On New Year’s Day, millions of Americans faced the dawn of a new era and made promises to be better people. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, however, wrote an open letter that called same-sex marriage a “legal fiction” and asked Catholics to complain to their legislators about an upcoming marriage-equality bill.
“It is physically impossible for two men or two women to consummate a marriage, even when they share a deep friendship or love,” George wrote in his letter, meant to be published in parish bulletins. “Does this mean nature is cruel or that God is unfair? No, but it does mean that marriage is what nature tells us it is and that the State cannot change natural marriage.”
Hey, Georgie—you want to keep “natural marriage” between one man and one woman? Be our guest. We’re talking about civil marriage, which is a beast of a different color.
“How the Church – or any faith – views marriage within it’s own institution is one thing, but secular society treats marriage as a civil right,” says Rick Garcia of The Civil Rights Agenda, Illinois’ leading LGBT rights group. “No individual or church, including Cardinal George and the Catholic Church is going to be forced to perform or recognize any marriages they would not find consistent with their own beliefs.”
The Cardinal penned his miserable missive as Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) prepare to introduce gay-marriage legislation in this month’s lame-duck session. Amazingly, the Cardinal wrote that despite the opposition to marriage equality, the Church itself is not anti-gay, and cited a number of groups for Catholic gays.
No disrespect, your eminence, but those groups wouldn’t have been formed in the first place if gays and lesbians hadn’t felt so persecuted by the Church.