Photo by Peter G. Sánchez
MERCHANTVILLE — On Thursday, Feb. 23, the St. Peter, Merchantville, Young Adult Group presented a talk entitled “Why Marriage Matters: Same-Sex Marriage and the Catholic Church” with Christopher C. Plante, regional coordinator for the National Organization for Marriage.
Some 30 people attended, with some participants passionately voicing their opposition to same-sex marriage.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting marriage as the union between one man and one woman, the National Organization for Marriage has impacted state and local politics across the United States in lobbying and supporting initiatives for the institutions of marriage and family.
Calling the National Organization for Marriage “the pre-eminent organization fighting to sustain marriage,” Plante emphasized that the group was not discriminating against same-sex partnerships, but arguing against these unions being recognized as marriages across the United States.
“Marriage is when a man and woman are united physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually,” said Plante. He said that gays and lesbians have the right to live as they want, but not the right to redefine marriage.
In the Catholic Church, Plante remarked, marriage is a sacrament, a permanent union between a husband and wife. With the couple mirroring Christ’s sacrificial love for each other, each experiences God’s grace.
Furthermore, marriage matters because social science research has supported the importance of male and female unions, he said. For instance, marriage reduces the risk of poverty for children and communities; marriage protects children’s physical and mental health; both men and women who marry live longer, healthier and happier lives.
On the downside, he said, when marriages fail, there can be tragic consequences. Fatherless households are connected to increases in crime, and children of parents who don’t get, or stay, married, have lower grade point averages. They are also more likely to drop out of school, and less likely to graduate college.
With the frequent passage of laws across the country redefining marriage, there has been a weakening of the marriage culture, the breakdown of a system that has been best designed to raise the next generation, and a damaging of religious liberties.
Referring to marriage as the best institution to protect children, Plante said that “Children need moms and dads,” adding that same-sex marriage now teaches the next generation of youth that one half of humanity, either mothers or fathers, are now indispensable.
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