1. (Feb. 28, 2005 column)
First, there is a basic difference between private behavior and public approval of it under law. Laws teach, for better or worse, thus inviting behavior to conform. Census data reveal a dramatic increase in the number of self-identified homosexual couples. If licensing will not augment this trend, the same-sex advocates need to tell us why.
Second, we know children do best in a family with a mother and a father. Families struggling with one parent have higher rates of poverty, more juvenile crime and less educational achievement -- all real public harms. If the legion of studies demonstrating the ill consequence of divorce and the difficulty of single parenting don't apply, the same-sex advocates need to tell us why.
Third, the Netherlands' experience with civil unions and elsewhere in Europe suggests that legally widening the definition of marriage makes marriage socially insignificant. Sensing perhaps the law's indifference to their social choices, more couples -- heterosexual and homosexual -- simply cohabit.
Catholic colleges have a special obligation to explore the veracity and incidence of these social harms in an objective manner. The law school in the nation that for years has led the way toward a better understanding of the harmful consequences of same-sex marriage is The Columbus Law School of The Catholic University of America in Washington.
2. (June 5, 2006 column)
McCain is a thoughtful man; no doubt he believes his refusal to support the federal marriage amendment is the course of "live and let live" toleration. The witness of the Catholic faith, however, finds this to be the greatest error of all.
There is nothing tolerant or moderate in ignoring legal developments that further undermine the understanding of marriage as a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman, joined as husband and wife.
As the bishops of the church said: "[T]his union was established by God with its own proper laws ..., and it exists for the mutual love and support of the spouses and for the procreation and education of children. These two purposes, the unitive and the procreative, are equal and inseparable."
There is nothing extreme, controversial or hateful in Catholic teaching or the proposed amendment. To the contrary, urging the adoption of language reaffirming marriage and family in our foundational document might well be expected of someone seeking to be president of the United States.
It is certainly our Catholic calling.
3. (June 30, 2008 column)
Yes, endorse claims of created equality when the distinctions of the past have been shown to lack reason. But do not pretend to make equal that which is not (procreative and nonprocreative relationships) or find a universal right to contradict human nature itself.
In today's San Francisco Chronicle, Professor Kmiec urges The Governator to overrule the people of California and pretend to make equal that which is not. Read it here.