UPDATE: New York gay marriage law passed on Friday night.

AS this column goes to press, the historic but controversial same-sex marriage may have been approved by the Republican-run New York State Senate when three Senate Democrats, Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., Carl Kruger and Shirley L. Huntley, switched from an undecided vote to supporting same-sex marriage.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn in his column “The Sanctity of Marriage” published in the June 18, 2011 issue of The Tablet denounced same-sex marriage as a radical step that will remove the most basic essential characteristic of marriage and change its very fundamental nature.

Bishop DiMarzio continued: “We are tampering with nothing less than the laws of God Himself. The dangers and the threat to marriage as a societal good, especially as a sacrament, are very probable if same-sex marriages are recognized. Marriage has forever been, is now, and always will be a joining of one man and one woman in an everlasting relationship. It is undeniably consistent with natural law and biology, and should be apparent to all, regardless of religion. Marriage is a shared personal offering between the two that serves the couple in many ways, allowing them to cultivate their love and through that love, bring about children. The bringing together of a man and woman in the covenant of marriage is an unvarying and evident reminder of God’s goodness and the beauty of the Divine plan for humanity.”

Marriage as the sacrament of matrimony

Marriage is the seventh sacrament of the Catholic Church.

God Himself is the author of marriage.

The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they come from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, pp. 341, 446-447.)

Marriage under Philippine law

Article 1, Title I of the Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.

Marriage is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code.

Marriage is characterized as follows:

(1) A special contract between parties who it is emphasized must be a man and a woman (no valid marriage being permissible be the same sexes);

(2) A foundation of the family; and

(3) An inviolable social institution.

Section 12, Article II of the present Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines provides that: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.”

Likewise, Section 1, Article XV of the Constitution provides “The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.”

Section 2, Article XV of the same Constitution provides: “marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.” (The Family Code of the Philippines, Annotated by Jose N. Nolledo.)

Churches opposed to same-sex marriage

The Catholic Church adamantly opposes same-sex marriage and would not perform same-sex nuptials.

The Greek Orthodox Church also opposes same-sex marriage.

Other Churches that have been vocal and/or active in their opposition to same-sex marriages include the following:

Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also known as Mormons, The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, the Conservative Mennonite Conference, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Hutterite Brethen, the Brethen in Christ, the Mennonite Church US, the Seven-day Adventist Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the United Pentecostal Church International. (From Wikipedia.)

Author’s comment

To practicing Catholics, same-sex marriage is a sacrilege for marriage between a Catholic man and woman under the seventh sacrament of the Catholic Church.

In civil law, marriage is not only a special contract.

It is considered an inviolable social institution governed by law and not subject to the parties stipulation.

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