed up in a simple statement - if it don't fit don't force it. This is why one can legitimately claim homosexual relations are unnatural

Nice try. First off, that's a quantitative difference. Second, it fails entirely to address the relationship itself as it exists between two individuals.

Sex acts are just that - acts. I'm talking about relationships - and that's a completely different thing.

How can you prove that the bond between a committed homosexual couple is substantively different to that which exists in a heterosexual couple? At most you can assert such, but demonstrating it beyond assertion is next to impossible. I wouldn't even try to claim that heterosexual couples have "the same bond experience" from one couple to the next - each of us experiences things so differently.

John Ansley said...

MgS, responding to Paul Melanson's article on same-sex "marriage" and the common good writes, "Your argument rests upon two errors in my view.

Error number one is to equate transsexuality with homosexuality. They are distinct conditions, only linked in the common understanding by common political cause to end the discrimination and fear which GLBT people are treated in general.

Transsexuals are not necessarily homosexual, any more than cisgender people are necesarily straight. It doesn't work that way.

The second error I take exception to is the characterization of sexual relationships in general."

First of all, Paul wasn't equating transsexuality with homosexuality in this article. Secondly, his argument is based upon the tenets of Natural Law and is not simply a "catechism-based 'common good' argument."

You should attempt to argue his points rather than going off on a tangent.

JayG said...

MsG,
Are you suggesting that individuals should engage in sex acts without a relationship? How are these acts quantitative and not qualitative? I stated simply that they are not Natural because they don't fit. How are you arguing that they are Natural? Can someone will an act to be Natural?

John Ansley said...

Our opposition to homosexuality and same-sex "marriage" isn't simply a "Catechism-based" argument MgS. Our opposition is rooted in Natural Law:

Natural Law: The obligatory point of reference for civil law

In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II emphasized a point of critical importance for our times. He wrote, "Democracy cannot be idolized to the point of making it a substitute for morality or a panacea for immorality. Fundamentally, democracy is a 'system' and as such is a means and not an end. Its 'moral' value is not automatic, but depends on conformity to the moral law to which it, like every other form of human behavior, must e subject: in other words, its morality depends on the morality of the ends which it pursues and of the means which it employs. If today we see an almost universal consensus with regard to the value of democracy, this is to be considered a positive 'sign of the times,' as the Church's Magisterium has frequently noted. But the value of democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes. Of course, values such as the dignity of every human person, respect for inviolable and inalienable human rights, and the adoption of the 'common good' as the end and criterion regulating political life are certainly fundamental and not to be ignored.

The basis of these values cannot be provisional and changeable 'majority' opinions, but only the acknowledgement of an objective moral law which, as the 'natural law' written in the human heart, is the obligatory point of reference for civil law itself. If, as a result of a tragic obscuring of the collective conscience, an attitude of skepticism were to succeed in bringing into question even the fundamental principles of the moral law, the democratic system itself would be shaken in its foundations and would be reduced to a mere mechanism for regulating different and opposing interests on a purely empirical basis." (EV, 70).

This point is not understood by professor Robert Frakes of the History Department at Clarion University. In an article entitled, "Why the Romans Are Important in the Debate About Gay Marriage," professor Frakes writes:



"Continuing legislative measures attempting to ban gay marriage show that this issue, so critical in our last national election, remains a controversial topic. Since many of our political institutions are derived from ancient Roman precedents, a quick look at Roman laws regarding homosexuality serves to illustrate what may be driving some of the current controversy surrounding gay unions in the United States.

While the world of the ancient Greeks seems to have tolerated homosexuality (as seen in the poems of Sappho and the dialogues of Plato), that of the Romans was more cautious. Romans in the period of the Roman Republic and early empire tended to perceive the Greek acceptance of male homosexuality as less than male and, thus, literally unvirtuous (Vir being the Latin word for man). Indeed, a Roman term for effeminacy was “Graeculus”—“a little Greek!”

The earliest Roman law regarding homosexuality appears to have been the Lex Scantinia that was passed by the Roman assembly at some point in the Roman Republic (perhaps in the second century BC). Although the text of this law itself has not survived, later Roman jurists of the second and third century AD describe how it outlawed the homosexual rape of young male Roman citizens. Consensual male or female homosexual unions apparently were not legislated against. Although there is scholarly debate, Roman literature of the republic and early empire suggests that men who engaged in consensual liaisons were often mocked as unmanly, but consensual homosexual sex itself was not illegal.

