Consummation Confusion

Last week I listened to the podcast of attorney Charles LiMandri being interviewed on the Catholic Answers Live radio program for July 28. (Listen or download here). LiMandri is heavily involved in the campaign to amend California's state constitution to prevent gay marriages. He brought up an interesting point to this debate that I have not heard anywhere else.

Historically, both civil government and most religions have said that a marriage is not valid unless it has been consummated. The meaning of this is clear when the two parties to the marriage are a man and a woman. There is no doubt about the particular responsibilities of husband and wife.

In a gay "marriage," on the other hand, consummation in the traditional manner is impossible. There are, instead, several possible acts that the putative spouses can engage in, based upon their own desires and preferences. More permutations are added by the particular role each putative spouse takes during these acts. The possibilities are also different for men and women. The requirement that a marriage be "consummated" becomes very complicated once same-sex unions are legalized.

LiMandri said that courts or legislators will inevitably have to step in and clarify this ambiguity. For instance, sooner or later there will be a gay version of Anna Nicole Smith who "marries" an elderly male and inherits a fortune - drawing protests from blood relatives. A court will then have to rule whether the marriage was "consummated." At that point a major goal of the homosexual activists will be accomplished: legal recognition that their sexual acts are equivalent to those of male-female couples. If you think this isn't one of their goals, you are sadly mistaken.

On a related note, recently I was in a situation where I had no choice but to listen to a radio station that I would normally avoid. I was trying to think of other things but one song had a particularly catchy tune. I was starting to actually enjoy it when the words of the female vocalist hit me: "I kissed a girl and I liked it..."

Whoa, I thought to myself. This can't be. Later a Google search revealed the complete lyrics. There is no profanity per se - which is why they can play it on the radio - but the message is clear: it's just a kiss. Your boyfriend won't mind. Try it. People seem to like it because the song is topping the charts.

Now I do not believe that listening to a song will make someone who is otherwise straight turn gay or lesbian. It will, however, start to infuse the idea that there is really no difference between the sexes and that experimentation is fine. This may not be what the artist, a Ms. Katy Perry, intends; in fact it appears she is probably just trying to create publicity for herself. Some gay people aren't happy with her, either. It is the result, though.

The bigger point is that our popular culture is slowly but surely coming to accept all varieties of sexual behavior as normal. If you're not shocked yet, just wait a few years.

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