A mixed crowd assembled to listen to speaker, Dr. Monica Miller, at St. Mary of the Hills Catholic Church on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:00. Dr. Miller is a moral theologian, professor, author and pro-life leader. Her topic was controversial: What the Church teaches on same-sex marriage.
Though she has written articles on the subject, it was the first such talk given by Dr. Miller and people did not know exactly what to expect. One attendee, a single woman, was angry about the legal rights being granted to same-sex couples that she is denied. One man, a homosexual rights activist, described by an observer as being ‘loaded for bear,’ announced his intention to challenge the speaker even before the talk began.
Dr. Miller, beginning on a personal note, completely diffused the audience as she began: “My brother was an active homosexual who died of AIDS in 1994. My sister has been in a lesbian relationship for 15 years.” The room was hushed.
Dr. Miller, spoke for 90 minutes to the quiet crowd touching on the logical, natural and religious reasons why homosexual sex is not the equivalent of marriage. After the talk, she spoke for another hour to individuals.
“The argument is that since heterosexuals enjoy legal recognition and the benefits of their emotional bonds, it is wrong to deny same-sex attracted individuals their rights. So opposers are accused of being bigots, intolerant, discriminators… this can make us all become very quiet on the issue,” she said.
“But,” she continued, “if any domestic sharing is a marriage, there is no inherent thing called ‘the family’. While love, attachment, pleasure, and happiness are good things, they are subjective. They do not make marriage an objective institution upon which society depends.”
Referring to the role of government, “Government can back up convention, not create one,’ said Miller. “Marriage is a tie that leads to procreation. Since society depends on an inherent order, a community called ‘the family’ precedes the state,” she said.
Describing marriage as more than an emotional bond, but the building block of society, “the family must not become a fragile arrangement of the will,” she said. “If marriage is a sheer matter of the will, it becomes whatever we say it is.”
Miller insisted that God’s design has to be respected: “God founded marriage and procreation in the beginning. It (marriage) is God-designed reality and part of the good of creation.” Citing Catholic teachings and Genesis 2:18, she read, “I will create a suitable partner for him…” “Marriage is a mystery that parallels the relationship to God and his Church. It is not romantic but sacred. It is a sign and symbol that speaks truth beyond itself,” she continued.
Married, with a daughter and 2 sons, Miller described marriage in the United States as ‘a wreck’. “Everyone is sexually broken when it comes to living authentic human sexuality,” she said. Assigning the confusion today in the state of marriage to the whole community, “Blame should fall on the heterosexual community that disrespects marriage with 50 years of contraception, sex outside of marriage, living together outside of marriage, out-of-wedlock childbirth, no-fault divorce, serial marriage, and 40 years of abortion,” she said. “Most heterosexual sex isn’t marriage either. It cannot carry the world into the future.”
Why must the law protect marriage? According to Dr. Miller:
* Heterosexual sex confirms the meaning of the masculine and feminine
* Marriage affirms society
* Marriage is uniquely ordered for having children
* Marriage unites parents with children
* Marriage creates an environment for the rearing of children
* There is no substitution for blood ties in building culture and society
* Blood ties create identity, which in turn lead to responsibility
When asked, "How do I talk to a family member who is gay and wants to enter into a homosexual relationship?" Dr. Miller said, “Well, I am the poster child for that question…I would pray, sit down and talk about why they would want to take that step, in some cases discuss what influences took place in the family and the household you grew up in that may have led to it…We have to love our relatives who carry the cross of same-sex attraction. I love my sister and loved my brother. While our understanding of homosexuality has to grow, we can’t deny the truth of marriage.”
Miller summed up: “We are in a crisis now. There is a lot of work to do and it is the work of the Church. Our love has to grow…Maybe the best thing to come out of this is more love and acceptance for the homosexual person.”