I assert in the Equal Marriage debate that heterosexual marriage is in no way affected by recognition of gay marriage: not individually, and not as a whole. But perhaps Flavius’s is. He asserts it will be damaged by the statutes on equal marriage. How might that be?
Part of the problem is that we use words differently. He says that heterosexual sex is “natural”, and I agree. It bonds two people together, and may have the potential for conception. I say homosexual sex is natural. He says, “You can’t seriously believe that it’s natural for a man’s sex organ to be inserted in another man’s rectum?” and I hear the distaste in his words. He finds the thought horrible, harmful, and unnatural.
Well, yes, I do, as it fulfils the purpose of sex to bond people, and it happens. He also thinks that people hurting each other or themselves is unnatural, which begins to show what “natural” might mean to him: in accordance with God’s purposes for humanity, in accordance with our good. But I still see the good which comes from two gay people bonded together as a couple, which he does not see.
How will the redefinition of marriage hurt him, individually? Fiddling with marriage and the family with a redefinition will create chaos: a host of confusing new laws to accommodate the new definitions, the intrusion further of the State into the affairs of the Church, and the dissolution of familial bonds as an entire generation will grow up with the idea that something as basic and immutable as the family can be arbitrarily redefined at will.
That is, people will not have his moral boundaries. Gay men will not try to marry women in an attempt to make themselves straight; instead, they will find partners they can love physically as well as in friendship. I think that benefits them, and those gay men who have tried marrying women then formed gay relationships agree. I think it is “natural” in his sense, in accordance with God’s will for our good.
How might it hurt him, then? This is my attempt, rather than his: he might meet people who disagree with him. He might see gay couples, and people- even Catholics- who believe that they are properly married. His moral view will be challenged. This will cause him such distress that he cannot bear it.
Or, he genuinely cannot conceive that others might see the Good differently from how he sees it, let alone that they might have as much right to decide what is good for them. Humanity finds Good by trial and error- we have tried Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and it is not a Good end, and we know that now. To me, Good and Truth are indeed one and eternal, but we cannot know them, only grope towards them. So his idolatry of his Magisterium prevents him from making any progress towards knowing what is truly Good.