Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/

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Location: 3103 Arlington Avenue,, Bronx, NY 10463, United States

November 11, 2009


New York's State Senate met yesterday for a special session, called by Governor Paterson to respond to a projected $3 billion state deficit and to approve same-sex marriage. Big challenge, one day special session. But it began at noon! Our dysfunctional state senate accomplished nothing in its special half-day session!

NY City gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had emotionally called for passage of the marriage bill. NY Post's headline: "Speaker's Hail 'Marry' Appeal". But bringing the bill to the floor was postponed; the Senate's future approval is doubtful. Both sides are now in place for more lobbying.

This blogger urges the senators to vote for equal civil rights and benefits for same-sex unions. But please use the right word:"civil union", "partnership", whatever. Be creative, but do not use the word, "marriage". "Marriage" has a long history as a word, which denotes a union significantly different, as to anatomical use and function, from a same sex union.

A legislature has the right to confer equal rights and benefits; it has no constitutional or other right to reinvent the dictionary or to interrupt the history of linguistics on the origin and development of words. Can a legislature declare: "After January 1, 2010, the word,'marriage',has, by our etymological authority, been broadened to an additional meaning that includes same-sex unions and henceforth shall be so understood by all." I think not!

Under the constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws, those who have entered a traditional "marriage" would enjoy the right to that named word as hitherto understood. A legislature has no right to discriminate against this class of citizens by denying it its exclusive use of "marriage". I wish our state senators well to equalize benefits but not to embark on a linguistic adventure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour 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 behaviour, 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.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience of March 28, 2003, approved the present Considerations, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered their publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.
Joseph Card. Ratzinger

November 12, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Go Harry..Marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Anything else cannot be called a marriage and should not.

November 12, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let those who want to marry marry. the church should not impose its sacramental understanding oncivil society.
The Bishop in Main committed church money to fund the anti gay marriage proposal (after parishioners declined to give to a special fund for this purpose)at the same time he closed Catholic churches for the lack of funds.
Younger people are much more tolerant of gay marriage. I am afraid the church is throwing the peoples money down a rat hole that will just convince many people to give less - and local politico's are calling for an end to the churches tax exempt status because of its funding this measure that narrowly won.

November 15, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Thomas A. Byrne said...

I do not know how old you are but I may be one of the "younger" people who are not accepting of homosexual marriage. Furthermore, if you are going to remain anonymous you should know what you are talking about. In remaining anonymous, are you assuming that you will not get an educated response?

January 1, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

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