Catholics in Washington State Defend Traditional Marriage in The Seattle Times

If you live or have lived in Washington state, particularly the western side of the state, you know what’s it’s like. You’re warned that we are the least churched state in the nation (a positioning we may have recently lost), that unless you’re using NARAL talking points there’s no place for your voice in a state that voted to make abortion legal before Roe v. Wade, and then voted at least two more times to confirm that vote. Despite the fact that you meet wonderful people both of faith and not of faith, who all share common human values, the secular progressive values are so pervasive that it can be daunting to even consider speaking out with a divergent view.

In my three years living in Seattle (yes the city where there are rumored to be more dogs than children) I’ve met enough people to realize that this conventional wisdom denies the reality.

This week a group of us, all lay leaders from across the state, decided that it was time to respond to a group of Catholics speaking out against the Church’s teachings on marriage. Sure, they have a right to voice their opinions; but it’s our responsibility to make clear that they don’t speak for us.

So here’s our op-ed in The Seattle Times. I expected the negative comments, but I wish we could have a civil conversation despite the disagreement on some very big issues. However, that problem is not particular to Seattle or Washington. It’s rampant just about everywhere.

We have a FaceBook page where you can see the list of leaders and sign on to show your support. We are joined by several groups including the Knights of Columbus for Washington State (17,000 members) and the Seattle Archdiocesan Council of Women.



  • Patrick

    “[T]he local Catholic population, which numbers about 1 million….” I note that radical conservative catholics are quick to include liberal catholics in their numbers of “catholics” when trying to inflate their numbers in the face of the voting populace, but in forums like these they tell us we are not “really” catholics because we oppose their radical views.) The real question is how many of those 1 million baptized persons espouse radical catholic views? Few.

    “[Marriage is also procreative because marital intimacy naturally leads to the birth of children.” Clever … manipulative and …. inaccurate. Marital intimacy does not lead to the birth of children. Intercourse does, regardless of marital status. Statements like these that conflate marriage and childbirth are blatant attempts to confuse voters into thinking that the purpose of marriage is solely to create an optimal breeding ground (if you will) for child-rearing. Make no mistake, that optimal platform is a HUGE societal benefit to marriage, but it is not the primary reason for our civil marriage laws. Mutual support is the primary reason behind our marriage laws. Moreover, if child-rearing is the primary reason for marriage, then excluding from marriage those gay couples who do raise children is against public policy.

    “The state … involve[s] itself in marriage …because marriage generally involves children by the very nature in which the spouses express intimacy and union. As such, the family becomes the basic unit of society and thus deserves special protection”. Not true. The state involves itself in marriage for MANY reasons, including, but not limited to, the child-rearing benefits. The state gives (A) thousands of benefits to married couples whether or not they have children and (B) thousands of benefits to parents, whteher or not they have spouses. To conflate the 2 sounds very pretty and rosy but it’s really just not the way our system works. In fact, both the state and the catholic church agree that the “basic unit of society” is the married couple — not the married couple plus child. In church, Pre-cana classes tell me and my wife that we are a new family upon marriage. In public, societal rights, obligations and “family unity” kick in at my wedding. By the authors’ reasoning tax and inheritance benefits (for example) would be available only to married couples who ALSO have children. Again, the authors describe an America that doesn’t exist.

    Lastly, perhaps the most telling point is the authors’ grave omission. The church teaches that marriage is a lifelong committment. In fact, it is arguably the most significant part of the decision to marry. But make no mistake – it is one of the most material elements of a marriage, according to the church. Yet the authors don’t even mention it!! Shocking. How is it possible that in describing what marriage means they omit the incredibly important part about lifelong committment? Isn’t it obvious? It is to me. They leave it out because while it is one of the most material elements of a sacramental marriage it is 100% ABSENT from the civil laws. They can’t mention it in print because they are trying to hide the truth that civil marriage and catholic marriage ARE different, and those differences do not destroy the institution. Some married couples have kids. Some married couples get divorced. Some married couples are gay.

    The article is inaccurate, manipulative and contains material omissions. If you have to lie and manipulate voters to get your way, what does that say about your position?

  • Paul

    Based on reading the comments, it appears that the people that support marriage equality are making reasonable comments and discussing facts in a respectful manner, while the people that want to ban gay people from marriage are being dishonest and resorting to petty personal attacks. I think it’s clear what side is being honest.

  • Albert Mendonca

    Why can i not for the life of me understand how educated (and catholic!!!) Americans cannot distinguish between moral and immoral acts!!!

    Why can i not for the life of me understand how educated (and catholic!!!) Americans do not consider homosexuality as an abomination??

    Why do they go about labeling everyone against homosexuality as haters and bigots when they are opposed to pervert acts??

    How can they call themselves catholic when they violently oppose an official position the Church, The Pope, The Bishops and the Priests take?

    How can they be SO blind?

    God Bless people like Pia who take a bold stand despite the persecution.

