Why Is Gay Marriage A Life Issue?

Fr. Michael Mendl Reveals Why Life Issues Are Not Just About Abortion

If Homosexual Sexuality Is Allowed Then “Why Not Allow That Any
Sexual Relationship—Polygamy, Polyandry, Incest, Bestiality. . . “

Fr. Michael Mendl SDB

From the Eastern Front – And gay marriage? How’s that a life issue? By nature’s design, homosexual relations are sterile. They ignore one of the 2 vital, necessary, essential characteristics of marriage. Marriage is an exclusive relationship of mutual love, commitment, fidelity, and support. But it is also a relationship ordered toward fertility, toward new life. To exclude deliberately either of these essentials—the mutual love, etc., or openness to new life—is to speak of something other than marriage.

You can have mutual love, commitment, fidelity, and support in many kinds of relationships: parent-child, brother-sister, threesomes (and more), you and your dog. If openness to new life, if sexual complementarity, aren’t considered, why not allow that any sexual relationship—polygamy, polyandry, incest, bestiality—be sanctioned as a loving and committed relationship, and called “marriage”? There’s no logical reason to say no.

Someone will always say, “But what about elderly couples who marry, or a man or woman who is naturally sterile?” There’s no deliberate exclusion of fertility there. Their male-female sexual relationship is open to life, even if, practically speaking, a new life’s unlikely or “impossible.” The relationship itself is life-affirming and not intentionally life-denying.

Gay relationships—and relationships that deliberately exclude the possibility of children, either permanently (marriages that are childless by choice) or temporarily—are inherently life-denying. In other words, relationships involving contraception are life-denying. We can also see now, with hindsight, that the acceptance of contraception in marriage has been the camel’s nose inside the tent, changing our understanding of marriage from one that was always open to the possibility of new life to one in which the couple became the focus of the relationship. If they’re what the relationship is all about—their love, their feelings, their mutual support—then of course any relationship, regardless of gender, can be called “marriage,” and as noted already, you can’t logically confine it to a relationship of 2 only, or of 2 unrelated people.

We can call all of this Church teaching “the Gospel of life,” which is in fact what JPII titled one of his major encyclicals. But if you look at the issues and the reasoning closely, you’ll see that the Church’s teaching doesn’t depend only upon a reading of the Bible or upon a papal encyclical. It depends on science, on reason, on the laws of human nature—what philosophers have for ages called natural law. But we associate it with the teaching of Christ because it’s centered on human beings, people created, we believe, in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, raised from the dead; people destined for “salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” If we hope to attain that eternal glory in Christ Jesus, then we must hold fast to him and to his teaching, even at the risk of being countercultural, of being stigmatized if not criminalized. Better yet, we have to unchain the word of God, to try to change the culture, to Christianize it by making it more life-affirming.