Any two consenting adults should be able to get married

Title is the argument. What is a good response?

A brother and sister are two consenting adults. A brother and sister are unable to get married, due to a variety of reasons that both Church and state assert. Therefore, it is not the case that “any two consenting adults should be able to get married.”

Perhaps you’d like to revise the initial assertion?

Marriage is a Sacrament of the Church. As such, it has several conditions of validity.

All Sacraments have exactly five conditions: Form, Matter, Subject, Minister, and Intent.

In the case of Holy Matrimony, the “Subject” are a Baptized male and female.

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. [CCC 1601]

The concept of a “civil union” (apart from theological matrimony) is well established in European law. For example, in Germany, a civil marriage is recognized by the Standesamt (somewhat equivalent to an American Justice of the Peace), and this system has been in place for more than a century (long before WW2). A “religious marriage” is not recognized by the State - no minister (of any faith) can contract a marriage that is recognized by civil law, but couples with religious scruples will then have their civil marriage recognized by a religious ceremony.

The United States has the bizarre practice of merging civil and religious marriage. My brother (Fr. Eric Filmer, an accredited Catholic Forums Apologist) can legally contract marriage in the State of Georgia, but he does not actually know why. He never made any sort of “application” for this authority. It is possible that the Chancery Office of his Diocese (Savannah, GA) made this application on his behalf, but he does not recall that they ever notified him of this. Regardless, he is able to sign marriage certificates and they are recognized by the State of Georgia as legitimate marriages.

IMHO, this is insane. The State should not define to the Church what constitutes valid matrimony, neither should the Church dictate to the State. Since when (in modern America) does the State determine Church law, or the Church determine State law?

Marriage (iin the US) imparts several rights (survivor benefits, joint tax filings, etc). The Church has no theological interest in these benefits, as they are entirely civil matters. The State should be able to dictate how these benefits are distributed, since they are paid by Caesar’s coin. If the State wants to define a “civil union” then the State can certainly do so.

But it is not Sacramental.

So, based on what you said, it’s not right to oppose gay marriage as long as it’s a state marriage?

Two consenting adults of opposite gender that are not somewhat closely related to each other who aren’t already married or divorced.

Did I miss something?

Why two consenting adults? What’s the taboo on two men marrying the same woman?:kiss4you::::whackadoo::jrbirdman: Or two men and three women marrying like a cluster marriage?:grouphug: What about one consenting adult marrying his dog or blowup doll? What’s wrong with that?:hmmm:

Redefine marriage? Let’s see how far they’re willing to go…

  1. Are family members included in that “two consenting adults?” Why not? Can’t anyone just “get married?”
  2. Why does there have to be strictly two of them? Can’t anyone just “get married?”
  3. Why do they even have to be consenting adults? Can’t anyone just “get married?”
  4. Why do the parties even have to be human? Can’t anyone just “get married” to anything they want?

If “no” is the answer to any of those, why not? I thought we were redefining marriage for everyone, not just changing it to suit one’s own whims and leaving everyone else out.

Seriously, people accuse this of being a “slippery slope” argument simply because they can’t explain a rationale for why they are so “prejudiced” against any of the conditions above being involved in the possible redefinition of marriage and especially after they make the assertion that “ANY consenting adult” should be allowed to “marry” whoever they want. I always want to ask them “then why restrict it at all?” They can’t give an answer because they recognize that legalizing something like polygamy would undermine the special validity they seek in what THEY emphasize should remain a “two-person” [gay] marriage schema. At that point, they simply don’t want to admit to their own “prejudices” because they know it would force them to recognize that their pursuit of broadening the scope of marriage does likewise to the natural gender complimentarity of marriage.

Oh absolutely nothing as long as they all “consent.” :smiley:
This is what we will probably see next after gay marriage legalization…
and we see society decay as the definition of marriage is defined by those not looking towards the Bible and God and his holy Catholic Church…

Based ont hat statement, I should be able to marry my sister, or mother, or father.

