MD braces for gay marriage fight; NY archbishop worries about what’s next

In the wake of a failed effort to block gay marriage from becoming law in the Empire State, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is raising concerns about what might be on the horizon. Check out what he wrote in a recent blog:

Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Veterans my age and over can remember sixty years ago when we fought widespread, no-fault divorce, convinced it would lead to a cheapening of the marriage bond and harm our kids (as, of course, scholarly studies now report has, indeed, happened).  Recall how the Church resisted the “contraceptive mentality,” fearing it would rupture the sacred bond between love and the procreation of children.  Then, remember how the Church sounded the alarm over rising rates of promiscuity, adultery, pre-marital sex, and cohabitation prior to or instead of marriage.  And now we ring the steeple bell again at this latest dilution of the authentic understanding of marriage, worried that the next step will be another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity.

If you think I’m exaggerating, within days of the passage of this bill, one major newspaper ran a flattering profile of a proponent of what was called “nonmonogamy.” Apparently, “nonmonogamy” is the idea that society is unrealistic to think that one man and one woman should remain faithful in marriage, and that openness to some infidelity should be the norm!

Reflecting on the campaign against legalized gay marriage, Archbishop Dolan expressed thanks to “those courageous millions who valiantly fought this unfortunate project of social engineering.” He also apologized to anyone in the gay community who felt hurt by the Church’s campaign.

“We tried our best to insist from the start that our goal was pro-marriage, never anti-gay,” he said.

Supporters of traditional marriage demonstrate in Annapolis prior to a March 11 debate in the House of Delegates to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.)

Meanwhile, it’s looking like Maryland is about to go through a similar battle as advocates prepare to launch another all-out effort to pass same-sex marriage here.

Gay marriage almost became a reality during the last legislative session, but fell short at the last minute when it became clear there weren’t enough votes. Maryland’s bishops had taken a lead role in opposing the effort, joining forces with other faith leaders.

A statewide coalition of groups including Equality Maryland, Progressive Maryland, SEIU, CWA, the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and others plan to announce the launch of Marylanders for Marriage Equality – a statewide coalition in support of the legalization of same-sex marriage.

According to a July 8 advisory, the coalition is planning a July 12 press conference at Baltimore’s City Hall to announce a campaign to “work with allies to secure the votes necessary for passage of a civil marriage equality bill in the 2012 legislative session.”

What happened in New York is bound to loom large in the Free State.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.