Local Bishop Coauthors Catholic Position Paper on Marriage and Same-Sex Unions - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/17/03

Local Bishop Coauthors Catholic Position Paper on Marriage and Same-Sex Unions

Jay Wilks Jay Wilks
Bishop Kevin Boland Bishop Kevin Boland

When it comes to living happily ever after, shouldn't everyone be allowed that opportunity, regardless of their sexual orientation? The Catholic Church says no. Because of recent events regarding gay church officials and marriage, the Catholic Church wanted to clarify its stance on same-sex marriages.

Jay Wilks is one of many people in Savannah who can't get married in the Catholic Church because he's gay. He says being recognized by the state is a bigger issue. "I think that being recognized legally is more important for insurance purposes, for legal purposes, because when you enter into a holy union or if you've been together for many years, your relationship is already looked over by God," he said.

The Catholic Church says marriage is for people who meet specific guidelines that Wilks and other homosexuals will never meet. We spoke with Bishop Kevin Boland, who helped pen the church's view on the subject. "To be eligible for marriage, you must be a person of the opposite sex, enter into a permanent, exclusive marriage or commitment and be open to the transmission of life or procreation," he said.

With certain states now recognizing same-sex marriages, the Catholic Church has felt the need to redefine its beliefs in what constitutes a marriage. Last week at a conference held by Catholic bishops, they released this statement, saying the church does not discriminate against gays. "There are many people ineligible for marriage for one reason or another, not just because they're gay," said the bishop.

Wilks says the Catholic Church has the right to its own beliefs just like he does, and the decision to recognize marriages will be up to God and not the church. "We don't know what God's thinking," he said. "We never know what God thinks. We only do what we think is best and let him judge us later on, and when two people are in love, regardless if it's man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman, that should not be looked down upon."

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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