Prop 8 overturned: “The law is an ass”

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh “The law is a ass.” So spoke Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The … Continued

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

“The law is a ass.”

So spoke Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The sometimes humorous jab at lawyers hit home August 4, when Federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California’s Proposition 8 that had defined marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

The decision called California citizens’ decision to define marriage as “irrational,” which suggests that their decision was absurd and beyond the pale. What’s really irrational is the judge’s dismissal of marriage between a man and a woman – the basic bedrock of our society – as if it were some kookie idea. What’s irrational is his ignoring the will of the people with real life experience of marriage, who have voted down gay marriage not only in California, but throughout the United States whenever legalization of gay marriage has been put to a vote. These votes did not take place in pockets of conservatism. Fourteen years ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 342-67, and the Senate voted 85-14, to accept the traditional definition of marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

What is even more irrational is the judge’s dismissal of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and Freedom of Religion with these damning words: “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

The judge’s placing religion and government at odds amounts to Constitutional irrationality. It is no small irony that his anti-religious position is enshrined in a ruling deemed to oppose bigotry. The U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens freedom for religion. That precludes government from weighing in on the “acceptability” of religious beliefs.

Judge Walker, in his decision, backed his bigotry with errors, including the misstatement that the “Catholic Church views homosexuality as sinful.” The fact is, the Catholic Church sees homosexuality as a condition, an inclination in a person, something not intrinsically sinful. The church calls for pastoral support, not condemnation, for people with this inclination. The Catholic Church makes clear that it is homosexual activities it deems sinful, because it holds that all sexual activity belongs within marriage between a man and a woman. At the same time the Catholic Church opposes all unjust discrimination against gays and lesbians and abhors violence against them.

The Catholic Church also holds that marriage is a unique institution with a privileged place because it is foundational to the good of society. The church is not alone in holding that a family headed by a mother and a father is the optimal place in which to raise a child. Judge Walker begs to differ, however, and says with grand aplomb that research that supports the contrary view “is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.” If there’s ever been a statement open to debate it’s that one.

Judge Walker devoted three pages of his decision to make his case for the bigotry of religion, an insult to the tens of millions of religious people in the nation. This is not to deny that some people act despicably and portray their bigotry against gays as religious expression. So too do those who spew anti-immigrant, anti-woman, and anti-whatever sentiments. They’re an unfortunate result of our human condition that lets the morally weak, even morally decrepit, walk among us. Bigoted people are an unfortunate result but not a reason to upend the U.S. Constitution.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, was spot on when he declared that “marriage is more fundamental and essential to the well being of society than perhaps any other institution. It is simply unimaginable that the court could claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution.”

On August 4, 2010, Judge Walker proved Dickens was right. The law is a ass.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh is director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • rbmyersusa

    The Washington Post is now a public relations organ of the Vatican? This is a new low.

  • thirflelev

    Are you dreaming, Sister Walsh? While I respect your religious beliefs, I have a major problem with your choice to impose them on others.Most of us believe that gay men and women have the option to form their own relationships and not be subject to the ridiculous moral disapprobation of others. Thanks in advance,Darren Shupe

  • penniless_taxpayer

    Judge Walker is an admitted homosexual. He should have recused himself from the case. It is a clear conflict of interest. That alone is grounds for the Supreme Court to overturn his decision.

  • flanoggin

    So…if DOMA is overturned by a different congress you are OK with it? You support religious intrusion into secular government? And really, sister, what do YOU know about marriage? The law is an ass??? It seems to me it takes one to know one

  • flanoggin

    To penniless—if the judge was heterosexual a similar bias would be in place.

  • favorite1

    Why doesn’t the Church just leave people alone? Would Jesus have voted for Prop 8? Why is the government regulating marriage (heterosexual or otherwise) AT ALL?

  • atrussophd

    This decision in NO WAY impacts religous freedom. Any church is still free to practice their faith as the see fit and are not required to recognize a homosexual union or accept homosexuals into their ranks. Marriage as a sacrament is as you describe. Marriage as a secular social contract is a completely different thing. This is like telling atheists that they cannot celebrate christmas or easter because they do not believe in Christ. Good luck with that. Like it or not the word “marriage” has been redifined in a secular way. In the eyes of the church homosexuals may not be permitted to have their union blessed in the sacrament of marriage but as far as the law is concerned they should be allowed to be “married” in the eyes of the government. Andjust because a majority of people passed a proposition on an issue does not make them right. It can still be unconstitutional or just simply wrong. What if a a ballot initiative in some state passed that allowed polygamy? Or banned interracial marriage? I could go on. Would you say the people have spoken! This state defines marriage to be between a man and a woman of the same color, or ethnic background or whatever. And don’t think that would be any different than denying a couple marriage based on their sexual preference. It isn’t.

  • nohocal11

    If his being gay is a conflict of interest, then all black judges need to remove themselves from racial discrimination cases; all women judges need to remove themselves from abortion cases; all white male judges should remove themselves from affirmative action cases; all Christian judges need to remove themselves from Christianity cases; his sexual orientation has nothing to do with the fact that discrimination is wrong. Two people = marriage. Shall we pass a law that infertile people cannot get married if the sole purpose of marriage is for child rearing.

  • bbashaw1

    Freedom of expression does NOT include making it illegal for a minority to participate in the legal and financial benefits the government affords to the majority. All pay taxes and the benefits should apply across the board.

  • Jioloin

    Dear sister,

  • westernnate

    ”Freedom of religion and freedom of speech allow us to speak without his deeming us harmful,” Walsh said. “Our teaching is our teaching.”While I acknowledge your right to voice your opinion, you are ignoring some blaring facts, and using a defense that runs counter to the message that was used to support proposition 8. First, the above quote, from yourself, uses a freedom of expression argument to counter a supposed danger resulting from your beliefs expressed by Judge Walker. You seem appauled that your organization is being deemed as harmful, but the advertisements in support of prop 8 were directly deeming homosexual lifestyles as harmful to the children in California harmful. The defensiveness you are displaying is an exact counter of the feelings that gay and lesbian couples in California felt and expressed at trial. I found this enlightening. How could your affiliation, or way of being so harmful? It’s enough to make you sick and defensive isnt it?Secondly, you are so adament that the history of marriage is being assaulted with this ruling, but you aren’t finding any actual fault with two homosexuals, who will be homosexual with or without the ability to marry, being able to marry. Your only defense is that in history, marriage has only been between a man and women. You don’t put forth any evidence that two folks marrying will actually harm the institution, other than the fact that historically they wouldnt have been able to marry. Years ago, an African American and Caucasian couldnt marry, and similar outrages were thrown up in defense of tradition, but the fact was that there was no real argument to prevent them from marrying. Marriage is an institution that both strengthens the emotional bonds of a loving couple, and institutionalises these bonds so that our society rewards the commitment they are sharing. What is your argument for not allowing two people in love, regardless of their sexual affiliation, to marry? If all you have is that traditionally they couldn’t, then your argument holds no legal water. I am an atheist. Should I not be allowed to marry because I am not religious? If two people marry, but choose not to have children, is their marriage valid? The only arguments presented against marriage of homosexuals was the religious aspect, and the ability to lead to children. Neither of these litmus tests have ever been used before.

  • JeremyCole

    Why on earth would anyone consult the Catholic Church for moral instruction? This is the entity that has made a cottage industry out of pedophilia. Apparently, to Catholics like our good Sister Walsh, sex is only for the sanctity of marriage…or between a priest and unwilling children. Unbelievable.

  • icarus2sun

    I agree with Flanoggin’s comments below, The same can be said if a heterosexual judge presided. Judge Walker managed to stay impartial when he decided in his rulings in the Gay Olympics case(won’t go into detail, you can google it)I just don’t understand if the church is so passionate about the sanctity of marriage, why not focus on a bill to prevent divorce. How do you think that affects children? Hmmm let’s see fighting amongst two heterosexual parents or a loving relationship between to homosexual parents. It is not rocket science, If your religion believes homosexuals shouldn’t marry, so be it! It is called freedom of religion. Others subscribe to a different religion, so why deny them their beliefs and not allow them to marry in a church that supports their beliefs!

  • deepjethro

    True, the Law is a Ass – which is why Walker struck it down! But Dickens also said “Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door”. Hopefully our gay neighbors are finally believing that they deserve justice too. As a sister of the cloth, you surely learned the history of your church and how things didn’t always turn out too well when the State did any church’s bidding. Judge Walker didn’t say your private beliefs were irrational, he said that it was irrational for you to expect that those private beliefs should be considered when making public policy. I live in Northern California in a community with a large percentage of Mormons and the next town over from where Prop 8′s author, Andy Pugno, lives. The amount of vitriol towards the gays and ‘their repugnant lifestyle choice’ was unbelievable. The amount of mis-information from both the Mormons and the Catholic Church was stunning. You must appreciate the irony of how the leadership of both of these groups has set a very poor example of ‘traditional marriage’.In reading the myriad blogs and listening to what some people believe is ‘News’, it’s incredulous to me that so many people fail to understand that Prop 8 was subject to review by the Federal Court. Mr Pugno, a fellow Catholic, continues to tell his followers that something is wrong when the 52% that voted for Prop 8 could have their will checked in the Federal Court. He hopefully isn’t so stupid that he believes everything he writes. Perhaps next he will take up the old cause of the Catholic leadership to once again make divorce illegal. But why stop there? let’s implement ALL of our laws using Leviticus as our guide. I’m straight and my marriage isn’t threatened by allowing these individuals to marry. However, the actions of the Catholics and the Mormons to impose their particular beliefs onto the rest of us is much more alarming.Yes, Dickens was correct, the law is a ass – and that’s why it’s subject to review.

  • rowdyboy

    You rock nohocal11…. I couldn’t have said it any better. Let’s further the precedent that all heterosexual judges need to remove themselves from all heterosexual cases.

  • AnOldProfessor

    The Judge was very clever to frame the question within the parameters of the First and Fourteenth Amendments by declaring it to be a moral, and therefore, religious question. He thereby, for most purposes, places it outside the purview of legitimate governmental action. If, indeed, he is correct that this is in its essence a question of private religious preference or belief, then it is very likely he will be upheld all the way.Yet there are certain instances where the First and Fourteenth have failed to support the “religious” purposes of those who have sought their protection. Most notably, the Supreme Court held that the practice of plural marriage among Mormons was unlawful for the best interests of society, and was not protected by these constitutional bulwarks of individual conscience. There are several others which could be cited, but brevity doesn’t permit it here.Suffice it to say that those who are interested in this question should stay tuned. Judge Walker, while working carefully to protect his ruling, is just as likely to find himself reversed on the question as not.

