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Front Page » March 10, 2009 » Opinion » Letter to the editor: Homosexual rights
Published 1,871 days ago

Letter to the editor: Homosexual rights


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By WILLIAM SHARP
Castle Dale

Editor,

In a major break from their past position, speaking officially for the LDS Church on Nov. 5,2008, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated "the LDS Church does not oppose civil unions or domestic partnerships that involve legal protections for gay and lesbian couples."

This statement followed up by Gov. Huntsman's support has energized the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender movement here in Utah. Assuring us the battle has just begun, on Feb. 2, Equality Utah launched a new massive ad campaign with newspaper and radio ads and two huge billboards along I-15, one near Lehi which reads "The LDS Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples and one near South Salt Lake which reads; "83 percent of Utahns agree: Gay people should have legal protections." Mike Thompson executive director of Equality Utah speaking of this new approach said; "We've modeled our legislative proposals directly from the statements of the LDS church." All of which goes to show the LBGT movement realizes the extreme momentum that the LDS church has given to them here in Utah and they are going to push it.

While it is true that the LDS church and Gov. Huntsman speak for many in Utah, they do not speak for all of us. Some of us still believe in the Bible, real history, and the facts and statistics showing the disastrous consequences of these forbidden lifestyles.

As a rock in the storm, the 2,000 year old Catholic Church, continuing in its unchanging tradition, leads in the fight against the legal recognition of these lifestyles for good reason; 2,000 years of experience watching the devastation of those who reject Christ's clear teachings. The Catholic church's arguments are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society. Speaking on the issue of legal rights Pope Benedict has said, and I quote; "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved." Sacred scripture condemns homosexual acts as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10).

"Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good. In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application.

"The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice. The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it. Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil. As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral.

"Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children.

"All Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth.

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions

"The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself," said Pope Benedict.

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