This would change in the later Roman Empire. While the first three centuries of the empire saw no legislation as far as we can tell regarding homosexuality, aside from the continuation of the Lex Scantinia as marked by its citation by the Roman jurists, in the fourth century there would be dramatic new laws condemning male homosexuality. Most scholars interpret a convoluted law from the year 342 AD surviving in both the Theodosian Code and the Code of Justinian as a decree from the emperors Constantius II and Constans that marriage based on unnatural sex should be punished meticulously. Although Constans himself was later denounced as having male lovers, this trend of the emperors in condemning male homosexuality in laws would continue. In a law of 390, surviving in the Theodosian Code and the Lex Dei (‘Law of God’), the emperors Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius ordained that any man taking the role of a woman in sex would be publicly burned to death.

These laws certainly demonstrate a change from the Roman Republic where, to be sure, homosexual rape of male citizens was condemned but consensual homosexual sex was tolerated, even if sometimes mocked. Why did this change occur? The answer is fairly straightforward and lies ultimately in the results of the actions of the famous Roman emperor Constantine. In 312, this father of the emperors Constantius II and Constans had reached out to Christianity as the basis for his authority. Throughout the next 25 years of his reign, Constantine supported Christianity and gave financial help to the Church and legal sanction to some of the bishops’ powers. As his sons came of age in an increasingly Christian society, they and many of their advisors would have grown up with Biblical strictures. Thus, the pronouncements of the Book of Leviticus (18. 22, 20. 13) against male homosexuality as an abomination punishable by death in God’s eyes would logically have influenced writers of imperial law. Such strictures were reinforced in the New Testament (Romans 1. 24-27). So, it would appear that the growing influence of the Bible in an increasingly Christian Roman empire led emperors to condemn homosexual unions.

When we look at the current attempts in the United States to ban homosexual marriage, we must clarify what the premises for such measures are. If the drive to stop homosexual marriage ultimately derives from the Hebrew Bible, and its acceptance as religious truth by Christians, would not laws banning homosexual marriage be thus derived from religion? If so, such new legislation may well be an attempt to break down the “Wall of Separation” between Church and State that Thomas Jefferson described as an integral aspect of American government." (Source: http://www.hnn.us/articles/21319.html ).

What shall we make of this? Well, professor Frakes' argument fails to take into account the fact that the Natural Law predates Christianity. For example, fifty years before the birth of Christ, the Roman barrister and statesman Cicero declared that:

"right is based, not upon men’s opinions, but upon Nature. This fact will immediately be plain if you once get a clear conception of man’s fellowship and union with his fellow-men. For no single thing is so like another, so exactly its counterpart, as all of us are to one another…And so, however we may define man, a single definition will apply to all.” [Laws I x 28-30]

Cicero goes on later to draw two conclusions of critical importance, namely that laws exist for the common good, and laws that deny fundamental human rights are not valid laws at all: “It is agreed, of course, that laws were invented for the safety of citizens, the preservation of States, and the tranquillity and happiness of human life, and that those who first put statutes of this kind in force convinced their people that it was their intention to write down and put into effect such rules as, once accepted and adopted, would make possible for them an honourable and happy life; and when such rules were drawn up and put in force, it is clear that men called them ‘laws’. It may thus be clear that in the very definition of the term ‘law’ there inheres the idea and principle of choosing what is just and true.”

Therefore, the drive to stop homosexual "marriage" is not rooted solely in "the Hebrew Bible and its acceptance as religious truth by Christians." It is also rooted in the Natural Law (which may be known through the use of reason alone and without reference to the "Hebrew Bible"), a law which, according to Cicero (and a multitude of ancient philosophers), "is based not upon men's opinions, but upon Nature." And this Natural Law teaches us what is "just and true."

Paul Anthony Melanson
La Salette Journey
http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.
com/2007/02/natural-law-obligatory-point-of.html

MgS said...

Are you suggesting that individuals should engage in sex acts without a relationship? How are these acts quantitative and not qualitative? I stated simply that they are not Natural because they don't fit. How are you arguing that they are Natural? Can someone will an act to be Natural?

