Caitlin Bootsma of Human Life International's Truth and Charity Forum has a list of questions she would like to ask advocates of same-sex marriage. It has become difficult to debate marriage, she wrote at Aleteia, because those on both sides of the issue frequently are not talking about the same issues. It is also difficult to have a rational discussion because supporters of redefining marriage call those who disagree with them bigots or intolerant without engaging in any debate.
Bootsma quoted some of Archbishop Cordileone's remarks at the March for Marriage and then wrote:
Whether we think that marriage is being further eroded in our country or whether we feel that we or someone we know “deserves the right” to be married to someone of the same-sex, this is not an exercise in debate club, but an issue of momentous significance to our nation. It is for this reason that I rarely, if ever, have had the opportunity ask sincere questions of same-sex marriage advocates.
Here is Bootsma's list of questions she would like to ask advocates of redefining marriage:
1. Rights. Advocates discuss the right to get married a lot. What is not discussed much at all is the rights of children involved. While not every same-sex couple will use sperm or egg donation to have children, many will. When a life is created in this way, a child is being purposefully deprived of their biological father or mother. This is different than adoption, when adoptive parents choose to adopt a child who is already parentless. How do you see a child’s rights in circumstances such as these? Do you see any worth in a child growing up with his or her biological parents?
Equality. Same-sex marriage is often called the new Civil Rights movement. In the Civil Rights movement, people were fighting against laws that denied certain privileges to people because of some aspect of their identities (their skin color). Yet, marriage is not being denied to anyone. Marriage has always been a union between a man and a woman and this institution is open to those of consenting age, etc. Could you explain to me how this is a fight for equality, rather than a fight for the redefinition of marriage?
3. What is a marriage, anyway? One thing I don’t understand is, if marriage is not between only a man and a woman, how it is any different from another long lasting relationship? Heterosexual spouses not only make a life-long commitment, but they unite sexually in a way unique to heterosexual couples, with the potential to have children. I truly am not being sarcastic when I ask: if we are going to expand the definition of marriage, why shouldn’t non-sexually involved friends get married, or even siblings? What makes marriage unique?
4. Love is love? If there is any slogan I don’t understand, it is this one. In my experience, love is different depending on the circumstances. I love my mother in a different way than I love my husband, just as I love my friends in a different way than I love my children. Just because there is love between two people does not necessarily make it spousal love, does it?
5. Can we talk? Since this debate ramped up several years, I have seen any number of personal insults hurled from both sides. “Deviant,” “bigoted,” “perverted,” “intolerant,” to name just a few. This does not get us anywhere. Would you agree that we should put the name-calling aside and discuss actual issues in the public square?
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