Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today & In response to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

I am living in a peculiar situation when it comes to gay rights. For those who read this blog, you most likely know that I am a supporter of gay rights, especially when it comes to the question of whether they should be allowed to marry or not. I am also a Catholic, albeit a very liberal one. On June 24, New York became the sixth state to legalize Same-Sex Marriage by a very close vote, 33 in favor to 29 against. While I cheered this decision, let us just say that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the leader of the Brooklyn & Queens Diocese (which is the Diocese my church is situated) was not. In an editorial which appeared in the New York Daily Newshe slammed the decision, calling it a tragedy in which we
....we no longer understand the primary purpose of marriage as the institution by which a man and woman bring new life into the world and teach the child to become a productive citizen....Marriage is reduced to an empty honor....
The following parts of this post will be a reply to the Bishop in charge of the Diocese in which I live in, thereby indirectly challenging a superior. And so I begin. 

He begins his argument by stating that society values it's young, no question about that. However, it is in the third paragraph in which he states that
Sociologists and psychologists agree that stable families where a mother and father live together in a loving union are a key predicator of a child's future health, well-being and success.
You may ask yourselves, Well, this paragraph is innocent, he's just saying that a children raised with both parents is crucial to success  No question about that. The problem here is that when you dig deeper into the argument, he is implying that a child raised with a gay or a lesbian couple cannot have raise a child as well as a straight couple can. Not so, states the American Psychological Association, together with the California Psychological Association,  The American Psychiatric Association, and The American Association For Marriage and Family Therapy, in which it stated in a brief filed in the case Perry v. Schwarzeneggerfor the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that there is no scientific basis to support the claim that Gay Couples cannot raise a child as good as a heterosexual couple, and in the case that they have children, their children are just as healthy or well adjusted as one raised with heterosexual parents. (Section IV, Subsection B.)  In their brief, they state
Although it is sometimes asserted in policy debates that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same-sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children raised by heterosexual parents, those assertions find no support in the scientific research literature....Indeed, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has been consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.
With just this excerpt from their massive 57 page brief, it smashes the poorly disguised argument of my dear Bishop. I mentioned earlier in this post that the bishop claimed that marriage had been reduced to an empty honor. To address this concern- when has marriage has ever been completely respected- it has almost never been. Men have always cheated on their wives and vice versa. People have always divorced people, maintained other spouses, etc- if marriage was ever sanity, Henry VIII would never split off from the church over some pathetic divorce.  Today, there is no doubt that marriage is not as respected, if it even was.  

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Today is July 24, 2011. Today was the first day in which we extending the meaning of "with liberty and justice to all" to a group of people who were being denied those rights for years- the LGBT community. For the first time, same-sex couples were given the right to marry in the state, giving them equal standing with straight couples. Yet not everyone greeted this with open arms, of course. We had the usual protesters- the National Organization of Marriage, State Senator Ruben Diaz, and evangelicals. Even though I disagree with them, I usually would get along with them, as they are very civil. And then we have those who feel the need to stoop down to the level and behavior of a spoiled five-year old child. Those people, as we all know, is the good ol' Westboro Baptist Church. Most people heard of them in the landmark Supreme Court Case Synder v. Phelps in which a father of fallen solider sued the WBC for damages following their protest of military funerals, in which they carried signs saying "God hates Fags" and "God hates America" and all. After hearing that New York State legalized same-sex marriage, they decided to come to protest, stating their reasons in typical language suitable of people who demeanor appears to be those of again, a spoiled five-year old child. Here they go.
WBC will picket the reprobates of fag-infested New York state to remind them that God defined marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman for life.That means NO fag marriage, no dyke marriage and no divorce + remarriage! For their defiance of their Lord, New Yorkers will suffer the wrath of God being poured out on them from the sky, just as others in history who have followed this path experienced.
Right. If I'm a fag infested person, as they call, for supporting equality and fulfilling the words of the pledge of allegiance, which state "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" so I'm proud to be one. If I am to be called a reprobate, so be it, and I'm proud of it, basking in the comfort that I'm being called this for supporting the civil rights of the LGBT community. These 'fags' as the WBC calls them, are real people, people who deserve the right to marry and love whomever they choose, who deserve the rights we all enjoy. If I'm defying the lord, so be it. If I have to suffer the wrath of god  from the sky, I'll be happy to to, because I'm doing so to guarantee rights for all.  I saw them today as I was going to the Brooklyn DA's office for my Mock Trial Meeting, and I just ignored them. Because that is what need to do. Ignore them, and take comfort at whatever names they call us, because we should be proud to be 'fags' if it means fighting for the rights of the LGBT community.

Just some food for thought. Enjoy.