Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"The complementarity of man and woman"

Yesterday, the DC City Council passed a law legalizing same sex marriage in Washington. The following is the statement of the Archdiocese of Washington; I have been posting the Archdiocese’s statements here regarding this legislation since it was first introduced. What is significant about yesterday’s statement is the core reason why the Archdiocese opposes this legislation: “the complementarity of man and woman is intrinsic to the definition of marriage”.

At the heart of this issue is what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. Men and women are different; they are made differently. They are made to complement each other, not themselves. How can two people or things with the same composition complement themselves? It’s like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that are identical: they can’t fit together. They aren’t made to fit together or to complement one another. They are made to fit together with and complement other pieces that are different from them.

The current movement toward same sex marriage is attempting to redefine not only marriage but what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. It rejects the view of the Church and of scientific research and of common sense that men and women are made differently. It rejects the notion of masculine or feminine. It aligns itself with modern feminism in believing that men and women are made the same way. This goes against reason, and yet both of these movements have been very successful in changing our culture. This indicates that the emotional aspect of all this has triumphed over the rational. Hopefully, reason will win out sooner than later.

Legalization of Same Sex Marriage in the Nation’s Capital

Archdiocese Remains Committed to Serving Poor

Today the District of Columbia joined a handful of states where legislatures or courts have redefined marriage to include persons of the same sex. Since this legislation was first introduced in October, the Archdiocese of Washington opposed the redefinition of marriage based on the core teaching of the Catholic Church that the complementarity of man and woman is intrinsic to the definition of marriage. However, understanding the City Council was committed to legalizing same sex marriages, the archdiocese advocated for a bill that would balance the Council’s interest in redefining marriage with the need to protect religious freedom. Regrettably, the bill did not strike that balance.

The Archdiocese of Washington and Catholic Charities are deeply committed to serving those in need, regardless of race, creed, gender, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. This commitment is integral to our Catholic faith and will remain unchanged into the future.

Religious organizations have long been eligible to provide social services in our nation’s capital and have not been excluded simply because of their religious character. This is because the choice of provider has focused on the ability to deliver services effectively and efficiently. We are committed to serving the needs of the poor and look forward to working in partnership with the District of Columbia consistent with the mission of the Catholic Church.

For more information on marriage, visit


Janell said...
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Anonymous said...

To take the same sex marriage debate to the next step, think about the children who will be part of a same-sex family. It is ludicrous to believe that children don’t benefit from being raised by a mother and a father, however, same sex marriage legally insures that a child will be without either a mother or a father. Society rightly believes that children benefit from having both gender models, or there would be no organizations like Big Brothers in existence. Two women cannot teach a boy how to be a man, just as two men cannot teach a girl how to be a woman. Men and women have unique qualities that can’t just be swapped out. Male and female qualities compliment one another to give a child a balanced and rounded family experience in which to grow. It is narcissistic to bring a child into a situation where the parents benefit more than the child.

Marion (Mael Muire) said...

Is not the complementarity of man and woman a beautiful and constant reminder of the mutual interdependence of the entire human community? We all need each other - each others' gifts, talents, experience, work, knowledge, strength, virtues. What is more chilling than to hear someone say, "I don't need anyone - I am sufficient to myself"? And what could be more insulting than to say to someone, "I don't need you; I don't need your help; I don't need anything that you could possibly offer!"

Man and woman - each half of the human race - symbolize in their differences - that no matter how independent and self-sufficient each of us may wish to pretend we are, at the end of the day, each of us is incomplete and desperately in need of others.

Anonymous said...

from wikipedia, if one wants one's brain to hurt:

A complementarity problem is a type of mathematical optimization problem. It is the problem of optimizing (minimizing or maximizing) a function of two vector variables subject to certain requirements (constraints) which include: that the inner product of the two variables must equal zero. i.e. = 0.[1] In particular for finite-dimensional real vector spaces this means that, if one has vectors X and Y with nonnegative components (xi ≥ 0 and yi ≥ 0 for all i: in the first quadrant if 2-dimensional, in the first octant if 3-dimensional), then for each pair of components xi and yi one of the pair must be zero, hence the name complementarity. e.g. X = (1, 0) and Y = (0, 2) are complementary, but X = (1, 1) and Y = (2, 0) are not. A complementarity problem is a special case of a variational inequality.