Hollywood may back gay marriage, but common sense doesn’t

Father John A. Kiley

The recent movie The Duchess allowed me to indulge my fascination with British history.

Alas, before this saga of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, hit the screen, the viewers were treated to a preview of the new movie “Milk,” a docu-drama about openly gay San Francisco councilman Harvey Milk who was assassinated for his liberal opinions on same-sex activities. The preview offered glimpses of handsome young men and less good-looking young women cheering Milk as he fought for so-called gay rights.

The next day The Providence Journal arrived with the front page headline that the Connecticut Supreme Court had quite narrowly extended marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Later in the week, the Rev. Henry Rix, columnist for the local Warwick Beacon, offered an article explaining away the New Testament’s harsh words for homosexual activities.

Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, this is just the beginning. When our legislative session begins once again, the people of Rhode Island will be inundated with pro-homosexual propaganda which will not subside until any appreciation of traditional marriage has been obliterated from Rhode Island’s laws and the meaning of family life has lost any definition. Consider for a moment the celebrity backing received during October to defeat California’s Proposed Marriage Law:

Brad Pitt ($100,000); Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw ($50,000 each); George Lucas ($50,000); Ellen deGeneres ($100,000); Suze Orman, TV financial expert ($10,000); T.R. Knight of Grey’s Anatomy ($50,000); Monica Rosenthal of Everybody Loves Raymond ($25,000); John August, screenwriter for Charlie’s Angels ($50,000); California Teachers Association ($1,000,000); Hollywood Producer Steve Bing ($1,000,000 matching gift; California Teachers Union Issues PAC ($2,000,000); California Nurses Association ($40,000); Service Employees International Union ($100,000); Barbra Streisand, Melissa Etheridge, Mary Blige fundraiser ($3.9 mil).

Rhode Island’s same-sex proponents will never accumulate backing such as this but there will be plenty of argument offered to the citizens of this state to renounce marriage as the permanent and exclusive union of a man and woman open to new life. Marriage is already being presented as the simple union of “two people who love one another.” And it very difficult to turn one’s back on love. The defense of traditional marriage will be dismissed as bigotry and prejudice; endorsement of same-sex unions will be welcomed as compassion and enlightenment. Christians should be prepared to be vilified.

What must be maintained at this time, however, is that Christians and other persons of good will have as their primary focus the defense of marriage. As peripheral to Christianity as same-sex activities are, it is not primarily a struggle against homosexuality that must occupy the believer; it is rather a personal re-examination and eager defense of the true meaning of marriage with its emphasis on an enduring union of one man and one woman open to children. It is marriage that Christians and others are protecting. It is not homosexuals that Christians are victimizing. Believers must not be intimidated by those who twist love for marriage into hatred for gays. Homosexuals are not the issue; marriage is.

Christians themselves must recall proudly and resolutely that openness to children is just as integral to marriage as the enduring commitment of the spouses. Incapable of producing offspring, so-called same-sex marriage would strike at the very heart of civilization’s oldest institution. Family life has suffered enough with contraception, divorce, cohabitation, single parenthood and reproductive experimentation. While these abuses weaken marriage, so-called same-sex unions mock marriage. The thousands of years of prerogatives with which society has enshrined marriage for the protection of families and the security of children would be abducted. Marriage would be kidnapped. It would be hijacked.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus praises the wise use of talents. Rhode Island Christians should be eager to put their gifts and their genius to work defending marriage. The call is not to despise any segment of the community. The call is to defend the very foundation of community as set by God.