Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!


Same-sex relationships
June 13, 2012, 10:55 am
Filed under: Opinion

In all the furore regarding the Government’s declared intention to allow same-sex “marriage”, a simple matter of semantics seems to be overlooked. The Church (and society generally) has hitherto used the term “marriage” to refer to a union of a man and a woman that is essentially procreative. That is what the word “marriage” means, deriving from the Latin “matrimonium”, itself deriving from words meaning the function of motherhood.

The proposed modern meaning has no essential connection with parenthood at all, it simply refers to a union of two people who wish to give public expression to their mutual love (which need not involve any sexual activity). Such unions are not, in the old sense of the word, “marriages” at all, so why insist on so calling them? Why not be content with the term “partnership”?

If the law is changed, I hope that the Church will have the backbone to withdraw entirely from the business of registering “marriage” on behalf of the state, but will confine itself to celebrating Holy Matrimony for those who wish to dedicate themselves to the responsibilities and privileges of parenthood. Such couples could then gain any civil benefits by registering for “state marriage”, or “civil marriage”, in a quite distinct formality.

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