I believe that anyone with half a mind would recognize that there is something inherently wrong with that, but their philosophy provides no logical rational for why that should be precluded. Generally, when faced with this obvious shortcoming, they’ll claim that no one would try to do that, or that it’s “different.” When pressed with how it is different, they are unable to provide a logical delineation between the two because there isn’t one. The moment you remove the requirement of a procreative sexual union from the equation, marriage ceases to have any meaning… this is, of course, the ultimate goal of most marriage equivocacy advocates, regardless of if they’re willing to admit it or not.

Honestly, the belief that a “slipper slope” argument is a fallacy is inappropriate in my mind, especially if there’s historical… or even modern… evidence for the trend being suggested. (Which there already is in several countries in the EU where polygamy is either being considered, or is already accepted)

The burden of proof is on the advocate of social change, not the defender of the status quo.

That’s not an argument. That’s an assertion.

Why not two consenting animals of the animal kingdom (how do you KNOW that the dog isn’t consenting of this, although isn’t dogs and cats living together a sign of the apocalypse)? Why not one animal and one inanimate object (hey, some people do already seem married to their sports car or monster truck or their job)?

Ahh, fond memories of the Jerry Springer episode, “I married my horse.”

Hey, why limit it to two? Why not three? Four? Twenty-seven?

No, I’m not serious. Just showing the (il)logical outcome of this line of thinking.

There was a woman who married herself. In fact, She even went on a honeymoon.

Canada is the same as far as priests also being agents of the State when it comes to marriages. I can only assume that all dioceses do like mine: when a new priest moves into the diocese from another province (state) the diocese applies for a license from the province (state) for that priest to be allowed to perform marriages anywhere in the province.

Said license is revoked if the priest moves out of the province as one of our former pastors found out to his dismay. He’d been with us about 6 months when he went back to his former province to witness the wedding of his niece. A few months later he was notified that her marriage was not legal because he hadn’t been licensed to celebrate a legal marriage. Oops! He couldn’t understand that in a country with 10 provinces and 3 territories, each responsible for setting their own rules for marriage, it’s not a 'once licensed, always licensed, situation.

At least in one province in Canada there is a jurisdiction that doesn’t require that the couple acquire a marriage license if they have banns published in their regular parish. That’s actually how one of the first same-sex marriage got celebrated: a Unitarian parish published the banns and subsequently the minister celebrated the marriage. The province refused to register it. Things have changed since 2001.

Because they will eventually be coerced into performing “same-sex” ceremonies, legitimate churches should immediately, if not sooner, renounce their authority to perform marriages recognized by secular law. They should perform only sacramental marriages [or the equivalent in non-Christian religions]. Couples then could avail themselves of a civil ceremony down in the courthouse to satisfy Caesar. Since co-habitation has gained significant recognition, a civil ceremony might not be necessary. Once those are separated, it would be difficult to accuse churches of discrimination because any “discrimination” would be along church membership lines. IOW, they would not be offering themselves to the general public. Then what would the the government do?

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops threatened to do that if the Supreme Court approve same-sex marriages but didn’t follow through.

It’s unlikely that a Church will ever be coherced into celebrating a same-sex marriage. After all, the Catholic Church has never been forced to celebrate a marriage between divorced people, who can also be legally married anywhere.

It should be said that in many of the countries where couples must have a civil ceremony even if they want to be married in Church, the civil ceremony must precede the religious ceremony. It’s certainly that way in Germany, France and Switzerland.

Extremely fallacious logic.

If two consenting adults choose to shoot each other in the face then it should be alright and morals have nothing to do with it.

It also infers that there are no moral absolutes which is ludicrous…although that is one main reason that society is down the tube it’s down to begin with.

I think you underestimate their determination and the power of their lobby.

I’m OK with that. Whatever works.

Bishop Chaput has suggested that perhaps The Church should not be an agent of The State. The Church would then celebrate Holy Sacraments in accord with Church practice.
The state issuance of a license, just like getting a business license, would then be just a trip to city hall to fill out the paperwork. No ceremony needed.

Those debating should start by determining if they agree on what the term marriage means. If they have a different understanding, they will not have a fruitful debate.

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