Who Gets to Decide?

I was at a rally today sponsored by the Stand4 MarriageDC.com Coalition. I also witnessed the leaders of this coaltion file at the DC Board of Elections a ballot initative  on the issue of same sex “marriage.”  The Initiative,  if approved would place on the ballot for a vote by all the citizens of the District of Columbia the following delcaration: “Only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in the District of Columbia.”

What is at stake here is the definition of Marriage in the District and who gets to say what that is. Some months ago the DC City Council decided, without holding hearings, to recognize same-sex unions from other jurisdictions.  Currently, there are plans by David Catania and others on the Council to enact further legislation to recognize same-sex unions contracted right here in DC.

The definition of Marriage is NOT something that should be left to 13 people decide. This is too important for such limited input. It deserves to be brought before all the voters of this city who have a stake in what is determined. Marriage is not some bureaucratic or merely legal entity, it is a pillar of civilization. The arrogance of the City Council in refusing even to hold public hearings before the last vote is manifestly undemocratic. It seems clear that advocates of same-sex unions have little interest in hearing from the voters on this critical issue.

But you ought to pay careful attention to this issue for its implications are sweeping. At stake is the definition of marriage as well as the democratic process. Will marriage be simply defined by legislators in closed door session, by blunt judicial fiats or willit be decided by the citizens of the District of Columbia after thoughtful discussion and preparation for a vote? These are significant issues and you and I ought to pay attention and participate in the process. Learn more of this at www.Marriagemattersdc.org

I would like to conclude by quoting from a letter of Archbishop Wuerl who reminded the priests of this Archdiocese that we, as a Church have the duty to speak and teach clearly on this matter:

The definition of marriage originates in the created order and comes from the natural law. At the core of the Church’s teaching on family life is God’s plan for the human race set forth so majestically in the Book of Genesis. The original plan — still operative today — calls for the man and woman to come together and form a communion of mutual support. “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him” (Gen 2:18). This partnership is to be a permanent one. This teaching was confirmed explicitly by Jesus himself: “…Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Matt 19:6).  As custodian of these truths, the Church is compelled to preach this to the world.