  • flanoggin

    Yes sister. And what do YOU know of marriage??? The law is an ass? It takes one to know one…

  • teach2

    Let me see if I have this right. This article features a nun giving us her views on sex and marriage. This is like a blind man critiquing Van Gogh. Moreover, the nun is affiliated with the Catholic Church, now known as Home of the Pedophilia Scandal. The next year of eligibility for this topic for the Catholic Church is 2213. And the nun uses the word “kookie” when most folks use “kooky.” The traditional spelling of words is an important matter to me. Do I judge her for doing that, do I dismiss her? Or do I let her live her life her way, even though she’s in a minority? Hmmm.

  • danny7

    Every critique of Walker’s decision that I have read, including this one, takes aim at his conclusions, but none addresses the arguments with which he supports his conclusions. And why? His arguments are too formidable to attack directly, so people resort to pulling out one liners that make easier targets than the careful arguments and body of evidence that he builds throughout his decision before he comes to his conclusion.And as far Walker’s statement that you take particular offense to: “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” It’s true. It would be unconstitutional if he said that people could not hold those beliefs, practice them, or propagate them, but it’s not unconstitutional to come to a conclusion based on the evidence that has been presented to him in court. And he did not hold that those beliefs were “unacceptable” as you said, only that they have no place in providing a reason for a law that must have a secular purpose.And one other thing, you might want to hold off for the next few centuries on telling others what is “morally decrepit.” The Catholic church has covered for a lot of morally decrepit people within its own ranks, and thankfully we have secular institutions with different standards of acceptable behavior that were able to step in and prevent more innocents from being victimized.

  • thajumpsta

    Dear Sister,”At the same time the Catholic Church opposes all unjust discrimination against gays and lesbians and abhors violence against them.”So by your definition the Catholic Church supports “just” discrimination against gays and lesbians? Thank God we have a legal system to tell us what is just and what is not. A system that protects the people from an oppressive, discriminatory majority. God teaches us to love, not to hate Sister. Perhaps your efforts of protecting the sanctity of marriage might be better directed at abolishing divorce.

  • pmacdee

    This was an awesome article. A lot of comments here from people who obviously don’t understand that freedom of religion means that you don’t impose your belief system on me and vice-versa. My belief system holds marriage as a critical underpinning. It is a sort of “we got here first” mentality, but by changing the definition of marriage you are interfering with my religion. You may not think so, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think so. The Pilgrims obviously thought someone was messing with their religion but the King didn’t care and the Pilgrims left to make sure that it didn’t happening again. Fast forward to our Constitution.

  • ryoung122

    This article is offensive, irrational, and hypocrital.Aside from the fact that we can’t expect an objective assessment of religion from a religious advocate, the below comment is just dumbfounding:What’s irrational is his ignoring the will of the people with real life experience of marriage, who have voted down gay marriage We could easily reword this as”What’s irrational is his ignoring the will of the male voters with real life experience of voting, who have voted down womens’ rights to vote”The point here is that to claim that only those “in the club” can vote to exclude those outside the club is missing the whole point of equal rights.

  • ryoung122

    In response to PMMCADEE’s comment below:”This was an awesome article. A lot of comments here from people who obviously don’t understand that freedom of religion means that you don’t impose your belief system on me and vice-versa.” WHAT PART OF “CIVIL” and “SECULAR” do you NOT understand? This ruling in NO way affects the rights of churches to deny gay marriage in their churches. It only paves the way for gay marriage in CIVIL ceremonies and any religion that accepts them. Given that SOME religions believe in gay marriage, to deny gays the right to marry is, in fact, discrimination on the basis of religion.

  • rocknwroll

    The judge was absolutely right in her desicion and the Supreme Court will eventually concur. Just who are these people that are trying to define love and a lifelong commitment between 2 human beings?

  • pmacdee

    ryoung122: There will always be those who are not in the club. So when 16 yr olds want the right to x,y,z, will you be leading the charge to make sure that they have the rights? There is always a minority. When the minority causes the majority to fall on it’s sword to demonstrate how PC they are then be sure that you are there to clean up the mess.

  • pmacdee

    ryoung122: When you have a Van Gogh sitting in your living room then you won’t mind if I swap it out for a print? I mean it’s the same image, you just have to squint a little.

  • ryoung122

    “hypocritical”. By the way, allowing gays to marry should STRENGTHEN society, is marriage is so “fundamental.”

  • boonewtune

    Sister Mary, your article is excellent, and written in a justifiably offended, but restrained manner. Judge Walker suggests that those who believe gay relationships are “sinful” do harm to the homosexual community. What he is suggesting therefore, is that we abandon our faith in God altogether, because the Bible is replete with the notion that God sees only heterosexual sex within the context of marriage as beneficial to mankind. To the person who asks, “would Jesus vote for prop 8″… well, of course He would. He is God. To those of us who believe in the Judeo-Christian worldview, the Bible is our resource for referencing God’s opinion. (I won’t bore you with citations; any Bible with a concordance will do.) And apparently, though He loves us all, he doesn’t endorse everything we do. The Christian paradigm would suggest that the person who chooses same-sex relationship is bypassing the possibility of all the benefits of opposite sex relationship…among them, children, and soul-growth derived from working out the differences of opposite sex/worldviews. But to impute that harm comes from this worldview to the Gay? Only from over-reactive folks, which lay on both sides of the fence. I’m quite sure I’ll be hearing from some..

  • thewaterless

    Hate to tell you this, but it is irrelevant if the majority of Americans voted to ban a civil right such as equal right to marry. That is because in America, we don’t VOTE on human rights, we HAVE them. Even if 99% of Americans agreed that marriage was between one man and one woman, the constituion is in place to prevent the majority from infringing upon the rights of the minority. That’s the 14th Amendment. It is unfortunate that close minded individuals feel discomfort at the fact that all people are afforded all basic human rights equally in this country. It is unfortunate because they will have to live with their bigoted views unreconciled with the reality around them. It is my hope that they are able to find peace within themselves to accept that they are entitled to their belief, but not allowed to enforce it on others.

  • erasure025

    Where’s your tirade against convicted felons whom the US Supreme Court affirmed have the right to marry even if they are on death row. Murderers and rapists have the right to marry in every state, in every city and in every town across this nation. Yet, there’s no outrage from people like you. But somehow, while it is ok for murderers and rapists to get married, somehow it’s too much to ask that tax-paying, law-abiding American citizens have access to the plethora of civil rights and civil benefits that come with marriage. You conveniently ignore all of the non-religious aspects of marriage in order to push your agenda on what is a majority secular institution.

  • boonewtune

    Waterless, do you honestly assume the founding fathers would have envisioned, or intended that their carefully worded document should, or would, endorse the idea of gay marriage? wow. Now that’s a departure from reality.

  • marrobcastle

    Which is the most hypocritical, the Republican Party or the Catholic Church? I am talking about institutions, not all individual members. Most if not all of the sins condemned in the Bible have been committed by individuals with the knowledge and consent of the incorporeal body they represented. To say this is true is not to say that other political parties or religions are not more or less guilty of the same. The point is that the others are not also guilty of wrong doing, only that the Republican Party and Catholic Church use hypocrisy as a weapon against their rivals and critics. There is seldom if ever an admission of guilt.

  • flanoggin

    MARROBCASTLE—- do you honestly assume the founding fathers would have envisioned, or intended that their carefully worded document should, or would, endorse the idea (women voting, racial equality, offshore oil drilling, abortion, integrated school systems, inter racial marriage—fill in the blank) wow. Now that’s a departure from reality.

  • marrobcastle

    Marriage is a contract between two consenting parties. It is not a religious rite. One does not have to be a member of a church or be a declared believer in order to get married. Even atheists can get married.Neither the state nor federal government are parties to the contract of marriage. The extent of their power is only to see that the contract is enforced.

  • stevenmaiersr

    Ahh, California. The judges are so out of touch with the rest of the country.

  • beltanegoddess

    *sigh*Why, oh why, do religious people feel that it is infringing on THEIR religious freedoms if someone does something of which their god does not approve? If you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex! It’s very, very simple. While I have my own thoughts regarding the author of this article becoming a nun, it is not my place to tell her whether she can or cannot make that decision. It is her choice to become a “bride of Christ,” just as it is MY choice to become a bride of either a man or a woman, depending on with whom I fall in love. The sister’s choice has no impact on my life whatsoever, just like my choices have no impact on hers unless, of course, I did something directly TO her (for instance, attempting to create a law which took away her right to become a nun). NO ONE is holding a gun to any of these people’s heads and telling them to approve of homosexuality, to like homosexuals, or marry a homosexual person. They are simply telling them that they cannot make laws specifically barring homosexuals from enjoying the same rights as other U.S. citizens — just like you cannot create separate laws for Mexicans, African-Americans, Mormons, Females, people over the age of 70, Muslims, Catholic nuns named Sister Walsh, etc., etc., etc. We’ve already gone over this in the 1950′s, people. This is a non-issue, really.

  • marrobcastle

    Religions can include or exclude those who do not share their beliefs and they often do so – ex-President Bush is a good example. However, religious beliefs, whatever the religion and there are many, is not a rational basis for making a law that denies one the freedom to enter into an otherwise lawful contract of marriage.

  • pmacdee

    beltanegoddess: … sigh…If you want the preferential treatment that others associated with marriage, than why don’t you ask the folks providing the preferential treatment? Maybe those are the people who don’t want to give you the preferential treatment because you don’t deserve it? Not because you are 2nd class citizens, but because gay people don’t have sufficient track record to trust them. Sorry, just the facts.

  • boonewtune

    Flannoggin, don’t blame Marrobcastle for the “did you think the founding fathers could envision” line. That would be me. And your rejoinder was absolute red herring. So I won’t waste my time. Again, DO you imagine? I think not. Don’t equate technological advance with moral issue. Just imagine in your mind, putting the question to any ONE of the signers of the constitution, and their reaction. And actually, whether it is a “civil right” again must be considered within the context of what historically has been considered moral; No country on earth in recorded history records same-sex marriage. So, we are endorsing something never considered before as a civil right. Why is it now being considered as a civil right? I am not, in this context, even suggesting moral issue, but historical precedence. Yes, there has been same-sex relationship before, but never same sex marriage. And Marrobcastle, marriage IS an institution of the Church. Civil Union: that is a creation of the state. Not a problem. If same sex folks want a civilly binding instrument for their relationship, they’re free. The states didn’t even begin issuing marriage licenses until the mid 1800s, and most didn’t until the 1920s.