JayG: You misunderstand what I wrote. An intimate relationship between two human beings is far more than mere sexual contact. It is unreasonable, if not downright wrong, to characterize any such relationship purely in terms of the sexual interactions.

Your analysis focuses entirely upon an imagined sex act, rather than understanding the human relationship between two human beings as complete entities. I'm sure you do not define yourself exclusively in terms of what's between your legs, and I know I don't. I certainly hope that you do not characterize your marriage exclusively in terms of your sex life.

MgS said...

Our opposition is rooted in Natural Law:

Oh yes, the old saw (which JayG keeps on dredging up) about using things solely for their 'natural purpose'.

Nice, simple, and neat. Right?

Not quite. Nature is far from being as absolute as the "Natural Law" that philosophers of old used to assume.

Nature, as we understand it today is riddled with exceptions, and they are born every day. Whether it is a child born with a congenital heart defect, or an albino cat.

We know now, that night and day are not absolutely divided, but rather that evening and dawn are time periods where the two mix, and there isn't really a clear demarcation between the two.

So, one might well argue that much of what is postulated as "natural law" is, in fact, based upon very flawed assumptions about that which is natural. (Especially where Aquinas is concerned - as he is often quoted in more dogmatic attempts to dismiss homosexuality)

Further, I will point out that in centuries now long past, "Natural Law" was invoked as an argument against medical treatment - especially surgeries. In general, I do not see that same objection being raised today, when surgery can be used to save a patient. So, the understanding of what "natural law" means has clearly changed over the centuries, or it has become less relevant somewhere along the way.

Lastly, to return to my original point, although the religious love to claim all sorts of horrors will happen as a result of allowing gay marriage, nobody has ever demonstrated that this is in fact the case. Especially when one considers that we are talking about relatively small numbers of people. I just do not believe that there is a case to be made which shows harm to the notion of the "common good".

Lastly, both you and JayG are busily conflating two different issues. Gay marriage is quite unrelated to the issues of enabling transsexuals to live their lives in relative peace. To use the same arguments about gay marriage with respect to transsexuals is demonstrative of a lack of understanding.

JayG said...

MgS,
The Natural is not what happens in Nature, it has to do with the Natural use or function of things. Of course in Nature no animal could possibly do that imagined sex act we were discussing, as it is not naturally possible. Which begs the question, how did those scientists decide that some animals were gay, and not simply expressing a non-sexual, Platonic filial love?

MgS said...

Of course in Nature no animal could possibly do that imagined sex act we were discussing, as it is not naturally possible.

Ummm...right. So when I see a male dog mount another male dog, I'm not really seeing that. Got it.

You see, the problem I have with so-called "natural law" is that it is based in a specific set of presuppositions about what is, or is not "natural". Those suppositions are rooted in a moment in time, and the understandings of that time. No more than any other human attempt at codifying the world and "what is good and right" it is far from being absolute. It is always doomed to be tainted by the time in which it was written.

As I pointed out in my prior post on the subject, the great writers on the subject did their work centuries ago. Since then our understanding of nature and our place in the world has changed dramatically - and in many, many respects, calls into question those very assumptions upon which so-called "natural law" is founded.

Lastly, you are far, far too focused upon a sex act, and in doing so, are blind to the human experience that is real and involved.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

The Natural Law is immutable (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1958). The problem MgS is that you fail to understand what we mean when we say that this Natural Law is immutable or unchangeable:

"The natural law is universal, that is to say, it applies to the entire human race, and is in itself the same for all. Every man, because he is a man, is bound, if he will conform to the universal order willed by the Creator, to live conformably to his own rational nature, and to be guided by reason. However, infants and insane persons, who have not the actual use of their reason and cannot therefore know the law, are not responsible for that failure to comply with its demands. The natural law is immutable in itself and also extrinsically. Since it is founded in the very nature of man and his destination to his end—two bases which rest upon the immutable ground of the eternal law—it follows that, assuming the continued existence of human nature, it cannot cease to exist. The natural law commands and forbids in the same tenor everywhere and always. We must, however, remember that this immutability pertains not to those abstract imperfect formulæ in which the law is commonly expressed, but to the moral standard as it applies to action in the concrete, surrounded with all its determinate conditions. We enunciate, for instance, one of the leading precepts in the words: "Thou shalt not kill"; yet the taking of human life is sometimes a lawful, and even an obligatory act. Herein exists no variation in the law; what the law forbids is not all taking of life, but all unjust taking of life." (New Advent Encyclopedia).

