Poverty, unemployment threaten family more than gay marriage


Having been married for nearly 50 years, I fail to see where our Catholic bishops can protect my marriage by promoting a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

I appreciate the bishops’ concerns, and I agree that we should have a society that values family; however, I find their fears about marriage between gay couples to be misplaced.

“First, the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman goes back to the beginning of recorded history,” states their letter. But according to the Old Testament, polygamy was the general rule. 

There are serious threats to marriage and the stability of the family: poverty, unemployment and war, for example. Poverty causes many families to suffer the loss of a father who migrates elsewhere in order to provide for his family. Unemployment causes severe marital strife, the use of destructive behaviors to cope, and often results in divorce. War dislocates and separates families and injures family members. Eliminating poverty, unemployment and war should be the focus of our efforts to strengthen marriage and family life, not depriving gays of the same rights enjoyed by the rest of us.


Frank Wessling concluded his editorial by saying, “a question more central to each of us as Christian people: What would Jesus do?” Perhaps Scripture gives us a big clue.

There is not one saying attributed to Jesus on the subject. Yet his attitude might be revealed in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, which recount Jesus healing the centurion’s servant. The Greek word used to describe the male servant, “pias,” is a term of endearment. It was ordinary for soldiers far from home to have a male sexual companion. Jesus did not inquire about their relationship; he healed the servant. Perhaps we should do the same.

Deacon Art Donart

Thomson, Ill.

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