  • shumpreston

    Sister Walsh you make a basic factual error here. The Supreme Court has found there is no difference between status and conduct in the legal treatment of gay people; so when Judge Walker noted that the Catholic Church holds homosexuality itself (status and conduct) as sinful, he is correct in the legal definition. Also, shouldn’t you be out feeding the poor or housing the homeless, or would that interfere with your hatefilled hypocrisy?

  • therealbrad

    I get that you don’t think I should be allowed to get married. What I don’t get is why I have to follow your rules? I’m not asking you to marry me.I don’t think you should write blog posts, but you’re gonna go right ahead and do it anyway. Why is it so important for you to tell me what I can and can’t do? If we lived by that attitude, we’d still be under British control.

  • daniwitz13

    I am wondering if this Judge is ruling that a State would be unconstitutional to make requirements and qualifications for a license in that State. They must have requirements for contractors, drivers, to do any type of business, requirements for jobs, to be a Judge, run for office, etc. What part of the requirement of one man and one women is unconstitutional? Do away with requirements? Not a need to Qualify? What part is the Judge referring to? Do you have a license that you needed to qualify for? Was that unconstitutional? Should they remove all requirements from Marriage altogether? Why not? Why pick and choose, throw them all out. Gays would prefer no requirements so it could include them and everything else. Or make an exception for them but no one else. But why stop there.Change the Requirements in our laws, by the IRS, by the company you work for, and even what one can put in the recyling bin.

  • Tannim

    Such NUN-sense here!A nun giving advice about love and marriage is akin to asking a virgin for sex advice or a deaf man for a Metallica concert review.Besides, what do Catholic clergy, who are (supposed to be) celibate and unmarried, and (supposed to) have no children, know anything about marriage, family, or love?So asks this grandson of a Lutheran pastor, who was married and had children, and led by loving example of personal experience.

  • boonewtune

    JiminHayward, I’ve read Mel’s stuff before. An excellent communicator, (and film-maker, btw.) But I would be remiss to agree with him based on his faulty tenets: such as there are only seven (actually many more) verses dealing with the subject. The fact that Jesus didn’t mention the subject was due to the fact there quite simply were no gays in the culture around him. (At least, outed ones.) Again, does God love or hate gays? He loves them, absolutely. Does God endorse their lifestyle? There is absolutely no indication of that, in fact, only text that suggests otherwise. Contextually, you would be hard pressed to make a case for God-ordained same-sex marriage. And to the argument that God made them that way? Not sufficient argument. God made most all of us sexual; How we express that sexuality is ultimately up to us. I, being hetero, and male, would naturally like to involve myself with every female attractive to me. But…my faith tells me that life will work out far better if I restrain my natural desires, and maintain fidelity to my female wife. Is it “natural” for me? No. Is it profitable? Yes.

  • ncooty

    I’m very happy to see the recent (yet long-overdue) decisions in Gill v. OPM, MA v. DHHS, and Perry v. Schwarzeneggar. It’s good to see that the 5th and 14th Amendments have not been forgotten. Not only are the arguments against Prop 8 and related forms of legislated bigotry overwhelming and ubiquitous, but those arguments have also been made repeatedly and convincingly for decades. Those who continue to pose the same tired, irrational, contradictory, unconstitutional, and simple-minded arguments for bigotry either have no interest in an open-minded discussion or are willfully ignorant. Either way, no American should have to convince every moron (nor even a majority of morons) that they deserve equal treatment under law.

  • beltanegoddess

    PMACDEE:I have read your comment several times and I, honestly, cannot make heads nor tails of it. What preferential treatment??? Who are these people handing out preferential treatment??? What track record??? To what exactly are you referring??? You say “just the facts,” but I can’t tell whether or not your comments actually have a basis in fact (which I sincerely doubt), because they make NO sense. By the way and just so we’re clear, I am a straight woman with a family so if in your very unclear posting you are attempting to needle me regarding my homosexuality, it’s not working.

  • BobOtis

    BoonewtuneRegarding your prima facie ignorant statement that no other country on Earth records same-sex marriage, please see the following: Also, application of the core principles of our Nation’s founding have resulted in: suffrage (allowing Women, African American and others to vote), abolition, interracial marriage and other advances are not technological advances… but our founding parents may not have imagined them. Should we roll back to slavery, anti-miscegenation and no women voting?Your thoughts?

  • deepjethro

    to cheriecalgary You’re not being offensive, but you are showing your ignorance. Irrespective of the religious sacraments, marriage is foremost a civil contract between 2 consenting adults. Everybody gets to choose 1 at a time. Most of the laws preventing certain choices (e.g. inter-racial) have been tossed out. Why do you think that your particular religious views should limit the choices of others?

  • deepjethro

    to: BoonewtuneOh, if only it were true that Until civil unions are legally the same as marriages, you’re just spewing more mis-information.Surely you’re not so stupid that you believe everything that you write.

  • lisaannjarrett

    Marriage is between a man and a woman ONLY…… until they get divorced. Then as the bride and groom get married to other people, marriage is NOT just between a man and a woman– it’s now between women and men for marriage is so damn sacred that it needs to be protected. That last part I agree on– that marriage is sacred (sarcastically), but the American public doesn’t. This, my friends, is why the divorce rate is over 50%!!!Marriage in America is NOT sacred for much of the American public cannot keep their hands off one another– and only a single partner in their bed.a message from ms. lisa– a proud Atheist since 1996.PS– Oh, and thank you for your comment, RBMYERSUSA.

  • blondiegrrl007

    The judge was NOT dismissing the idea of marriage between a man and a woman as “some kooky idea.” The judge was dismissing discrimination against gays marrying as “some kooky idea.” Sister, when are you people going to admit that gays marrying does not in any way, shape or form affect heterosexual marriage? Furthermore, Prop 8 should never have existed. People’s civil rights should NEVER be up for vote. It should have been an issue for the courts from the beginning.

  • JWx2

    california is so broke due to the liberal democrat management…that soon if the pedophile pay a 500.00 hunting fee…it will be legal.l…minor will be allowed to buy alcohol and can only consume it between 8am and 10pm..and must drive under 40mph…teachers will be allowed to have sex with students if they pay a 25.00 union fee…..everyone will be allowed to carry guns as long as they pay a 25 cent tax per bullet and drive-bys will be allowed after you pay a 50.00 fee for a permit to the california department of motor vechile.

  • WinstonCourt

    As any Christian knows, perversion and abomination is never a civil right. These people, homosexuals, are infirm of mind. This “infirm-ness” spills over into all aspects of their lives. It makes rational, logical and sane thought impossible. While Jesus would want us to have pity on them and to keep them from abuse, he would have never advocated accepting their perversions or allowing our children to be exposed to the dangers of diabolical evil. This poses one of the most difficult tasks Christians have ever been faced with. The homosexuals think that government and the courts granting them homosexual marriage will provide them with a feeling of belonging, a feeling of normalcy, happiness, etc. It will not. Until they swear off perversions and ask God to step in and heal them, they are doomed. It makes any Christian heart bleed, but is a lesson taken straight from the Bible–remember Sodom and Gomorrah. These times come again … Christians will recognize the signs and prepare for the future trials and tribulations.

  • deepjethro

    to: cheriecalgary You wrote “Go to sharonmcleod.ca/blog if you want to see where you’ll end up if you keep this up.” Other than a shameless plug for your blog, you’ve done nothing to advance the discussion. Besides, gay marriage is legal in Canada. Is your own marriage so weak that it is threatened by the possibility that married people may be doing ‘icky’ things?

  • piotrorloff

    I just can’t imagine why anyone’s sexual orientation is of interest to the government. There is something like a .001% difference in the genetic makeup of a male and a female human being. In the entire history of the human race we are approximately 99.9% genetically similar to every other human who has ever lived. Why does sex or orientation have to make any difference regarding love? And is the government going to regulate love in the future?

  • cadam72

    Waterless, do you honestly assume the founding fathers would have envisioned, or intended that their carefully worded document should, or would, endorse the idea of gay marriage? wow. Now that’s a departure from reality.

  • deepjethro

    to WinstonCourt:It’s obvious that you truly believe the things you wrote, yet you have no idea how much your statements support the facts laid out during the trial. You are opposed to gays because of your religion. However, the founding fathers knew that there were zealots like you that would try to impose their own private beliefs into the public domain. However, the same constitution that guarantees you the freedom to believe as you choose is also the same constitution that guarantees that you cannot deprive others of their fundamental rights just because you disapprove.Reading through these posts is fascinating. I’m curious how many of you have actually read some or all of the 156 page decision. It’s pretty obvious that most of these responses are from the heart by people that are spectacularly unprepared for critical thinking.

  • Nymous

    Well, the church is wrong about this, like it is about many things. Simple things like marriage of the clergy, and gender equity. Things like birth control, & other matters of science it opposes in knee-jerk attempts to cling to dogma that men made up, that make no sense at all.This is just yet one more issue the church is on the wrong side of. You not being comfortable with the idea does not make it wrong, in fact that’s your problem. Our problem is that you want to insist on making your problems everyone elses problems.Something about people in glass houses not throwing stones too. I suggest that if you don’t like this law, you ignore it. No one is restricting your freedoms, so quit trying to restrict the freedoms of others. It’s not your job to interfere & dictate to the rest of us what our laws should and should not be. That’s politics, and if you don’t want to stay out of politics, well you can pay taxes like everyone else.

  • Reader_

    Doesn’t the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops keep you busy enough covering up for pedophile priests?

  • LeastOfThese

    The earth is still “FLAT”sed libera nos

  • MMFrance

    Dear Sister, You’re wrong of course – but don’t let a few facts get in the way of reality – not to mention equality. You live in America, not the Vatican. Bernie Law lives in Rome, right? Nice job there. Here’s a free tip. Patriots pick equality. Not all Americans believe what you believe. We have a Constitution which protects the rights of the minority from the ignorance, fear, and bigotry of the majority. Thank God. Let’s be frank. Did you doze off during Church history? I’ll try to be gentle. Your grasp seems, well, limited. Your rather convenient views of traditional marriage omit a few centuries where women couldn’t own their own property, make decisions for their children, vote etc. Surely you recall when the convent was a refuge for an intelligent woman? But I digress.I am fairly certain that the Holy Trinity would like you and yours to refocus your efforts on actually helping others – rather than shamelessly suppressing their civil liberties. This will free up the rest of us to work on being better citizens in one of the greatest nations on earth. I try Sister, truly I try, but I grow weary of you and your ilk making me blush with shame and helpless muted rage. Keep it up Sister and you’ll find other Catholics walking out and down the aisles – taking our time, talent and treasure with us. Good luck sister – and if the coffers start to run low – you can always sell some of the art!