MgS said...

Paul Melanson:

No, I understand what you mean by it just fine.

Every man, because he is a man, is bound, if he will conform to the universal order willed by the Creator, to live conformably to his own rational nature, and to be guided by reason.

Problem #1: We disagree on the nature of this "universal order", and its interpretation.

The natural law is immutable in itself and also extrinsically.

Really? So how do you explain the incredible diversity of humanity? Just maybe those who fall into what you claim is a violation of "natural law" are in fact a part of the previously described universal order.

We must, however, remember that this immutability pertains not to those abstract imperfect formulæ in which the law is commonly expressed, but to the moral standard as it applies to action in the concrete, surrounded with all its determinate conditions.

Herein lies the key admission: The encoding of so-called natural law is flawed simply by the fact that is a human endeavor.

By extrapolation, one can safely assume that our interpretation of both "natural law" and its encoding are flawed, and likely as not based on flawed understandings.

Turning back to the rational world of evidence, then I must insist that you demonstrate the harm to the common good that is the result of permitting gay marriage. I would suggest drawing your statistics from a country where gay marriage has been legal for a few years - say Canada, or some European countries.

If you are going to declare something as "violating natural law", then I must insist that you prove first that it is outside of the natural. If you are going to claim harm to the "common good", then you must demonstrate the harm - not merely assert it.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

The Natural Law is intrinsically unchangeable. To change intrinsically the Natural Law would have to become uselessor harmful, either in whole or in part. But it can never become uselessor harmful, because it prescribes what right reason sees to be in harmony with human nature taken completely in all its parts and relations, and human nature remains essentially the same. If human nature is essentially unchangeable, what is in harmony with human nature is unchangeable.

The Natural Law is extrinsically unchangeable. To change extrinsically the Natural Law would have to be repealed or amended by the lawgiver (remember, laws come into being by enactment and are abolished by repeal. They are changed by amendment, which consists either in canceling part of the law, or adding something to the law, or substituting a new part for an old). But the lawgiver in this case is God, and there is no danger of any other lawgiver usurping His authority. God could not change the Natural Law without contradicting Himself. As Author of human nature, God wills that we live according to our nature: this is the Natural Law.

Unlike irrational creatures, man is endowed with intellect and free will and is therefore the master of his conduct. He can act or refrain from acting. He can act in one way or another. However, while man is free to act, his liberty to do so is not absolute. He is not morally free to do what right reason tells him is wrong.

Your arguments fail because they do not recognize the need for a Supreme Legislator. If the Natural Law were not inscribed in human nature and present in man's conscience, the dictates of positive law would not resonate in his soul. No relation would exist between laws and man's innermost being. Laws would be purely external impositions, only to be obeyed because of the State's coercive power.

Therefore, laws opposing man's rational nature would would be totally arbitrary, since they would reflect the whims and fancies of lawmakers. This would not be true law, and it would not be binding in conscience.

Additionally, law based exclusively on human volition carries no moral authority over man, since, from a natural point of view, the will of one man is as good as that of another. No man's will is naturally superior to to his fellowman's will. Therefore, this volitional law would also not be binding on man's conscience.

In order for a law to bind man's conscience, its deepest roots and ultimate guarantee must be found in a Supreme Legislator, whose Will is naturally superior to human will. This superior Will must belong to God because His alone is superior to all other wills. This Supreme Will is expressed both in positive laws, i.e., laws established by God and contained in Revelation, and in Natural Law, as expressed throughout Creation.

And we all know what Revelation and the Natural Law have to say about homosexual acts. They close the sexual act to the gift of life and do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity, as the Catechism makes clear in No. 2357.

This is why they may not be approved.

JayG said...

So how do you explain the incredible diversity of humanity? - Variation on a theme.

I must insist that you demonstrate the harm to the common good that is the result of permitting gay marriage.
individual decisions on whether to procreate are voluntary, but societal decisions on pro-creation are mandatory else the State will cease to exist without more than mere replacement birth rates. watering down the definition of marriage further derails the Natural side effect of marriage - babies and therefore replacement population, and growth. Same sex marriage also provides for an unConstitutional group right, not an individual right, and further deteriorates the foundation of individual rights equal for all, without granting one group the right to redefine a cultural institution to appease their marriage envy.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

So what you are saying is that marriage equality will keep people from having babies? Someone needs a lesson about the birds and the bees... ;)

It seems implied that by our example alone our opponents see some sort of threat to their beliefs, but they can't quite tie that falsely perceived threat to marriage.

