Traditional Meaning Of ‘Marriage’

We must applaud the American Catholic Bishops, Jewish Rabbis and other Catholic and Jewish leaders who joined in affirming their common beliefs regarding marriage in a joint statement titled Created in the Divine Image. The statement affirmed their belief that marriage should be protected as a relationship between a man and a woman, recognising the ordinance of God, the Almighty One, who created man and woman in the divine image so that they might share as male and female, as helpmates and equals, in the procreation of children and the building up of society.

They recognised that all persons share equally in the dignity of human nature and are entitled to have that human dignity protected, but they pointed out that “this does not justify the creation of a new definition for a term whose traditional meaning is of critical importance to the furtherance of a fundamental societal interest”.

They contest the claim that refusing to recognize same-sex unions as marriage is discrimination against homosexuals. The statement points out that God’s design for the continuance of human life, as seen in the natural order, as well as in the Bible, clearly revolves around the union of male and female, first as husband and wife, and then as parents. Clearly then, a unique goal of marriage and an essential function exists, involving reproduction and the raising of families, in which same-sex unions cannot equally participate.

They conclude by stating that “since the future of every society depends upon its ability to reproduce itself according to this natural order and to have its young people reared in a stable environment, it is the duty of the state to protect the traditional place of marriage and the family for the good of society”.