Should Catholic leaders make gay marriage illegal?

This was point raised a while ago in one of the many Republican v Democrat discussions on the forums, and I wanted to pick up on it.

Should a Catholic president or head of government make gay marriages illegal?

Would you say they have that right, even though many of the citizens they preside over might not be Catholic or even religious in any way? Is this an infringement, putting your own beliefs ahead of those of others, even if you have a strong conviction?

My own thoughts, honestly, I haven’t made up my mind yet. My views in the past have been much more clear cut. Of course they should, I used to think. If you are Catholic, it would be wrong to legalise it, as it goes against the teaching you believe in. This was my belief.

Now I’m wondering, if much like God has shown us what is right and wrong, but gives us the free will to do as we choose, should we be imposing Catholic rules on others, or merely pointing out that they would be wise to follow them?

Some might make the argument that if you cannot separate yourself from your beliefs, you should not be standing for a position of authority where many of your citizens won’t hold the same beliefs as you. What does this mean though? If you’re not Catholic you should never run for government or president unless you are prepared to make laws that go against your beliefs?

It’s a difficult one.

What are you thoughts?

In the United States, the President or head of government doesn’t just dictate what the law is going to be.
So, no, he shouldn’t dictate laws, regardless of the law he’s dictating.
This isn’t a dictatorship.

And no, it’s not a “difficult one” at all.
A President who tried to dictate the laws here would have zero effect as no one would follow his dictates and he would likely be impeached or otherwise removed from office.
Nobody wants a dictator here.


Well, they couldn’t, so . . .

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Do we really have to go through this? I think it was obvious what I was getting at, but to keep some people happy, I’ll rephrase.

Does a Catholic responsible for creating laws have a duty, on the gay marriage issue, to make them illegal?

Well it is for me. Who you are to tell me if I think a topic is difficult or not?

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I’m entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to yours.
I don’t think it’s difficult. So, we disagree.

You telling people who disagree with you, “Yeah? Well, who are you to think thus and so?” is not exactly a good way to encourage discussion.


Gay marriage in an offense against natural law. Yes of course any Catholic leader should do what is in his power in the system of government they are in to change evil. However, what you are asking is can they do the impossible. Can Pandora’s box be closed? What you should be asking is could a voting group change the laws or mandate a change to the laws. They could, they won’t.


To those who support “Marriage Equality” I would ask the following:

If a person should be allowed to marry “whoever they love”, what happens if they love their parent, their sibling, or a child? Or themselves, like this woman did?

And why limit yourself to one spouse, considering that polygamy was the norm for most cultures prior to the rise of the Roman Empire (who made marriage monogamous only)?


Well, we tried to do it the Democratic way, and very liberal states even, including California, often voted against it, and then you know eventually the Supreme Court decided that it will now make laws instead of interpret them. I think ALL Christians should be against it.


The law represents the common denominator of what those with differing personal beliefs can unite around - for example don’t kill, don’t steal…This will sometimes differ from religious beliefs but if you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t have one…You can set an example, but you can’t control everyone else’s behaviour under the terms of your beliefs, any more than you would want them to control you by the light of their beliefs. To do otherwise is to live in a dictatorship.


Were they ever “illegal”, or were they simply not recognized by the State?


Unless said Catholic leader is a dictator, it is not up to the leader alone to make laws. The legislative body makes laws.

Where possible, Catholic legislators and government leaders should promote laws that are morally good and should not support laws that are immoral.

In a plural society, exercising their convictions may lead to being voted out of office. Those are consequences that following one’s conscience may lead to.


Elections do certainly weed out candidates. But there are always people a candidate doesn’t “represent”. A candidate needs to be him or herself, because they will always need to vote with their conscience and cannot in good conscience vote for immoral things.


A tangential example is when King Baudouin of Belgium temporarily abdicated. He had refused, on account of his Catholic faith, to give his royal assent to an act legalising abortion (which had already passed both houses of the Belgian Parliament)

As others have mentioned, laws are not made by single legislators, but are subject to a variety of political and democratic processes that involve very many people of different views and belief systems. Negotiation and compromise are part and parcel of a functioning democracy.