Nothing will be proven beyond hearsay, they know that so they won't address it. It is just like asking by what terms can we live in peace. They don't want to live with us at all, so they never respond when I ask.

And they defend all this ignorance and bigotry by claiming it is God's will while we all know Christ called His people to love one another and not to judge one another.

It's very sad, but we should never lose hope that one day they will see the light. He commands more of us even when that same effort is not returned, appreciated and is mocked.

Pax Christi

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

By the way, marriage equality is not a new or special right, it was ours all along as the constitution states, we are just finally standing up and demanding our government respect and honor those rights.

Ellen Wironken said...

Same-sex "marriage" destroys the integrity of true marriage by turning traditional into a species within the marriage genus. This broad marriage genus would supposedly encompass traditional marriage, homosexual or heteosexual unions, and whatever other bizarre new relationships might arise. For example, media around the world trumpeted the "marriage" between a 9 year old girl and a dog - see "Girl weds dog to break 'evil spell,'" http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3004930.stm

This new "marriage" genus, however, is not marriage. Marriage is the permanent, sacred bond uniting a man and woman who desire to constitute a family and face life's trials together. Marriage entails selfless dedication, devotion and sacrifice. Marriage and the family are sacred institutions that foster the common good of society.

The legalization of same-sex "marriage" and its placement on equal footing with traditional marriage subverts and destroys the latter. When public authority and society in general deny true marriage's uniqueness and irreplaceable contribution to the common good, and when individuals can find its legal incentives and rewards more easily in counterfeits, then true marriage is on the way to extinction.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

"Traditional" marriage is no more real than the Jackalope; it is a term created to confuse people into thinking civil marriage had something to do with religious marriage.

Religious marriage as a spiritual rite will never be open to others outside of that religious faith, civil marriage is available to all citizens gay or straight and has been for years.

You wouldn't want to mess with a 5 year tradition, would you? ;)

The only end marriage equality is going to bring aorund is the end to the day when people felt they had the God given right to hurt GLBT people in the name of religion. I doubt people are goign to forget how to make love.

If anything marriage will seem more intriguing to the next generation; if the gays are doing it then it is trendy! ;)

JayG said...

Actually Same-sex marriage as a Civil right will force private Christian (including Catholic), Jewish and eventually Muslim schools to employ legally married gays, lesbians and transgendereds, which means religious freedom will be restricted by the State. The presence of an openly married homosexual or lesbian in any classroom will undermine any teaching of the belief that God made marriage for one man and one woman. But if you are honest John H-G, you will admit this is the end game - parents will not be left alone if they want to impart their religious beliefs to their children, because these religious beliefs conflict with your re-definition of marriage.

How could a five year tradition be in the Constitution, or have been understood as acceptable for civil marriage at the founding of our Country so long ago?

JayG said...

A college student in Michigan has been formally dismissed from a graduate program for refusing to affirm a counseling client's homosexual behavior.
"What we have here is a Christian who is a student in a master's counseling degree program who was dismissed, kicked out of the school, simply because she was unwilling to violate her own religious beliefs in not advocating for homosexual behavior within the context of the counseling relationship," according to Jeremy Tedesco senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.
Tedesco believes the school is guilty of religious and viewpoint discrimination.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Jay, you bring up an interesting point; do people have the right to work in areas where their presence might constitute a contradiction to your teachings. I am on your side on this one, I think you should be allowed to hire only people who agree with and uphold you faith to teach in your schools.

Are you shocked by that opinion? You shouldn't be. There is no mob mentality in the gay world any more than there is in the heterosexual world. We are all just individuals, there really is no "us" v. "them" in my mind. I believe strongly that all people have a right to think what they want and to voice their opinions publicly. Voltaire once said "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

As to your claim that gay marriage will create this imposition in your schools, I think it is more likely this argument can and will be made from the position of employment equality and anti-discrimination.

We have had marriage equality or 5 years now, is this how it works currently in MA?