  • edallan

    Dear Sister Mary Ann,Nowhere in his decision did Judge Walker reject the right of religious groups to determine their own religious definition of marriage or claim that people cannot believe whatever nonsense they wish. What he DID say is that there is no rational basis for discriminating against gay men and women in allowing them the same rights and responsibilities for CIVIL marriage as straight people. It is not his fault that the creeps who foisted Proposition 8 on the public could not or would not put forth credible proof. “Serious debate in the field of developmental psychology” means viewpoints that are backed by data that are stronger than simply “because I don’t think so.” In fact, Judge Walker made it abundantly clear that he agrees with the position that “The Catholic Church also holds that marriage is a unique institution with a privileged place because it is foundational to the good of society.” The issue is simply that there is no GOOD, legally valid reason to deprive gay men and women with the same right to that “unique institution with a privileged place in society.” The fact that Catholics and Mormons, who held that Blacks were genetically inferior until it became impolitic to do so, and Southern Baptists, who took the view that violence to prevent the integration of churches was justified, and various others agree with one another is not ipso facto a legitimate justification.I am glad that you do recognize that there are a lot of scummy people who cloak their bigotry against all sort of people as having a religious basis. But this hardly refutes the judge’s statement you cite, “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” Rather, it confirms them. Please substitute the term “Papist” for “Christian” and decide for yourself. (Assuming that you are older than, say, 40, and are not a recent immigrant to the U.S., you have surely heard many ignorant people differentiate between Catholics and “Christians.”) Or, if you want to be a bit more ecumenical, substitute “Jewish” or “Moslem.”I do realize that you are paid to promulgate your views and perhaps you believe them also. But I would like to think that you would not hold also that because the Church rejects the religious legitimacy of remarriage following divorce, the government should also reject the civil legitimacy as well.

  • favorite1

    These comments have provided me with a good laugh, yet I am scared for the future of our nation because these people can vote. Based on their comments, I strongly suggest they take a Civics 101 class and maybe an adult literacy class.

  • ottowalenski

    A right wing person made the talking point that, “If gays are allowed to marry, next people will be allowed to marry their dogs”.My question is what is wrong if someone wants to marry their dog?

  • Rmitch1

    —The US Constitution does not allow government (whether by its elected represenatives or by direct vote) to take certain actions. The Constition does not allow the rights of minorities to be subject to the whim of the majority.

  • kchses1

    It’s a clever argument that tries to make it appear the judge is bigoted against religion, ignoring common sense and overturning the will of the people. The entire argument stands and falls on the supposition so simply put that gays sexual activity is wrong. Thereby relegating gays the status of second class citizens. Something inferior to the rest of us. This Judge Walker also pointed out. Under our Constitution this cannot be done. Sister Walsh is simply wrong and no matter how nicely she puts it, bigoted to the core.

  • jontomus

    …What’s really irrational is the judge’s dismissal of marriage between a man and a woman … Jesus Christ, Sister, right off the entire premise of your essay is BS.And really, what has someone like you to tell any of us about marriage? have you been getting any lately?What crap.

  • politbureau

    I’m a conservative Catholic who follows Catholic catechism and I come to a different conclusion. My conclusion is that if God gave us the freedom to make the moral decisions in our private lives — for better or for worse — then who is mankind to take it away?

  • whatmeregister

    Dear Sister, I understand your anguish. The Church’s condemnation of gays and lesbians who lead active sex lives is one of the chief reasons that so many faithful gay and lesbian Catholics choose to enter the vocations. After all, lifelong celibacy is the only acceptable lifestyle in the eyes of the Church for those “afflicted” with same-sex orientation, so these folks see the priesthood and nunnery as the best way to remain celibate and free from social stigma. I’m sure you’re well aware that the Church’s priestly ranks would be thinned considerably were gay men to stop entering seminaries in favor of pursuing the same sort of marital arrangements available to us straights. Yes, the legalization of same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to a realization among the Church’s gays and lesbians that they can indeed lead fulfilling lives of sexual in loving, stable relationships just like the rest of us. They will now have to choose whether to leave a Church that views them as “intrinsically disordered” and enter married life with a partner that accepts them as God made them. Which means fewer and fewer future priests and nuns for a Church already understaffed in those vocations.God works in mysterious ways, eh, Sister?

  • Meridian1

    The sister’s post grossly distorts the judge’s ruling, particularly by perpetuating the myth — which the ruling utterly destroyed with empirical evidence — that gays marrying will in any way impair existing marriages or the inclination of people to do so in the future.Nothing in the judge’s ruling suggested that marriage is anything other than the bedrock of society. That is exactly why he said it is unfair to exclude gays from it.Before attacking the “irrationality” of a decision that virtually all legal commentators have called closely reasoned and supported by the trial testimony, the good sister might consider her own irrational beliefs about homosexuality, Jesus, and much else, and stop trying to use the law to coerce others into accepting them.

  • jontomus

    I don’t wish to be rude to you Sister, I’m sure in your heart you are a decent, loving person … or at least I’m willing to assume that.But this is a very poorly reasoned argument you make, from invalid premises, unproven assertions … and your desire to insist that your religious beliefs trump our constitutional rights and privileges shows a profound ignorance of what it truly means to be an American. Your understand of our common citizenship has either been degraded by your association with your church, or perhaps you never understood it to begin with.Lastly, if this is the best that the

  • vigor

    You are free to believe whatever you want Sister, but the rest of us don’t have to play along.Perhaps I was smacked by too many nuns and priests as a child, but I grew up and shed your religious fantasy.maybe it’s time for you to do it too.

  • hbc1

    “The church is not alone in holding that a family headed by a mother and a father is the optimal place in which to raise a child. Judge Walker begs to differ, however, and says with grand aplomb that research that supports the contrary view ‘is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.’ If there’s ever been a statement open to debate it’s that one.”Then debate it, please, Sister. That’s all we ask. “Because we said so” doesn’t convince anyone except members of your faith, and it holds exactly zero weight in a court of law. Then we can debate what that has to do with marriage, since civil marriage contracts deal with a lot more than the potential offspring of that marriage.

  • Grandblvd03

    Sister Mary Ann Walsh is an ass.

  • willemkraal

    Darling sister pleeze ,there are not many persons around who pay much attention to what your church tells us. your priest and bishops have raped young girls and boys all over the world and now you are telling gays and lesbians have to live their lives?? what a hokus/pokus religion is!!shame on you!!

  • areyousaying

    When you turn over all your know pervert priests to civil authorities for trial, maybe we will listen to your gay bashing.Until then you and your “Holy Church” have no credibility regarding this issue.

  • mikepost1

    What is halarious is her comment that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman when her book the bible is filled with many examples of marriage between 1 man and several women and as many concubines as that 1 man can afford! And her book the bible never explicitly has that 1 man 1 woman rule layed out like some sort of bedrock. Jesus was asked about divorce, not gay marriage when he made his comments about divorce and marriage.

  • areyousaying

    Maybe Peter’s sick, twisted “Christ’s Chruch” is afraid their disproportionate number of gay priests will be encouraged to marry each other without Prop 8.Maybe that’s why hapless Catholic parents look the other way as they supply their young sons to the perverts among these priests for sexual release. It’s apparently all a part of growing up in the Church.For Catholics to be complicit in both bashing gays on one hand and hiding perverts on the other is truly incomprehensible.

  • myohpinion

    The Catholic Church imprisoned Galileo in 1633 for suggesting the earth went round the sun. Apologizing only 360 years later. The Church ought to get its own house in order (lots to do there) and focus on its own flock which is fleeing in droves rather than impose its views on all US citizens through bending of government rules to align to their orthodoxy. Everyone is entitled to their view, just don’t imprison me (and deny me equal protection under the law) if I disagree with yours.

  • jkenney11

    Sister Mary, your article is outrageous. If you want to talk about “asses” let us discuss the criminal pedophiles in the catholic church and the people that protect them, up to and including the pope. The reason the catholic church is losing parishioners by the droves is attitudes like yours and the pope. Catholics today no longer kowtow to criminal behavior condoned by the pope and they can read the bible. Your stance is so anti-christian it is stunning.

  • larmoecurl

    “The Catholic Church also holds that marriage is a unique institution with a privileged place because it is foundational to the good of society. “They have sex with boys and hide that fact. Consider the source.

  • DoTheRightThing

    Thank you, Sister, for your well-written, on-point rebuttal of one of the most illogical and partisan judicial decisions since Roe v Wade. Unfortunately, there are none so blind and deaf as those who refuse to see and hear.

  • paultaylor1

    Ms. Sr. Mary Ann: And, whichever way you look at it, doesn’t it all sort of validate Mr. Basil Marceaux’s points that government is the logical source of evil, and people should turn their yards into auto fuel, and, importantly, everyone big enough to hold one should be required to carry a gun?

  • larmoecurl

    “What’s really irrational is the judge’s dismissal of marriage between a man and a woman – the basic bedrock of our society – as if it were some kookie idea. “How long have you been married, sister?

  • dlgreene

    I read the sister’s article, searching in vain for a logical refutation of the judge’s ruling but found none. I searched for facts and found only opinions and beliefs. Her argument amounts to, “No, YOU’RE irrational! This is our belief and a lot of other people agree with us, so there!”

  • socomfy

    as an ex-catholic, i can and do say that catholic apologists have nothing to add to a discussion on sex or marriage (and spiritual life, for that matter).

  • Predator-Hunter

    “The Holy Pedophile Roman Catholic Church of GOD”Magnificent works and Prompts in Writing:Quote: “Under our Constitution this cannot be done. Sister Walsh is simply wrong and no matter how nicely she puts it, bigoted to the core. “Quote: “Doesn’t the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops keep you busy enough covering up for pedophile priests?”Quote: “For Catholics to be complicit in both bashing gays on one hand and hiding perverts on the other is truly incomprehensible.”—Enough…. My Take: To Practice Only Science in Complete Opposition to Religion Instantly Makes Anyone a Member of The Illuminati and In This Self-realization is Exactly What The Religions of The Earth Fear Entirely In Absolute horror. Everything else about the “Ideas” in regards to the Illuminati being a religion is an out-right lie made up by countless of religions to scare people away from this fact, this “Idea”..The Primary Religion that has slandered and Distorted this self-realization of this “Idea of Liberation from Religion” known as this one word “Illuminati” is The Roman Catholic Church.All of Christianity in General, Islamism, Judaism and meany like them have adopted this opposition as one of it’s most well kept secrets that none should ever know this fact regards the “idea” known as the “Illuminati”.The original purpose of the “Idea” known as the “Illuminati” in absolute was never, nor must ever become a religion, because that by itself would destroy the “Idea” and purpose of the “Illuminati” that it is just the practice science only to lead people away from the Church and all religions.This fact of an “Idea”, The Illuminati, and not the fairy tale lies in this opiate of the masses known as religion has held this Earth hostage for thousands of years in mental, ethical, morale, and metaphysical blindness.Religion is EViL, regardless. —Free the people from slavery…. and give them only science.Shawn Earnest

  • bowspray

    Thank you Sister!!! A superb commentary that reflects the view of the vast majority of Americans,their personal faith aside.We can expect the tsunami of venom and hate to explode on this thread from those who proclaim their “tolerance” which applies only to those who agree with them.