    • St Albert the Great

      Well maybe you have to have an open heart and an open mind to understand that God loves differently that the imperfect human way. Maybe you have to set aside your own bigotry before you can truly love others.
      Maybe you don’t really want to understand, but just wanted tp insult people.
      The Bold stand is what Jesus did in telling people to love those who make them sick.
      Now trying be Catholic for a while and not just a fundamentalist fool.

      • Albert Mendonca

        Thanks for referencing a saint with my name :)

        You can ask for a vote on who is sounding hateful between the both of us.

        You keep talking about Jesus asking us to love each other, i would challenge you to prove where i am being hateful.

        By the way do you care for other things Jesus asks us to do? Like living a moral life of marriage between one man and one woman?? Like Matthew 19?

        Having an “open mind” would also include pedophilia and sex with animals if you will?

        • Albert’s hate

          WOW – if you cannot see the hate then you need some strong prayer and meditation. You are the namesake of the great teacher.
          Your preoccupation with the sex life of others is disturbing and not healthy. For your own sake seek help on this. If you really have no understanding on pedophilia or beastiality as being different that consensual human love, then you are not giving love in your sex life. You are the one with an animal understanding of sex and lack of morality that misunderstand the real sin of pedophilia. No wonder you helped keep the child abuse going in the church, your understanding or pediphilia as a joke and not a serious evil is repulsive.
          And you cannot see the hate in your message?????? I am sure most others can.

          • Albert Mendonca

            “if you cannot see the hate then you need some strong prayer and meditation” – Is it me or you? :)

    • abadilla

      Albert, you are right and St. Albert the Great is the new name for Rich, a troll who posts all over the place at CV. He gives himself the “airs” of a saint and I doubt highly that St. Albert the Great would ever agree with his position on gay marriage. Talk about irony. And please Albert, don’t forget that Rich is very, very spiritual as he is in the process of undermining Church teaching!

  • abadilla

    “The very heart of your attack is uncivil, and has nothing to do with Catholicism.” There you go Pia, in the eyes of this troll you’re not even Catholic! It’s funny, those who accuse you of hatred as so blind, they don’t see the hatred they spew all over the place with their comments.

    • More Abadilla hate speech

      What a load of crap. Trying to defend your hate by distracting to the hate of others?
      Where is the Catholic Ideal there?
      Pia’s position is not the Catholic positsion, and yours is certainly not either. Both are based on prejudice and not on faith. There is a big difference

      • abadilla

        “What a load of crap.” You are desperate, so much so that you need to use this type of language to make your point. Very sad indeed!

        • Abadilla’s sadness

          I think many you encounter become desparate. Desparate for you to give up your evil attacks and let the love of God warm that cold heart.
          Yes it is very sad that you want to defend hatred and continue your mission to be insulting to anyone who disagrees with you.

          • abadilla

            You can call my defense of church teaching “hateful” all you want. You can say I have a cold heart all you want, but the people who count in my life know the real person and know I’m none of that.

  • Pete

    I know that many catholics believe what this site espouses, but I don’t. I am a gay catholic. I ask, “What does the catholic church do for gay people?” It tells us that we are “intrinsically disordered.” It expects us to be invisible or go away. It contributes big money to see that catholic beliefs are voted into law for all people, even when many of those are not catholic or even christian. There is supposed to be freedom of religion in this country. There is also supposed to be separation of church and state.

    Priests take vows of life-long celibacy. I’m sure that great thought and deliberation go into making that decision. It is certainly a difficult decision and calling. Some priests fail to live up to that vow, and some may even leave the priesthood primarily because they can’t keep that sacred vow. And the church tells gay people that they don’t have a choice, that they must live lives of celibacy without any choice in the matter. Something wrong with that picture?

    • Albert Mendonca

      ” It expects us to be invisible or go away” – Rather it suggests change (or pray for a change) to your disordered inclination. I will pray for you as well.

    • mominvermont

      Pete, yes it can be very difficult. You are not alone. We all have our own challenges.
      Two examples of how the Church can help: check out Courage
      Also, this is a fascinating article about a man with same sex attraction:

      • Vermont Moms should not Hate

        That is an excuse for bigotry? For letting uneducated prejudice take the lead?
        That is not at all Catholic teaching, even in Vermont.
        Your Crusade against gay people does not make you Catholic. In fact it is very UNCATHOLIC. Please do not hide your hate under the cloak of Catholicism. People are not that dumb to believe you.

  • JohnE

    Gay marriage is wrong because gay sex is wrong and has no purpose other than personal pleasure. Anyone can plainly see the objective purpose of the sexual organs is procreation, and the culmination of the sexual act was not meant to take place in the front end or back end of the digestive tract. Defining “marriage” around sexual pleasure is ridiculous. Some natural marriages may indeed be like that, but allowing gay “marriage” makes it the official public purpose.

    • I Love My Sex!

      Wow John you have some serious issues to work out.
      Thanks for reminding everyone that sex is not for pleasure. I will try to keep that in mind. “Oh God don’t let me enjoy this.”



Receive our updates via email.