"How could a five year tradition be in the Constitution, or have been understood as acceptable for civil marriage at the founding of our Country so long ago?"

Our country's Constitution was set up to be flexible and accomodate change to society.

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."-George Washington

I think that this is exactly what is happening. Rather than looking at GLBT people as individuals and judging us by our individual merit we are being judged as a group.

Jay, I understand that you disagree with my life choices. I cam live with that, I don't expect you to agree. However, we live in a country where we claim to respect each other's free will and liberty. To deny me my ability to live my life uninhibited by your beliefs is contrary to the fundamental doctrine of our laws.

I've asked this periodically and never once gotten a response from you; by what terms are you willing to live in peace with your GLBT neihgbors?

JayG said...

John H-G,
I appreciate the sentiment that you agree that private schools should not be forced into hiring or continue the employment of legally married GLBTs, and I might argue that your position within “your side” is a very small minority, but the larger problem is since you have demanded (and gotten in some small measure) the Civil Right to same-sex marriage, any Religious Conscience clause will of necessity have to be struck down by the Courts (and is being struck down, and has been struck down). What I call the redefinition of marriage into a Civil right for a group of people (LGBT) has simultaneously defined those of us who believe marriage to be between one man and one woman into racists, and no racist beliefs are allowed in this country.

Therefore Same-sex marriage as a Civil Right gives people “the right to work in areas where their presence might constitute a contradiction to your [religious or personal] teachings.” The fact that you are on my side on this one is no consolation and will prevent nothing of this encroachment of the State into the Church.

If we had kept the legal debate to a debate of individual rights, we would have discussed individual rights; can a GLBT individual form a relationship with another individual and be granted rights such as hospital visitation, health proxy, inheritance, and other rights? But same-sex marriage has outlawed religious and personal beliefs that do not affirm the Naturalness and indeed the goodness of same-sex sex.

Many see that same-sex marriage will create conflicts with the religious liberty of institutions and individuals rejecting such marriages on religious grounds, though there is no agreement on how serious those conflicts are or how they might be resolved. But Marc D. Stern, whose many years handling religious freedom cases for the American Jewish Congress firmly believes that legal recognition of same-sex marriage will make clashes with religious liberty ''inevitable.''

No one seriously believes that a clergy will be forced to perform a GLBT marriage ceremony over his religious conscience objections, but Mr. Stern sees a multitude of conflicts for “schools, health care centers, social service agencies, summer camps, homeless shelters, nursing homes, orphanages, retreat houses, community centers, athletic programs and private businesses or services that operate by religious standards, like kosher caterers and marriage counselors.” E.g. Boston Catholic Charities no longer provides any adoption services.

So the question becomes John, would you defend to the death the right of a Catholic school to fire an openly GLBT married teacher as a matter of Religious Conscience? We may very well need your life and all of our lives, in this cause.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Yes Jay, I would lend my voice to the cause of defending private institution's rights to employ people they deem appropriate according to their beliefs. It is by listening to all combined voices that we extract the best ideas. You would have never known about my thoughts if you hadn't stopped to listen. That act leaves me hopeful.

I think it is high time we all start thinking about what we CAN do together, and although I do not agree with everything you say I by no means wish to see that voice silenced. I'm sure we can find other things we can agree on and work together on as well, for our common good.

I don't expect you to ever change your stance on marriage equality, but perhaps one day you may see past this obstacle and view the rest of me as the Christian I am. There is so much work to be done, like domestice abuse, poverty, drug addiction, and homeless children. I'm sure you'd agree these are all important causes.

William said...

"..but perhaps one day you may see past this obstacle and view the rest of me as the Christian I am."

Translation: perhaps one day you will be able to affirm me in my dissent from Church teaching and rejection of God's Law.

You may not have long to wait. He's already bowed to your demand to be called JHG - which is tantamount to accepting your new identity which has resulted from your homosexual "marriage."

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Shouldn't you be at Easter Vigil right now William?

William said...

Be assured that I do worship Hosty. Shouldn't you be abandoning your immoral lifestyle and making a sacramental confession? Oh wait, it's not politically correct to remind you that homosexual acts are gravely sinful....What was I thinking? We're not supposed to challenge you in your sodomite "lifestyle." We're supposed to enable you in your delusions.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Actually William what we are supposed to do is not judge each other or become an obstacle in each other's way to Him. Read Romans 14:13.