With that in mind and in respect to gay marriage, I would hope that Catholic legislators conform to and advocate orthodox Catholic teaching while, at the same time, respecting democratic processes.

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That doesn’t really answer any of the concerns I raised in my post. Saying “if you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t have one” is as nonsensical as stating “don’t believe in child marriages, don’t have one” or “don’t believe in marrying yourself, then don’t marry yourself”.

The question is about objective truth, not personal preference, whether we should try to change the definition of marriage, and whether changing the definition of marriage will eventually lead us down a slippery slope where a lot of perverted stuff like I mentioned is deemed to be legally “valid” and the nuclear family is redefined into extinction.

If gay people want to live together, then I say live and let live, who am I to judge? It doesn’t affect me. But completely altering the meaning of what constitutes “marriage” and “family” does affect me, and everyone else in society, and not necessarily for the better.


Yes, we disagree. Reread what you wrote. You didn’t write it like you disagreed with me. You wrote it as if you were telling me I was wrong. Anyway I won’t comment on this further, as last time I brought up something similar, my post got flagged and deleted by those who like to overuse the flag button.

I don’t recall making a topic on US law exclusively.

Either way, I’m a bit confused by this whole ‘the president doesn’t make the laws’ idea. Yes I know presidents doesn’t draft them, but if they had no impact on the law whatsoever, what would be their use? I was fairly sure that the president had to sign off on it prior to it becoming law, therefore if the president is a Catholic and has a legislation legalising gay marriage put in front of him, he does have a dilemma, doesn’t he? So the question is entirely relevant. I mean, I keep seeing people praise Trump for the good laws introduced in the US and criticise him for the bad ones. They obviously think he has something to do with them.

Thanks for reminding me. @Tis_Bearself, you say you don’t live in a dictatorship, and yet, whether US states voted for or against gay marriage, the Supreme Court decided it didn’t care and just made it legal in the country as a whole anyway. This isn’t a dictatorship? Some US States having a law imposed on them that they don’t want.

That’s a fair point. I’m sure a lot of the liberal legislators don’t stop to consider the feelings of religious people when putting forward their extremely liberal, anti-Christian laws.

This Catholic lawmaker would also need to make re-marriage after divorce when spouse was still living and where the first marriage is considered valid illegal.

There would be many other laws that contradict Catholic teachings yet are on the books to overturn. This person is not likely to be re-elected.

So, the answer is, should they? Of course. Will they? Not if they want to be in politics for long.


As stated, this is not recognized by law, it is some sort of publicity stunt.

The POTUS has the option to sign a law or to veto that law. When it is vetoed, the law goes back to the legislative branch and may become law with a veto override vote.

This is a clever little cartoon that helps to see the high level of the process:

Not quite. The “Full Faith and Credit Clause” Article VI section 1 of the US Constitution means that when my husband and I were married in our home state, that when we moved to Virginia we did not have to re-marry in VA. That is because the US Constitution required the State of VA must respect “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state”.

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Yes, there was a time when acts between same sex persons would land you in jail.

You asked a question on the legality of gay marriage and asked about whether a president or a head of government could make it illegal. Unless the ‘head of government’ is actually a dictator then neither is possible.

I think you’re experiencing some mild frustration from some posters who consider it to be a naive question. I’d take that on board and accept it as an indication that you need to get up to speed with how governments work.

Especially your own.

No, it isn’t. The Supreme Court cannot enact new law. What they can (and in this case did) do is to decide a case that is before them in such a way that certain relevant existing laws, either Federal or State, or both, are struck down as unconstitutional. And no matter where it is decided, whether in the courts or in Congress, adding laws or striking them down/repealing them, some states may be unhappy about it. And that’s just the way the US system works.

Maybe there’s a difference between making it illegal and finding that it does not belong among laws. So you could declare yourself “married” as one can declare many things and not be breaking a law. It doesn’t become “illegal” but it is not something the state has any official involvement in, and therefore has no legal consequences.

Maybe I’m stating what is implied in other responses.

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