MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/22 June) – Reports quoted retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz as having said that gays can marry, “so long as it’s with the opposite sex. It’s okay for a gay man to marry a lesbian woman—because the anatomy to consummate a union for procreation is there.”
Abp. Cruz’s thesis sounds problematic. But no, I’m not talking about the possible dilemma of who should be treated as the bride or groom given the identity preferences of gays and lesbians. That thing is for the hypothetical partners to resolve, if ever such a union materializes complete with the full blessings of the guardians of faith and morality.
What sounds disturbing is the message that marriage is viewed as mainly an assembly line for reproduction. In what appears to be a hurried defense against the growing clamor for acceptance of same-sex marriage, the archbishop implied that love, supposedly the cornerstone of Christianity, no longer plays a central role in an institution that the Church says should be protected at all cost. Biology now seems to be the defining element of marital union.
Even Cruz’s argument in favor of the hypothetical gay-lesbian union is defective. Homosexuals may accuse him of what I call biological coercion for lack of a better term. It would be like putting together a sadist and a masochist in one room, and expecting the latter to come out bruised and battered. (If you’re confused, read again what sadist and masochist mean.)
At least during homilies, the Church would maintain that love should exist among couples for marriage to prosper. And here lies the meat of contention: What if a gay or lesbian can only find love and fulfillment, biological or whatever, in the company of a fellow gay or lesbian? Further, what if two gays or two lesbians wish to prove the genuineness of their affection for each other through marriage?
Can it be said that love between gays or lesbians is inferior to love between people of opposite sexes? Is marriage between two homosexuals, no matter how genuinely in love, less honorable compared to say, a marriage for convenience between two heterosexuals simply because, to borrow Abp. Cruz’s argument, the anatomy to consummate a union for procreation is not there?
These are questions that, I’m afraid, the Church could not satisfactorily address outside of its “one size fits all” brand of morality. It’s the same arrogance that attended the debates leading to the enactment of the Reproductive Health Law, an arrogance that turned into personal hatred as shown in the “Team Buhay, Team Patay” campaign which the voters did not mind anyway.
By the way, here comes the bride. Or is it the groom? (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at [email protected])