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By definition and etymology, ‘marriage’ requires a man and a woman

Published: Sun, April 21, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

The question of “gay mar- riage” is not a religious matter. Nor is it a political issue. Rather, the question of gender neutral marriage is a matter of human reason. Simply put, marriage between two persons of the same sex is unreasonable. Why? Because the definition of marriage necessarily includes sexual intercourse.

Only a definition of marriage that includes sexual intercourse may distinguish marriage from all other human relationships. While one may define marriage any way one wants to, regardless of how one defines it, that definition must recognize that marriage differs from all other human relationships. Married love is not the same as the love between parent and child, or the love and affection between brother and sister, or other deep and lasting friendships.

Put another way, to define marriage so as to exclude sexual intercourse as part of its definition eliminates any real meaning of marriage.

Whatever two women choose to do in their private lives is nobody’s business but their own. But two women are incapable of sexual intercourse. And whatever two men choose to do in their private lives is nobody’s business but their own. But two men are incapable of sexual intercourse.

Sexual intercourse — not simply sexual stimulation — remains an essential element of marriage. Where sexual intercourse is not possible in principle, marriage cannot exist. Same-sex partnerships, like friendships, can be deep and lasting, but they cannot be marriages because they lack the capacity for conjugal union.

We see this truth clearly in the very etymology of the word marriage. The word “marriage” derives from the French word for “mother” (Fr: mere), just as the word “matrimony” comes from the Latin word for mother. The word “conjugal” signifies sexual intercourse. Only a man and a woman may have conjugal relations. The natural outcome of such conjugal relations is that the woman becomes a mother, thus the connection between the words “conjugal” and “marriage.”

“Gay marriage” is not a religious issue. Nor is it a political issue. Rather, it is simply a matter of reason. If the word “marriage” has any meaning at all, then the notion of “gay marriage” is unreasonable.

Fr. Greg Maturi, Youngstown

The writer is pastor of St. Dominic church.


1mvgaystraightcoalition(3 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

It is so hard for me to disagree with a man of faith that has done so much for the City of Youngstown's South Side, but Father Maturi brings such a false argument here, that I have to call it out. I can accept the Catholic Church's views of homosexuality, just as I can accept any persons view. It is their personal opinion based on teachings from others, either verbal or written, regardless of their truth or not. I may be in the minority of my LGBT Community, but I don't require your personal acceptance, I just demand my personal freedoms and rights that any other citizen is afforded.

Father Maturi's second paragraph says it all, "Married love is not the same as the love between parent and child, or the love and affection between brother and sister, or other deep and lasting friendships." My love for my partner whom I wish to marry is not the same as it is with my family or friends. His statements are really about the often used argument that to be married you must be able to have children. Unfortunately, he uses the word 'intercourse' as a synonym to reproduce, to enforce this argument. Believe me, gay men and women can and do have intercourse, it just cannot end in the ability to reproduce from it.

As has been argued before, if we took his words literally that intercourse or the ability to reproduce is a major or deciding factor in getting married, then by definition anyone who cannot reproduce is excluded from marriage as well. The infertile, the physically disabled, the aged, et. al. I refuse to go into an argument of what intercourse is if Father is not meaning reproduction, because that discussion is not made for newspaper comment section.

Our LGBT Community wants marriage primarily for two reasons; first, for that type of love that Father alludes to in his second paragraph, a special intimate love between two people not of family or friendship. And secondly, for the part of marriage that is contract, (another definition of marriage many years ago,) the contract that grants over 1100 rights to heterosexual married couples, that it denies to homosexual married couples, primarily federally. Again, I respect Father Maturi for all he is trying to do for the safety and concern of the people of Youngstown, especially in his South Side, but this was a very invalid reason to deny our Community marriage rights, and to call what we are looking for, anything other than marriage.

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2RustOnMyBelt(160 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Anyone can enter into a marriage contract.A marriage covenant is quite another story.Contracts can be voided,cancelled or expire with time since they may run from one date until the expiration date of said contract which can be between two or more people.A covenant as in the marriage covenant is an unbreakable agreement between G*D and a man and a woman "until death do we part".

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3Catherine(8 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Hi mvgaystraight, Father never mentions reproduction or the ability to have children. Here's what he's talking about: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/t...

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4imez_ru2(6 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.Anything else is an abomination. End of discussion.

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5lebronjeremy1(1 comment)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Then don't call it marriage. Problem solved.

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