Judge Walker's ruling overturned Prop. 8, an amendment to California's constitution approved by voters in November 2008 that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Walker's written decision listed as its 77th finding of fact: 'Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.'
In a list of supporting citations, the ruling quoted a 2003 document issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), 'Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons.'
'Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as 'a serious depravity,'' is the first CDF phrase quoted in Judge Walker's decision.
The document was signed in 2003 by the CDF's prefect, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who was elected to the papacy in 2005.Some time ago I argued on this blog:
It has now dawned on people that barriers to individuals pursuing their conception of the good are maintained not only by an oppressive state, but by employers and school teachers: including the Church as an employer and including Catholic teachers in Catholic schools. It has also dawned on people that a general atmosphere created by the expression of certain attitudes can be a barrier: notably racist and homophobic attitudes. It is beginning to dawn on people that the expression of the Church's teaching, by the Pope or by an ordinary Catholic in the street, creates just such an atmosphere, in which some people feel intimidated from pursuing their conception of the good (and doing so in accordance with the universally accepted conception of justice).
Catholics need to wake up to this kind of argument. It cannot be opposed by appeals to the separation of Church and State, or the rights of individuals to pursue their own conceptions of the good. These arguments cannot vindicate conceptions of the good which oppress others.
Instead Catholics needs to take a step back and provide some arguments that their conception of the good does NOT oppress anyone. The only way to do this is by pointing out that the way liberals choose their conceptions of the good is based on a superficial and unsatisfying materialism, and that the Catholic vision of the world is actually TRUE.
We have to stop trying to live alongside the secularists, and start trying to convert them.