  • EricinMD

    Judge Walker is a bigot? I believe the dear Sister and her ilk are the bigots with their hate and sickening homophobic rants like this garbage that the Washington Post deemed worthy of printing instead of a rational article from the other side. Frankly I don’t give a rat’s a** what the Catholic Church thinks..they have no right and no say to define my rights or the rights of any other gay or lesbian person in our country. This tired, old bigoted argument that the Sister spews forth has no rational reasoning. Who cares what Congress did in 1996? This is 2010 and the times are changing..people are more open to gay marriage and over 75% of all Americans think DADT should be eliminated. Enough of the ridiculous freedom of religion cra*. Worship whomever you like…worship a dog god or a Pope, but keep your religious opinions away from our equal rights. We do not want to hear them and they are irrelevant to equality for the LGBT community.

  • MrDarwin

    Oh please, sister. Tone down the hysteria a bit because you’re helping to prove that the supporters of Prop. 8 truly are irrational. The judge did NOT dismiss “marriage between a man and a woman – the basic bedrock of our society – as if it were some kookie idea.” Quite the opposite, he ruled that marriage is a GREAT idea and that the state has no compelling interest or legal basis for denying same-sex couples legal access to it. Smear the judge all you want–it’s apparently all that Prop. 8′s supporters have to hang their hopes on–but here’s a great article that points out that it’s not the judge’s fault that the side defending Prop. 8 did a piss-poor job of it: But the bottom line is that the “will of the people” doesn’t need to be respected if it means taking away the civil rights of a minority.

  • edallan

    JohnAdams writes:I have not heard any reason why civil unions do not accomplish the same thing.A marriage is a union of a man and a woman. We have centuries of rightsComes now same sex individuals, who do not of themselves possess the Ability to have children together without the intervention of others. That to me is fundamental and must be thought out as to the rights ofCivil union recognition will allowThe gay community has an obligation to spell out exactly what rights they are denied in this and that has not happened as yet. All we really have is a press that reports the shouting and the vitriol but no true discussion. – - – - – - – - -It appears that for the past five years or so, Mr. Adams has been reading only the sports pages of any newspaper. The General Accountability Office has detailed nearly 2,000 rights and benefits available to married straight people that are not available to gay couples. There are ample documented cases of living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. being ignored by hospitals and other facilities, including on people’s deathbeds, several state government agencies and their employees have been successfully prosecuted for maliciously separating aging couples when one has been incapacitated and then embezzling all their property, etc., etc.There is no need for setting up separate but unequal systems of law, which seems to be what you are proposing, when one single system of laws on family relations will do just fine. That is all that has been desired. No more, but most assuredly no less. If you feel that government should not use the term “marriage” for any permanent, legally recognized relationship between two consenting adults, substituting instead the term civil union for what you and a presumed spouse may enjoy, there’s an argument for that. But there is certainly no need.

  • MontaraCA

    If marriage is the bedrock of society, then what is the Catholic Church trying to accomplish by insisting its priests and nuns be celibate? I’d say there’s more than a bit of evidence that THAT unnatural practice leads to harmful consequences.

  • JohnGalt9

    There is more than meet the eye; and do not expect finding out via the Washington Post or any other mainstream nedia.

  • minorthread

    Meridian1 made a good point.

  • presto668

    Every single thing in this article is wrong.Sorry.

  • maggots

    Sister Mary Ann says that heterosexual marriage is part of the “bedrock” of our society. So what?When Christians appeared in Jewish society, they sure as hell disturbed the bedrock. They refused to make sacrifices, they hobnobbed with gentiles and tax collectors, they ate pork! They also followed a guy who defied church authority and told them to treat others like themselves.

  • tojby_2000

    Sister MAW wrote: What’s irrational is his (the judge) ignoring the will of the people with real life experience of marriage, who have voted down gay marriage…___________________________________________________The judge is obliged to uphold the US Constitution and was able to make a clear and rational case for doing so. The “will of the people” does not trump our founding document.

  • Renshaw

    Catholics re-baptize Mormons if they convert. Same way if you go from Catholic to Mormon. They really hate each other. They hate gay people more. So now the enemy of my enemy is my friend.There are more lesbian nuns and gay priests than you can shake a stick at! Go to any motherhouse or rectory and you’ll see what I mean.They say that being homosexual isn’t sinful but homosexual acts are. What nonsense! This semantic difference has ended in the brutal torture and death of hundreds of thousands of homosexual people through the centuries at the feet of the Catholic Church.Sister and her Church would have us believe that an abusive father and absentee mother are better for children than two loving, kind and compassionate men. See? They won’t let people get divorced and if they do divorce, they have to give thousands of dollars to the Church just so they can remarry and go to communion. The Catholic Church will bless tanks going into war to kill people, pet ferrets on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, and cheap plastic statues of any saint you can think of – but they won’t bless the love and commitment of two healthy adults who are monogamously united. The hypocrisy abounds!

  • Renshaw

    By the way, just watch “8: The Mormon Proposition Equality For Some” to see how the Catholic Church and Mormon Church spent millions of dollars fighting Prop 8 and other equality initiatives throughout the country. If they want to be political – fine! Let’s tax ‘em!

  • maggots

    ister MAW wrote: What’s irrational is his (the judge) ignoring the will of the people****************************************Get thee to the confessional, Sister, for you have sinned against logic.It used to be the “will of the people” to discriminate against African-Americans, Latinos, and women. Is sin OK so long as most people agree with it? Does might make right?

  • RGHII

    WTF. How bad is Catholic education that the sister would think that freedom of religion means that the majority can impose their religious view on the minority. True in Saudi Arabia perhaps but not in the U.S.

  • FactChecker1

    ‘What’s irrational is his ignoring the will of the people with real life experience of marriage, who have voted down gay marriage…’You mean those people whose unions end in 1 out of 2 instances? Those people who abuse their spouses and children? Those people who regularly cheat outside of marriage? Oh, yeah…those marriage ‘experts’.

  • matthickerson

    You attempt to examine the issue constitutionally multiple times, yet you never once examine the clauses on which the judge’s decisions were based. How can you possibly not even address the due process and equal protection clauses? At least offer your arguments pertaining to why they offer no relevance to the case at hand, otherwise you should have ignored constitutionality entirely, regardless of whether it falls into your area of expertise.

  • bwfrier

    With all due respect to the good nun, she really needs a refresher course in what the law means by “rational basis.” It doesn’t mean not having a reason (after all, even the Catholic Church had a reason for condemning Galileo), but rather having a reason that is acceptable in the context of American constitutional law. The reasons that Sister Mary Ann gives for upholding Proposition 8 are all good examples of reasons that are not acceptable in the eyes of the law.

  • Sitka1

    Gay marriage is not a religious issue. Period. Religion doesn’t dictate civil rights in this country, folks, no matter how much some of the more vocal Christians wish that it would.Worship whichever religion you want, or none at all, the freedom of religion we enjoy in the United States protects that, as it should. Those freedoms don’t extend to denying rights based on religious views. This nation is not a theocracy. As for tolerance. Ah, tolerance. Sister Walsh’s views should be tolerated, she has a right to them. There’s some things about views that should not be tolerated, however. Denying a minority group rights because your religious views say so is not acceptable.

  • andym108

    Bob Gibson once told his catcher Tim McCarver, “All you know about pitching is that you can’t hit it.” That pretty much summarizes Sister Walsh’s qualifications to talk about marriage.

  • MrDarwin

    JohnAdams1: I suggest you check out the cases of(1) Harold Scull and Clay Greene, an elderly gay couple in California. After Harold suffered a fall in 2008, the county separated them, canceled their lease, auctioned their possessions, took their cats, ignored their mutual power-of-attorney documents, forced them into separate nursing homes and never let the two men see each other alone again. Harold died, alone, in August 2008. (Sonoma County is now paying $600,000 to Mr. Greene to settle the inevitable lawsuit but do you really think this was about the money??)(2) Janice Langbehn and her partner Lisa Pond, who collapsed and was hospitalized in Miami, where she died alone while the hospital refused to give Janice any say in Lisa’s treatment or even allow Janice or their children see Lisa. (Oh, and Janice had durable health care power of attorney for Lisa.) Of course there is now a lawsuit but again, does anybody think this is some kind of “money grab”??

  • DrChip

    I grew up Catholic and, as a result of the guilt, it took me until I was 38 to accept the fact that I was gay and quit hurting women that I was emotionally incapable of making an emotional connection with. (yes good Sister its more than sex and that is probably a foreign concept to you). After several years of marriage (we had to go to Canada), my husband developed a serious medical handicap that rendered him mentally incompetent. I sat and held him as he cried and begged me not to allow them to commit him to the hospital. Since I had no “recognized” relationship with him I had no say. When I lost my job, and hence our health insurance that the Church didn’t me to be able to provide to him, he lost all medical coverage and no one would help him. The only thing he had was our marriage despite the horrible adds on the TV during proposition 8 (we lived in California). We were forced to move back to Florida to be near family. In Florida the anti-gay religions were able to even deprive us of domestic partnerships. When he finally committed suicide, by blowing his brains out, I was forced by the police out of our house and informed that “my friend” had expired as the paramedics walked out laughing. I still can’t get a death certificate so that I can take his name off of our car and bank account. I am also unable to get his ashes to ensure him a proper burial since his father disowned him because of his religious convictions. If you want compare the damage that gay marriage does to the damage your intolerance does you better stay in the convent. I will blow you out of the water when I describe the pain of your churches intolerance has caused me, my late husband, and my family. Pro Family? HUH!

  • sannhet

    A few rebuttal points:What is irrational? A law based on religious beliefs but not on verifiable evidence is irrational.The assertion that “marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of our society” is just that–an assertion. No where in the Constitution does it say this. But the Constitution does enshrine the requirement that government laws and policies be based on reason–on verifiable evidence–not on prejudice, whims, superstition, religion, etc. That’s why we have a separation of church and state. A religion may enforce any rules it wants–e.g., only priests can cast out devils through exorcism;; witches will be tried by seeing if they float; no eating fish on Fridays–but the wonderful thing about the Constitution is that it protects the rest of us from such rules, even if the majority of the people wants them.Rational means that something is based on reason and evidence. Give us some reasoned arguments and evidence against gay marriage, not assertions based on religious beliefs. That’s irrational.

