The beautiful days of the spring season are traditionally a time for weddings in Catholic parishes across the globe.
This special sacrament is an encounter with Jesus Christ as the bride and groom pledge their selfless love for each other in a sacred covenant with God. These weddings are joyous and faith-filled as a man and a woman come forward to become husband and wife before God’s holy altar. The Rite of Marriage reminds us that “Christ abundantly blesses this love” so a man and a woman can “assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity.” The truth that marriage is the union of man and woman has been and continues to be the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church.
Marriage is a deeply exclusive relationship that serves the common good of society like no other social institution in our culture. A bride and a groom united as husband and wife are granted the right to have their marriage recognized as a distinct and unique relationship. Yet, across the nation, this ancient right is now under attack as courts and politicians redefine marriage. This attack is centered here in New England as proponents of same-sex marriage mount their campaign to strip marriage of its unique and distinct status. Recently, the legislatures of Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire passed dangerous legislation that legalizes so-called same-sex unions. These radical social experiments come after a well-financed and seemingly relentless lobbying effort by same-sex marriage advocates. Rhode Island now stands alone in New England as the sole state that has not caved to the political pressure and the radical gay agenda of the same-sex marriage movement.
Last night the Judiciary Committee of the R.I. House of Representatives once again heard testimony on the perennial bill sponsored by Representative Arthur Handy (D-Cranston) that would redefine marriage as no longer uniquely between one man and one woman. The bill, which would legally recognize same-sex unions as marriage, is not expected to be voted upon nor is its passage by the House likely to occur this year. There is great hope that the enlightened legislators of the General Assembly will remain steadfast as they continue to support Rhode Island’s long tradition of independence.
Bishop Thomas Tobin rightly suggested last week that this lone-state status “should not be for us a source of embarrassment … It should be a source of pride.” We can certainly take pride that Rhode Island continues to support the right of a man and a woman to have their marital union recognized as a distinct relationship. Contrary to the propaganda of the same-sex marriage movement, the unique status of marriage is not rooted in hatred, bigotry or discrimination but rather deeply rooted in the tradition, history and the culture of human history. Rhode Islanders must remain vigilant in the fight to preserve and protect marriage as it has always been known. However, all Rhode Islanders can be proud that the Independent Man stands above our state house and has withstood the attack of those who seek to radically redefine marriage and family life in the Ocean State.