Benedict Weighs In

A statement on the California decision - which naturally doesn't mention it explicitly:

"The union of love, based on matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family, represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by, confused with, or compared to other types of unions."

Actually, I agree with this in large part. I revere heterosexual unions and heterosexual marriage. When such a union produces biological children, it also reaches mystical, powerful heights of human experience. I wouldn't want it substituted by or confused with anything else. In Catholic theology, you can easily see why the sacrament of matrimony is exclusively heterosexual - because this newest sacrament is all about reproducing.

But as a civil matter, in an institution not intrinsically linked to procreation any more, I don't see why the secular law should forbid others enjoying the same rights and responsibility in the same civil institution, regardless of fecundity, children or sexual orientation. It isn't either-or. It's both-and. Of course, this Pope rejects the distinction between secular law and Catholic theology. But the correct civic response to this is to tell this guy to take a flying jump. Religious authorities should not control secular law.