  • andrew23boyle

    Conservatives often ask what business the government has in “redefining marriage”. Maybe they have a point but they fail to ask the next logical question: what business does the government have in defining “marriage” in the first place?The government shouldn’t “marry” anyone. It has no business regulating our private domestic arrangements one way or the other and there is no Constitutional justification for it doing so.Instead of deciding who can be “married” and who cannot, instead of presuming to tell us how to lead our private lives, the government should rather treat ALL domestic arrangments as they would any other contract: the two (or more) parties that were planning on cohabitating would draw up a contract between them stipulating their duties and expectations in the relationship. Basically, EVERY COUPLE, gay or straight, would be in a “civil union” as far as the law was concerned. The government’s only job would be to register that such a contract had been made and to adjudicate disputes arising from breach of that contract (“divorce”). ALL such contracts would be treated EQUALLY under the law and the parties to such contracts would enjoy the same legal rights regardless of the nature of their intimate relationship, so there would no longer be a civil rights issue.None of this is to say people couldn’t be “married” if they so choose, simply that this would no longer be the government’s business. Rather, it would be up to them to find a church or religious organization willing to “marry” them. Since such a marriage would be a solely religious affair seperate from and without legal bearing on the contractual union, these churches would be allowed to discriminate against whomever they want according to whatever doctrine guides them. There is ALREADY a precedent for this. Divorced Catholics, for example, can remarry LEGALLY even if they forbidden to divorce by the Church. A situation thus exists wherein the remarried Catholic is married LEGALLY to his or her new spouse but remains married in the eyes of the Church to the original spouse. If we could implement such a plan of removing the government altogether from this silly game of defining words and forced it to do its job and define the law, it would satisfy all but the nuts on both sides. REAL conservatives will be happy to see the government’s influence removed from such a private aspect of citizens’ personal lives as to with whom they choose to be. Libertarians will be happy on that account and because our fellow citizens are no longer being oppressed and discriminated against by an over-bearing state. Liberals will be happy because gay relationships will be able to enjoy equal protection under the law.

  • musculars

    In the Judge’s finding of facts he cites the famous halloween letter of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) which states clearly the religious antipathy for gay people. The pastoral concern is one of paternalism and is ultimately disrespectful of conscience.The Catholic bishops for whom Sister Walsh speaks have declared war on American constitutional government and are placing at risk the participation of American catholics in the political process. There was a time when American bishops could impart to the Universal church an American spirituality inspired by the ideals of religious freedom and individual conscience and the experience of living in a pluralistic society. Now they act as foreign curial agents taking orders from Rome. They should all resign or submit for election. Let American catholics vote for their own bishops and not be imposed upon with these political lackeys and careerists dependent upon Rome for their thinking and positions.

  • Boomer9

    Yeah, because throughout history Catholicism has been nothing but a gentle, passive, unobtrusive player in the affairs of government. You go, Sister Mary Victim. Go back to your convent and stay the hell out of our lives.

  • pdxer

    What’s irrational is a woman who has willingly given up the opportunity for marriage (much less sex) dispensing her opinion on this issue.

  • postgettingworse

    Always good to read and know for certain just how feeble the Kool-aid-drinkers ‘rationales’ are. If there’s ever any DOUBT over the notion that one of the last pillars of bigotry has any coherent foundation of meaningful reason or logic….just read this pathetic last grasp by poor Sister Mary Ann here.To those who feel the Post should not have published her opinion….it’s better than NOT publishing it! Everyone needs to be aware that there are more than a few who share her thoughts and opinions on this matter.It would be a dis-service to censor her, because we need to keep our guard up against the many who toil, wittingly or not, to prevent our society from shedding such bigotry so we may evolve to more enlightened society.Raised Catholic, I always regarded the Church as having quite a bit of nerve to proclaim its own authority to dish out opinion and advice on marital relations.

  • Hurleybird

    As a Catholic I am embarrassed by the superficial and feeble reasoning of this piece, and of the disingenuous implication that the writer’s objections to equal marriage rights for all is based in legal or democratic concepts. Plainly the writer objects to gay marriage because of a religious belief, which obviously has no place in the legal debate. If the writer is not able to articulate a rational basis for why the government may permissibly deny equal protection of marriage rights to a segment of the population, then she should simply state that she wishes we lived in a theocracy, and leave it at that.

  • Aprogressiveindependent

    This article reflects bigotry and faulty historical references. Seventy years ago most people in this country were opposed to interracial marriages. However, the majority overcame their prejudice, so by the 1960′s interracial marriages were generally accepted.During the 1840′s, abolitionists were a small, radical fringe group, concentrated in New England. They were about as unpopular in much of the north, as in the south. Public support for their goal of ending slavery was far lower than current support for gay marriage. Does the author of this article and those prejudiced persons who agree with her, think the majority opinion about slavery in 1840 should have been maintained in perpetuity?

  • LeftGuy

    Sister Mary, you have made a grave mistake in your essay. The Catholic Church does INDEED believe a homosexual act is sinful because it violates the commandment against ‘worship of false Gods’; meaning the worship of the human sexual organs rather than the Creator. Oral Sex is forbidden for heterosexuals for this same reason.Now most hetero couples enjoy good oral sex in foreplay, but the same act among homosexuals is a mortal sin.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Is there some reason why we have to read hate speech from a Catholic Supremacist?What’s next? The moral opining of a KKK spokesman? The pity of it is that the Vatican and the Christian Fundies continue to influence legislation in this country. I find it fascinating that with no second thoughts the “bishops” blamed the nuns for the passage of health reform.Forgive me, but I do not recall the citizens of this country having elected clerics to represent them in the Congress.Something has to be done about this. Really, it’s about time that we separated “church” and state. About time.

  • pwitte

    Wow Sister!Quite a little firestorm you have created!Since you love “classic” quotes so much, perhaps next time you feel compelled to defend the indefensible positions of the USCCB and the Church, you might consider another one: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” (Abraham Lincoln)

  • GDWymer

    I love it when I make a lengthy, well spoken and satirical comment about articles such as this and that the WAPO cuts me, holds my post for a “review.” Really? I guess we should all expect that. Satire is not politically correct is it? Vehemence is dangerous!

  • lostinthemiddle

    Sister Mary Ann Walsh is director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.And is very much what Bumble called the law. It is no surprise that someone who readily accepts the extremely subordinate role her religion limits her to would think that those outlawed by prop 8 should just accept their “inferiority” and get on with it.

  • bhickson

    Very Christ-like sister. I always remeber Jesus saying: the most important commandment is to do unto others as you would haver done to you, expect for the gays.

  • ravensfan20008

    “What’s really irrational is the judge’s dismissal of marriage between a man and a woman – the basic bedrock of our society – as if it were some kookie idea.”Who’s dismissing straight marriages? As far as I know, nobody is talking about banning straight marriage, or doing anything that would bring harm to that institution.Believe it or not, letting gays marry doesn’t harm the institution – divorce might, but not letting adults marry any other adult they want (note use of the word “adult” before you start in with that “my goat?” crap). The idea that it would is a kooky idea best suited for the long lost past.

  • areyousaying

    Sister Mary Ann, a kindly looking lady, fails to see the huge, inflamed, puss infested zit on her beautiful nose as she condemns gay marriage while her Church continues to hide priests who violently raped little boys.What kind of Christ would let a Church use his name for this?

  • insider9909

    With all due respect to the sister, were marriage only concept of religion in general and the catholic church in particular, she might have a leg to stand on. However, the LEGAL CONTRACT that is recognized the the GOVERNMENT is the concept of marriage that exists here in this country. As such, the government has no legal standing to deny any two citizens that LEGAL CIVIL right of the LEGAL CONTRACT called marriage. I would also remind the good sister that we DO NOT VOTE on civil rights here in this country. As a catholic and a woman, she should already know that. Finally, I would suggest to the good sister that she and the rest of the bishops of the catholic church that they remove the PLANK from their own eyes before attempting to pluck the dust mite out of the eyes of others. I say these things as a card carrying member of the catholic church, though I am somewhat ashamed to say that in public these days.

  • rwolf01

    Sis,It’s called freedom. You already have it. So lighten up a little.All the judge did was give that same freedom to a few more people. There is nothing irrational about that.I bet you didn’t even read the ruling before writing your little rant. The judge laid out his case very clearly and rationally. You called him irrational but you didn’t point out his logical errors… that doesn’t add a lot of credibility to your argument.

  • suenjim

    The simple fact is there is nothing in the Constitution, short of legal gymnastics of an Olympic degree, that speaks to the idea that prohibiting homosexual marriage is unconstitutional. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the men who founded this nation and gave us the Constitution ever envisioned or debated the idea of homosexual marriage. Slavery was debated and unfortunately was ignored for the sake of unity. Our nation paid a bloody price for that. Yes slavery was an issue, but not homosexual marriage.Either we are going to be a nation where the people rule through their elected officials or other proceedures such as referendums or one where an elite who are many times lifetime appointment judges rule in the form or a judicial dictatorship. What will it be America? It’s time for the ‘elected’ leaders of this Republic to respond to the will of the people which has been clearly reflected in vote after vote. It’s time to use the one check that is available to the elected representatives. It’s time to simply put the ‘dollar’ squeeze on a Federal Judiciary that is run wild. The pay of judges who have imposed what they think the law should say vs. what it does say on the people should simply have their pay cut to encourage them to look for a job elsewhere…maybe the ACLU? Many seem intent on reflecting ACLU positions, so why not let the ACLU look after funding them?

  • randy28146

    Sister Walsh is correct. I don’t see what is so difficult to understand about this.

  • Akger117

    Sister,Forgive me, but the right to capriciously deny others their rights is non-existent.Religious freedom does not include the freedom to deny others their own.And, as an aside, you say the voters are qualified to decide the ability of others to marry because they have “real life experience of marriage.” But unless that experience includes gay marriage, then they have no idea of what it is they’re banning. A transparently poor argument.Perhaps you felt imposed-upon by Judge Walker’s opinion. Please don’t impose your will upon us.

  • jimmyrayterryjr

    Homosexuals should have the right to be just as unhappy and unfulfilled in marriage as their hetrosexual counter parts. Why save the biggest mistake you will ever make in your life for heterosexuals? If the government would look at it in a business stand point, Gay men have the most dispoable income and that is more revenue for state and local businesses.

