Jaime Soto on marriage

/ 3 October 2008

Roman Catholic Bishop Jaime Soto, of Sacramento, CA recently delivered a talk aimed at the November 4th ballot initiative in CA (Proposition 8) that attempts to clarify and strengthen church teaching on marriage and sexuality. What’s interesting to me about it is that if you change the one element — if you understand that the committed, monogamous, procreative relationship of marriage COULD be between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman — then the whole thing is a quite beautiful reflection on marriage.

Further, he gives no particular reason to believe that you should NOT make that change. Because actually, if you believe that homosexuality is a human trait that is a given, not a choice, and that procreation is possible in more ways than simply the biological, then the rest of his argument works as an argument in FAVOR of gay marriage. It even helps to support Catholics who believe such a thing in the context of the church, because he has a lengthy argument as to why we ought not to believe what is "popular" simply to "go along to get along." (Hence, why we ought to resist church pressure to believe otherwise, and follow the gospel!).

Of course, this interpretation I'm advancing only works if you believe in the role a carefully informed conscience might play, the reality that our understanding of what constitutes given human nature can evolve over time, that adopting children is also a form of pro-creation, and so on. But his piece does make it very clear to me why certain religious folk are clinging so tenaciously to legislatively or constitutionally defining marriage as "between a man and a woman" -- quite simply, because they have no other leg to stand on.