Supreme Court Rules on Gay Issues

Tuesday, July 01, 2003



I'm still very busy at work trying to save some people's with last night's post, please excuse the rushed thoughts and half-baked ideas.....

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down Thursday a Texas law making homosexual sex illegal, ruling that the ban unconstitutionally infringed on privacy rights.

Most consider this recent ruling a victory for gay rights, and Newsweek has recently issued an article placing this ruling on par with Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade in the sense of the impact on social policy and social attitudes.

Well, I don't want to rain on anyone's gay parade, but these are my thoughts about the ruling....

I have already written two pieces on homosexuality suggesting a more compassionate approach by the Roman Catholic Church towards gays and lesbians. What I am about to write is not meant in any way to suggest that gays do not have rights and dignity that should be recognized under the law.

I question the wisdom of the Supreme Court ruling because of the way the argument is made. Gays do not have rights to sexual expression because of a privacy right! The right to privacy does not give any of us the permission to whatever we want just because we do it behind closed doors!

Where would such reasoning end? Can I smoke crack in the privacy of my home? Can I commit incest, so long as we keep it private? Can I abuse my spouse, so long as we both keep it private?

Please do not get me wrong. I support the idea of blessing some sort of monogamous union for gay couples and affording legal rights to such a union analogous to marriage. I have argued the case for restoring an ancient Christian rite called adelphopoeisis as an expression of sacred love between persons of the same gender bound in an indissoluble monogamous bond where grace builds on nature to witness to love in our world. I am not arguing gay love is the equivalent of crack smoking, incest, or spouse abuse.

However, I do not base my reasoning on fuzzy notions of an absolute and individualistic notion of privacy. It as though the judges are saying they are personally opposed to homosexual acts, but they don't care at all what people do behind closed doors. This is absurd reasoning, and the Supreme Court is abusing its authority by extending privacy to overturn state laws on every issue from abortion to sodomy!

We have three branches of government for a reason - called checks and balances. The legislative branch is supposed to make the laws. The Supreme Court interprets the application of the law as intended by the legislators. We all want our privacy protected, but none of us want it overprotected.

Do we want privacy to extend to the point that a person with suicidal depression isn't offered help? Do we want privacy to extend to sodomy with a five year old child? Do we want privacy to lead to a rugged individualism where our sense of community and morality is simply obliterated?

Since Roe, the Supreme Court just seems willing to make the law mean whatever this miniscule handful of Americans on the bench want it to mean by putting every issue they want to chnage under the issue of privacy. This is an abuse of power!

Gays have a right to live in monagamous unions because God created gay people! Gays have a right to monogamous unions because every human person has such rights endowed by our Creator, who reveals Herself in love! As a nation, this truth is expressed in the Declaration of Independence as the rights endowed by our creator to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If states have archaic laws on the books that are causing harm to people, it is up to all of us to elect public officials who will create or change laws to express our collective will to change. As Catholics, our elective decisions will be informed by faith. Sadly, too many of my Catholic siblings do not yet fully understand the Gospel message in relation to those who are marginalized and labelled sinners. Jesus, who was himself a marginal Jew, always reached out to include the marginalized.

My faith leads me to believe that gay love and gay sexuality can be holy in some instances, just as married love is holy for heterosexuals. Homoseual acts can also be sinful at times, just as heterosexual acts can be sinful. Read my posts entitled "Thoughts on Homosexuality" or "Can a Gay Man be a Saint?" for more detail.

Despite my support for gay people and gay issues, and my appreciation for the joy many gay people feel over the recent ruling, I would be somewhat offended by the courts if I were gay.

By placing this issue largely under privacy, it seems the courts are implying that there is something wrong with being gay, but as long as we all keep it "private" and in the closet, who cares?

Is this really the only message gays hope to hear from the rest of society in the long run?

Are we accepting tolerance instead of demanding acceptance?

Personally, my message to gays is that Jesus Christ loves you, and so do I, and I want you to know that we accept you as you are, and there is a place for you in the Body of Christ as a gay man or woman. You do not need to hide in the closet of privacy any longer!

I'm sure some critics of my opinion will feel I concede too much to conservatives, while others will feel I fall off the deep end in progressive liberalism. These are just some of my humble opinions, and I'm open to critique....

I want more for my gay and lesbian siblings than came out of this ruling, and I expect more accountability and better reasoning from our courts!

Peace and Blessings!

Readers may contact me at


posted by Jcecil3 3:59 PM

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