  • rohit57

    It is most unfortunate that Sister Mary Ann Walsh is writing on this issue. Not that she is wrong on the issue, but she is wrong on the reasoning. The issue has little to do with God or religion. Marriage is a practical arrangement involving complex rights and duties and (quite often) the production and rearing of children. Gay relationships have different concerns, some of which overlap with hetero concerns, and some of which are different.Because some issues involving gays are likely to be different, it makes sense to have different sets of laws for gay relationships and hetero relationships.Some of these laws could be similar, since there are similarities, and others could be dissimilar because there are also differences.It is a little like the difference between motorcycles and cars or between sofas and chairs. There are similarities, but also differences. You can sit on a sofa and you can sit on a chair, but normally a movie theatre will have chairs and not sofas. And while we often say, “Just pull up a chair”, one rarely says to someone, “Just pull up a sofa.”Similarly, a car driver cannot complain of discrimination if she has to pay a higher toll than a motorcyclist – a car is not a motorcycle, even though both are used for transportation.So, not all issues can be solved by shouting “equality” or shouting “God”.But will the religion fanatics, and the constitutional rights fanatics, listen to common sense or use it? I sort of doubt it.

  • Bluefish2012

    Good article, Sister Mary Ann. Everything in your piece is spot on.The general resposne here is, well, “…persecution besides.”Gaudemus.

  • deepjethro

    People, please understand that the Catholic Bishops gave $200k to help pass Prop 8. The good Sister is paid to write drivel like this – because there are a lot of people who are easily fooled by simplistic arguments. All you have to do is read through the posts to find out that she has plenty of people who agree with her and admire her. However, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed nun is queen.I was expecting better arguments from her though. Unfortunately all the Sister did was give me a painful reminder of how bad my Catholic schooling was. I guess she slept through most of the History and Civics classes. This round went to the gays, but even if the Supremes sustain the decision (unlikely, but possible), the people have a final chance to vote on this issue by passing a constitutional amendment. That is part of the checks and balances that our founders gave us to make it difficult (not impossible) for the will of the majority to trample the rights of those they consider to be morally repugnant.

  • rohit57

    Gay marriage is a practical issue. It is not a religious issue and it is not a constitutional issue.Since we have separation of church and state, what Sister Walsh believes is not binding for non-Catholics.And since it is a pragmatic issue, it is not proper to bring in the constitution.We do not allow people to marry at 14, or to drive or to vote. And these are not violations of equality. We do not allow trucks in residential areas at night, but we do allow cars. And that too is not a violation of equality.If two things are similar in some ways and different in others, it is foolish to have the same laws for them.Will people see this? Or will we have a battle between religious fundamentalists and constitutional rights fundamentalists?I am afraid so.

  • dmblum

    So if a religion advocates mass murder, government is forbidden from having a view on mass murder because the first amendment means any religious view is sacrosanct?This is real hackery, this nonsense.

  • tz12341

    Wow…look at all of this tolerance! The more liberal the politics, the less liberal the sentiments.

  • EastCoastnLA

    What the judge’s opinion states is that the state has an interest in the institution of marriage for all the reasons that the religious right shout about,, that it is a fundamental right and that it builds and promotes stable communities and societies and if face is a fundamental contributor to civilized society,, but the Judge says that for all the benefits that marriage brings society and duly noted in the Sisters tirade, the state has no material interest in denying one group of citizens the rights and privaledges and benefits that marriage affords…. so if you think marriage is the bedrock of society,,, why not let everyone marryand its been proven that same sex marriages do not harm oposite sex marriagestalk about irrational

  • vtavgjoe

    Seeing garbage like this from the USCCB’s political teams makes me truly ashamed to be a Catholic. Sr. Walsh’s article would be perfectly legitimate if Judge Walker were basing his ruling on Canon Law. He is not. It is particularly nice that she uses a church “leadership” full of bigots and child molesters, and a congress full of criminals and solicitous johns as the people whose votes clearly define how we, the loyal subjects should feel about an issue. Moreover, these votes were taken fourteen years ago. Fourteen years ago, people still believed the misinformation campaigns by the Catholic, Southern Baptist and Mormon churches. Fourteen years ago, civil marriage was not legal for gays and lesbians in five states, and people hadn’t seen that the world wouldn’t end. Sr. Walsh, and most of the USCCB decision makers come from a generation of black and white (literally and figuratively), and not questioning decisions regardless of who made them. As this generation dies off (I don’t recall the exact stat, but 50-60% of folks under age 55 favor gay marriage, and 25-30% of folks over 55 favor it), love will prevail. In that, I have faith.

  • areyousaying

    Dear Sister Mary Ann,Mind your own business….go primp, pray, pretend, pose and pimp poor old Jesus with your own kind on Sunday and leave the rest of us alone…neither your scriptures nor your pope have any authority over the rest of us. Cannon law does not trump civil law in the US yet. Until it does, stop telling the rest of us what to do.shame on you – a mother superior should whack you on the knuckles with a ruler.

  • kingcranky

    Only when the Church immediately turns over to secular authorities all pederast priests, and their higher-ups (like Cardinal Law) who knowingly reassigned them to dioceses unaware of what was coming their way, and then gives up all tax exemptions funded by gay citizens, should Sister Walsh’s off-key caterwauling and homophobic screeching be greeted with anything other than peals of ridiculing laughter.

  • MrDarwin

    JohnAdams1, the cases I cited are real, they involve real people, they have been reported in the news, and they illustrate why domestic partnerships, living wills, power of attorney, etc. are not sufficient to protect the rights of same-sex couples.You’ve made it pretty clear that you are either a troll or somebody who does not care to educate himself. If you can’t be bothered to look up the specifics when I gave you more than enough information to refute your claims, that’s no fault of mine. But I hope anybody who sees your accusation that I am lying will bother to take the time.

  • areyousaying

    “…it holds that all sexual activity belongs within marriage between a man and a woman.”Oh, really? Is that why Cardinals Law, Mahoney and Rivera of Mexico protected ebephile priests?

  • wendystevens

    Dear Sister, no one told you that you could not live the life to which you were called. Everyone has the same right, not just you. How dare you tell other people they have no right to live the rest of their life, with the rights of marriage, (which are legal, not religious). Go pray for forgiveness for being so self righteous and selfish.

  • jacobbergerj

    When I was in college, long before I came out, I developed a fairly close relationship with a much older cousin of mine, a nun who taught at a nearby high school.

  • readerny

    Why is it the longer I live, the less likely I am to believe anything the Catholic Church has to say on sexuality or marriage?

  • hhafter

    What we human beings seem to not understand is this:Observe that the things which are considered right today are those which were considered to be impossible yesterday. The things which are thought to be wrong today are those which will be esteemed right tomorrow.In other words acceptance of gay marriage is inevitable. We just don’t know yet how long acceptance will take. At some point the current views that revolve around a dislike of change will seem rather quaint.

  • segolily

    Marriage predates history. So many moderns, as the numerous posts above demonstate, are frighteningly Orwellian in their desire to ascribe a new meaning to something understood for millenia and across cultures as a contract between a MAN and a WOMAN, who are biologically complimentary, for the good of children and the good of society. Homosexual acts are disordered, just as lying, cheating, masturbation, artificial birth control, abortion, infanticide, animal cruelty, pornograpy, vandalism, drunkeness, gluttony, greed, jealousy, sloth, etc are disordered. All people, of any sexual orientation must fight their demons. The healthiest children have a mom and a dad who are dedicated to their well being. Who of you posters, if given the choice, would want two dads, two moms, or a mom and a dad? I think, if you are honest, you would want a mom and a dad. All of us do indeed have a biological mom and dad as nature intends, but due to other personal and societal disorders, have ended up with one parent or two parents of the same sex, or alas, two parents of the opposite sex who, in most cases, put their own interests above family unity and have divorced (another disorder). And yes, in some cases, some of us have suffered greatly at the hands of a very disordered parent of the same or opposite sex. But, in general, most of us know that to have a MOM and a DAD is the best. Homosexuals deserve the rights of every American, but not the right to marry. Marriage is ultimately for the good of society and the good of children and children living in a household where disordered sex is taking place as well as being deprived of either mothering on a day to day basis or fathering on a day to day basis is a form of child neglect and is corrosive to a healthy society. This post will enrage many who cannot grasp the long view of the degraded societal landscape homosexual marriage will bring about. This is what is so very tragic.

  • JDBishop5

    It must really suck to be so ensnared in the muck of the Catholic criminal conspiracy that one cannot get enough neurons to hold hands long enough to understand how stupid they look. Sit down ‘sister.’ Your time has passed, thanks be to the spaghetti monster.

  • ChrisW1958

    Having a so called “nun” commenting on American life is not absurd, but her blind support of a system she well knows is trashed on a daily basis by the leaders of her religion is naive. Fact is, Catholic Priests have been proven to be child abusers. Fact is, Catholic religious, including nuns, have covered up this abuse, especially in Canada and Ireland. I come from a family of Catholics, including priests and nuns, and they are APPALLED at the duplicity of Catholic Officials who refuse to acknowledge the mortal sins committed. Sister Mary Ann Walsh betrays the Church. There is NOTING in the Christian Bible — that part dealing with Jesus’ time on Earth, that opposes homosexuality. That is a religious FACT. Only in the letter after Jesus, when Christianity attempted to pose a different morality to the Romans, do we see condemnation. I urge the Sister to re-examine the Bible and come up with a Christian interpretation, instead of a bigoted one.

  • thefederalist

    Fact is, “Catholic priests” have NOT been proven to be child abusers. A very small percentage of Catholic priests have abused children, and a merely small percentage have engaged in or coerced sodomy with teen-aged boys (which I think is pretty awful, but is not the same thing as “child abuse”). If that small percentage is enough to allow you to form that judgement about Catholic priests as a group, then what must be your judgement about, say, public school teachers?

  • trippin

    thefederalist wrote: “It [the Catholic church] understands and teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong because it intrinsically opposes the very – known – purposes of sexual activity. A married man and woman can engage in the same sexual activities that a homosexual couple can, and they are just as wrong.”Of course. That’s because this dogma is rooted in medieval precepts that strength in numbers means power.In other words, if your church group decides on holding the Crusades, they need to be having babies like bunnies so they can wield all those instruments of bloody death and prevail over the heathen enemy hordes. Don’t spill that seed, now, we need it for our army!That’s the funny thing about dogma. It’s really slow to change. I wonder if you’ve burned any bulls on the altar lately, or whether your church has had any recent daughter stonings. If I were Bristol Palin, I’d watch my back, because you never know when Mama Grizzly might read that part of Leviticus.But as for the case at hand, my dear Ms. Walsh, you simply aren’t qualified to vote on whether rights should apply equally to all citizens of the United States. In fact, it’s not up for a vote. That’s the beautiful thing about a nation founded on separation of church and state.The Equal Protection clause of our Constitution is definitive. The man you label as a bigot is following the law — no, not Catholic sharia law as you’d have it, but the law that applies to all of us who live in the real world. You are not qualified to make that determination simply because you are quick to label others with the term “bigot” despite the teachings not to judge by the invisible sky daddy before whom you are to supplicate yourself in mindless, burden-free dogmatic revelrie. Knowing there’s no sky daddy to punish me for eternity, I’m under no such constraint. Ms. Walsh, you are in fact the bigot. Further, the supposedly celibate holding forth on matters of sexuality is laughable, let alone presuming to legislate the rights of other people who do it differently than she would if she did do it. What a joke.And you know what, madam? I really don’t care how many bigots vote with you. Rights are not a matter for voting.If we left it up to your ilk, blacks would still be drinking from separate water fountains. Of course you’ll deny that now, just as your heirs in the Catholic church will deny ever opposing equal rights for all a century from now.As said earlier, dogma takes a long time to change. Dogma keeps people stupid, and I have seen no better example than this ridiculous assault on liberty.

