- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
In a book released last fall, president of Catholics for the Common Good, William B. May, has encouraged defenders of traditional marriage to focus on the meaning of the term "marriage" to avoid the "hate speech" brand when discussing their position.
"People should understand that the real question is not whether to let homosexuals marry, but whether to redefine marriage or not," said May in statement on Monday. Marriage under its current definition, said May, "is an institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers. Thus, marriage between homosexuals is not possible without completely changing its purpose and removing its primary public interest."
In his book, Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: a Guide for Effective Dialogue, Mays argues that defenders of traditional marriage can deflect accusations of "hate" in discussing their opposition to redefining marriage by not buying into the arguments of detractors of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) but ask instead, "What does this have to do with the only institution that unites children to their moms and dads?"
Getting the Marriage Conversation Right delves into the misperceptions about the reason for marriage and how to defend it without discussing religion or homosexuality.
Reviewers of the book on Amazon.com so far have been positive with an average ranking of four and half stars out of a possible five.
"In this book, we get a definition of what is going on in our current society with regards to marriage, and how society is trying to rid itself of traditional marriage. This is sad indeed, because as the book states, 'Marriage unites a man and woman with each other and any children born from their union.' No other societal institution does that, and if traditional marriage was compromised, an institution would need to be created to fill the requirements of the quote above," said reviewer Stuart Dunn.
"A useful contribution to the current debate about the meaning of Marriage. This book argues the case for the traditional understanding of this unique social institution which 'unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union' in non-religious terms," said another reviewer Neil Coup. "A question and answer section further clarifies the apologetic intent of this work which carefully avoids unworthy argumentation and terminology and especially any allegation of homophobia," he added.
The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on Tuesday, March 26, on California's Proposition 8 gay marriage ban. It will then hear arguments on DOMA.
Several liberal-leaning media publications have already predicted that DOMA will fall.
DOMA is a federal law that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman, and allows states that ban same-sex marriages to not recognize the unions made in other states, like New York where same-sex marriage is legal. A number of federal appeals court have ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional and President Barack Obama has asked the Supreme Court to declare parts of DOMA, which prevent same-sex marriage, unconstitutional.