WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Marriage Amendment Bill no place for logic


Fr James Lyons
4 December 2012

How would you describe a soldier of the Second World War era? The question was addressed to me from a member of the Parliamentary Committee hearing submissions on the Marriage Amendment Bill which requires the re-defining of marriage to include same-sex couples.

I appeared before the Committee on November 22 with a personal submission that broadening the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples would unnecessarily destroy a time-honoured understanding that marriage was exclusively a male-female relationship.

Further, marriage is related to family. It is through the union of male and female that our species continues. The fact that impotency, disease or age may prevent some couples from having children, is not an argument for including same-sex couples in the definition as another member of the Committee suggested. In their exclusive relationship, such couples do not even have the potential to be biological parents.

While all couples are capable of a loving and faithful commitment, only a woman and man together can reproduce human life. The definition of marriage must respect that distinction.

A WWII ‘soldier’ was invariably considered a male; but that definition has been extended in modern defence/warfare to include females. I was expected to concede that this showed any definition could change over time.

The logic didn’t seem to fit, but logic tends to override emotion and the issue before the committee is charged with emotion.