  • trippin

    arnaz_mansouri2 wonders: “Why is it that heterosexualists are so preoccupied with human-beast matrimony?”I don’t think it’s so much being a heterosexualist. I think it’s more just being an ignorant bigot. One has to be a particularly dull blade to make the leap from homosexuality to bestiality. Of course, it serves their purposes, because every homosexual in their mind is a pedophile, a pervert, an animal lover… whatever epithet their blackened heart filled with hatred might conjure.I have no idea what’s it’s like to be gay. But at least I’m smart enough to stay out of other people’s private business. And I certainly can’t support restricting anyone’s rights on that basis. How some people have so much spare energy to devote to other people’s sexual proclivities mystifies me. It keeps them from seeing the damage the Republicans are doing to the nation — that’s really the purpose of spreading this hatred. If it wasn’t for this so-called “culture war” Republicans would never win another election — as if they haven’t played footsie in men’s room stalls in airports or hiked the Appalachian Trail…

  • THEREALcheriecalgary

    The “cheriecalgary” above, all those posts, are NOT ME. Not really me, Sharon McLeod.Someone who read my blog has decided to start commenting regarding gay marriage around the internet, and they are saying things that I would NEVER, EVER say.Since they are actually plugging my real blog, you already have the address… and I HAVE written a response to the first instance. Please note that I am actually, really the honest cheriecalgary, otherwise known as Sharon McLeod – that is why my domain address is what it is.To the retard doing this: I’m sure you’re having fun… but posting a link to my blog where I refute what you are saying is kind of stupid. I have never, and will never, actually comment on this issue. I am not a religious person (and anyone reading my blog should actually know that), and I am also not a bigot. Unfortunately you seem to be both. Grow up.

  • edallan

    It is regrettable that for some reason my post containing citations to other posts, news articles, and links that refute John Adams’ baseless assertions that there is no real legal need for marriage equality seems to have disgruntled the moderator or the blog owner.Oh well.

  • krasnit

    Interesting how so many opinions against Sr. Walsh who represents the Catholic position are based on the words “equality”, “rights”, and “facts” Of course these words can mean almost anything, so they are fictitious concepts as Alasdair MacIntyre has noted (in After Virtue). The meaning they are given depends on one’s values, and without a moral consensus in society, they will mean what the most powerful in society will to give them. Nietzsche’s will to power now rules America.

  • snsb18

    The good sister confuses Church doctrine with civil law. No one says that the church has to sanctify a gay marriage. But church doctrine does not govern civil law. The church bars divorce but the state law allows it, even if a single parent raising a child is not the ideal situation. The church bans contraception because marriage must be about procreation, but contraception not banned by civil law and the law does not prohibit people who are infertile from marrying because they can’t procreate. The issue is not what the church wants but what the Constitution requires – equal protection under the law. That is a matter for civil law, not religious doctrine.

  • cechiverri

    Sister Mary Ann Walsh writes: “What’s irrational is his ignoring the will of the people with real life experience of marriage, who have voted down gay marriage not only in California, but throughout the United States whenever legalization of gay marriage has been put to a vote.” Isn’t it ironic that in 1994, two Catholic health organizations intervened to overturn California Proposition 187 (which limited access to state funded services to illegal immigrants) on “theological and legal grounds”. Just as Judge Walker did with Proposition 8, a U.S. Federal District Court judge overturned much of Proposition 187. Did the Catholic Church insult Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in that case for irrationally ignoring the will of the people of California? Did Catholic commentators criticize this intervention cautioning, “We must respect the will of the people of California!”? Or is this one of those hypocritical statements that often emanates from those arguing on behalf of religion? Then as now, it is rational to overturn laws that discriminate and injure members of society. Tsk, tsk, tsk, Sister Mary Ann. It is your position supporting discrimination that is irrational.

  • uws10023

    Sister Mary, if your piece were written as farce, it would have had more legitimacy. As a serious piece, however, it has none whatsoever, as you push misguided statements, outright falacies, and debunked myths. If you want to continue to believe these absurdities in your cult, please do so. But marriage is a state matter, so please keep your asinine religious views to yourself.

  • Renshaw

    KRASNIT – “these words can mean almost anything, so they are fictitious concepts”Equality, rights and facts are fictitious but a man born from a woman who was a virgin, could walk on water or through walls, and flew up into the sky after he died and rose again is all true and not to be questioned?Please, spare us!

  • THEREALcheriecalgary

    How long does it TAKE to get a comment approved???

  • justsayingisall

    Thank you Sister for the piece.

  • cornbread_r2

    The ‘gay’ agenda is intent on redefining reality. Are gay relationships not real? Why do you get to define reality? How is marriage not directly related to complimentary body parts? Is marriage only about sex? All men and woman of legal age have equal access to marriage as it is currently defined in this country. Except in those states where men and women want to marry someone of the same sex and are denied that right, of course. My grounds for opposing same sex marriage is not religious or even moral. So why do you care if gays marry? Is your objection just about complimentary plumbing?

  • krasnit

    Renshaw:

  • Renshaw

    “you are no longer free to reject the meaning and therefore the consequences of that meaning that the judge has given those fictitious concepts.”This makes even less sense than your previous posts and I didn’t think that was possible!

  • jlwies1

    It is often stated that we should not prevent two people who are in love from being married (namely referring to people of the same sex). However this is a negative statement. I want to know why this will be beneficial. It seems like emotion is now that by which we judge ideas as good or evil, that by which we judge what is inherently true. It cannot be so. The heart is fickle. My desires are flawed. No one has to live long to acknowledge that in their own lives. There must be something more substantial to determine what is true. If not, the law in itself is frivolous, if we determine individually what is right and wrong.So why is this beneficial? Why is this, as others have stated, a civil rights case? Because we want it to be? I see that others have made historical references to when intercultural marriages were not allowed. While I do not believe this is wrong, it does bring complexities to marriage and family. But is this a fair comparison? We are talking about our sexuality. In general, everyone from birth knows one thing. I am a male or I am a female. Yet it seems that we are in denial of this. We are in denial that the words male or female signify anything. That we are no different. If there is no difference, perhaps we should discontinue the use of these terms and should say “no two humans should not be allowed to be married”. But where does it end? We say, okay, now our sexuality does not matter. What about age? Is it a civil rights issue that children should be allowed to marry adults? Why do we have this distinction? Perhaps we should also do away with this and say, no, we are both humans. There is no distinction. I could go on, but this seem unnecessary. Tell me why this is beneficial. Tell me why it is wise.

  • jlwies1

    It is often stated that we should not prevent two people who are in love from being married (namely referring to people of the same sex). However this is a negative statement. I want to know why this will be beneficial. It seems like emotion is now that by which we judge ideas as good or evil, that by which we judge what is inherently true. It cannot be so. The heart is fickle. My desires are flawed. No one has to live long to acknowledge that in their own lives. There must be something more substantial to determine what is true. If not, the law in itself is frivolous, if we determine individually what is right and wrong.So why is this beneficial? Why is this, as others have stated, a civil rights case? Because we want it to be? I see that others have made historical references to when intercultural marriages were not allowed. While I do not believe this is wrong, it does bring complexities to marriage and family. But is this a fair comparison? We are talking about our sexuality. In general, everyone from birth knows one thing. I am a male or I am a female. Yet it seems that we are in denial of this. We are in denial that the words male or female signify anything. That we are no different. If there is no difference, perhaps we should discontinue the use of these terms and should say “no two humans should not be allowed to be married”. But where does it end? We say, okay, now our sexuality does not matter. What about age? Is it a civil rights issue that children should be allowed to marry adults? Why do we have this distinction? Perhaps we should also do away with this and say, no, we are both humans. There is no distinction. I could go on, but this seem unnecessary. Tell me why this is beneficial. Tell me why it is wise.

  • justsayingisall

    Cornbread you said:Of course they are real. But their relationship can not be considered a marriage as marriage itself is defined. I’m not defining reality…..just observing it.C’mon. Please read more carefully: I said equal access to it as CURRENTLY defined.No. Because it is not based on reality.

  • quiensabe

    I’m not sure Christians object to gays marrying any more than non-Christians do. And this judge is making that distinction for us. There is no requirement, as far as I can see, that a man and a woman get married, either by the church or state. Folks seem to think that a marriage contract protects a woman’s rights to property and to establish security for children. That may well be. As a Christian, I am beginning to see less and less need for the state to license the union between a man and a woman. By the same token, gay men and women, who want contractual protections of their relationship should form a limited liability corporation or something similar. That way they could throw their amicus briefs at the foot of the Supreme Court judges much like the feminists did in the 60′s when they burned their bras.

  • cornbread_r2

    justsayingisall:Re: Complimentary sex/body partsIMO, that seems a pretty weak excuse for denying rights, especially considering that marriage involves a lot more than sex. If we allow physical characteristics to determine availability of civil rights, then I think I could build a decent case that blacks should not not be allowed to marry whites because, you know, their colors really don’t match; or that a man paralyzed from the waist down should not be allowed to marry because he can’t compliment his partner sexually. On the other hand, I could also describe some homosexual acts which seem to me to be quite complimentary as far as body part alignment goes.You wrote: “All men and woman of legal age have equal access to marriage as it is currently defined in this country.” I was pointing out (perhaps pedantically) that Like with the issue of complimentary body parts, you seem here to be hung up on a superficiality; a definition in this case. Definitions can be changed. IMO, “Their hoohoos don’t line up” or “Their relationships don’t fit a traditional definition that others have imposed” are Personally, I’d like to see the government out of the marriage business completely by reserving its related activities to merely certifying and recording civil union contracts — provided those contracts grant the same rights as “marriages” presided over by church officials. What do you think of that option?

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