We can live as respectful neighbors even when we disagree strongly on key issues. Just because you believe I am a sinner doesn't make you a bad person, only your actions can do that. When you misrepresent me as anti-Christian or say things to be hurtful (you know what is hurtful) then you are on the wrong path.

I don't hold it against you because I believe you do the wrong things for the right reasons. You see my acceptance as a threat to your beliefs, but you shouldn't have to. You already live in a community where Muslims live, they are heretics, yet you make a personal choice to treat them with the dignity their personal actions dictate.

Why should it be different? Because of who you are, not what I've done. It's your choice how you treat people, but it speaks of you and not them. You own your actions.

JayG said...

John,
If you are going to quote Scripture, then quote Scripture! Don't selectively paraphrase it and misrepresent it to support your erroneous contention about homosexual acts, about judgment, or to cast aspersions on William.

Compare Mt7:1 Judge not, that you may not be judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? 4 Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 6 Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.

with

1st Cortinthians6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to be judged before the unjust: and not before the saints? 2 Know you not that the saints shall judge this world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know you not that we shall judge angels? How much more things of this world?

There is a proper way to judge! Your comparison of the muslims to William has to be interpreted as William must eventually accept and believe Islam is a true path to God, as you contend we must accept your homosexual behavior as true love and not disordered. That's is faulty logic on top of misrepresentation of Scripture. Enough of the sanctimony.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

"you contend we must accept your homosexual behavior"

No, I do not. What I expect is that your rights to believe what you want and to speak those beliefs will be protected as are mine. We do not have to live by each other's beliefs.

Also, we do not have to agree in order to treat each other with respect. Our actions in this realm speak of us as individuals rather than our religion. Were it as simple as a matter of religion all Catholics would have the same stance as those here, yet they do not.

Perhaps you're falling behind in the Roman Catholic's teachings of how to behave when dealing with people who have same sex attraction. I would suggest you review couragerc.net/thefivegoals.html

Not only is it possible we respectfully disagree, I believe it is expected.

JayG said...

Since Courage is a well known and respected group within the Catholic Church, and unlike Dignity faithful to the Magisterium, I'll post the correct link:
The Five Goals
The following five goals of Courage were created by the members themselves, when Courage was founded. The goals are read at the start of each meeting and each member is called to practice them in daily life.

1. Live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. (Chastity)
2. Dedicate ones life to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. (Prayer and Dedication)
3. Foster a spirit of fellowship in which all may share thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone. (Fellowship)
4. Be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life and in doing so provide encouragement to one another in forming and sustaining them. (Support)
5. Live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example/Role Model)

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

While you're at it Jay, how does the Courage program call Catholics to treat people of same sex attraction?

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginians would be protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation under a bill passed Friday by state senators.

Last year, the Senate unanimously passed similar legislation, which adds sexual orientation to West Virginia's existing civil rights laws, but on Friday, seven Republicans and three Democrats opposed it.

The bill (SB238) would protect people from being fired or denied housing because of their orientation. Speaking in support of the legislation, Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Kessler asked his colleagues to remember the Biblical command to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

"That Golden Rule is nothing more than treating people with dignity, fairness and respect," Kessler said. "Nothing more, nothing less."

You can read the rest here:

http://wvgazette.com/News/200903130874

JayG said...

Since Courage charitably advocates those with same-sex to live chaste lives, I imagine they want others, especially Catholics, to do likewise, charitibly speak to the need for chastity. Obviously this would be being against same-sex marriage, but one can act with firm intention and charity. The Truth bespeaks a charity itself.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

I'm not really sure I understand your answer to my question if in fact you were trying to answer it. Are you saying that Courage campaign calls for treating GLBT people charitably?

As far as assuming I'm not chaste, unless you want to ask me about my private life I suggest we leave that off topic and concentrate on working together towards a common good. We have already proven we have common interests and agree on some issues, that is exciting don't you agree?

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

"John,
If you are going to quote Scripture, then quote Scripture! Don't selectively paraphrase it and misrepresent it to support your erroneous contention about homosexual acts, about judgment, or to cast aspersions on William."

I had said: "Actually William what we are supposed to do is not judge each other or become an obstacle in each other's way to Him. Read Romans 14:13."

Romans 14:13
13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

Seems to me I was right on the mark Jay, what was your point?