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From global conferences to tiny parish gatherings, pro-family advocate Dale O'Leary has traveled the world defending marriage against radical activists intent on rewriting its age-old definition.
Now, in One Man, One Woman, the first book of its kind written for Catholics, O'Leary shares her knowledge and experience of every facet of the gay-marriage debate: politics, psychology, biology, religion, and social science. With clarity and force she tackles the many myths surrounding this contentious issue, showing that:
O'Leary shows how the redefinition of marriage in Europe and Canada has already taken a predictable toll on marriage rates, family stability, religious freedom, and children's well-being. And there are ominous signs that radical social engineers are plotting a similar course for the United States: toward a future in which marriage is considered a quaint anachronism, and “intolerant” beliefs are strictly censored.
But there's still time to avert that course, she says, and to that end she includes a twelve-point practical plan for saving marriage for the next generation — a plan that begins and ends not with anger, but with genuine love and compassion.
So whether you're trying to fight City Hall, answer the challenges of a relative or friend, or even quiet your own nagging doubts, One Man, One Woman is your single source for the facts you need to understand and defend the truth about marriage.
Introduction: Clarion Call at Cairo
Part I: The Politics of Sex and Marriage
1. The Political Struggle Over the Definition of Marriage2. The Ideology of the Sexual Left3. The Debate Over Same-Sex Attraction
Part II: Understanding Same-Sex Attraction
4. How Sexual Attraction Develops5. Same-Sex Attraction in Men6. Same-Sex Attraction in Women7. SSA Treatment and Change
Part III: Marriage and Intimate Relationships
8. The Definition and Purpose of Marriage9. Why Redefining Marriage Will Harm Persons with SSA10. Why Redefining Marriage Will Harm Society
Part IV: The Effects on Children
11. Same-Sex Parenting Places Children at Risk12. Dangerous Lies: The Politicization of Research
Part V: Beyond Same-Sex Marriage
13. Same-Sex Marriage and the Slippery Slope14. The Threat to Religious Freedom 15. The Threat to Public Schools
Conclusion: What Must Be Done? Biographical Note: Dale O'Leary
Most of the world's major religions deem homosexual behavior to be morally wrong.
Yet if gays and lesbians are “born that way” (as many claim) and can't change, how are we to respond? Is it enough, as some have suggested, to tell them to suffer in silence? That can't be the answer. People of faith have to have a more compassionate response to those with same-sex attractions.
But at the same time, we can't sacrifice our belief that homosexual acts are contrary to God's plan. Our very faith hangs in the balance: if we are wrong to hold that homosexual acts are contrary to Nature and the intent of Nature's God, then all religions (including mine) that condemn such behavior are ipso facto guilty of unjust discrimination. And if our revealed texts and teaching authorities are wrong on such an important issue, how can they be an infallible guide in other areas?
This is not a small thing, not an issue from which we can simply walk away because it makes us uncomfortable. However much we might wish it were otherwise, our credibility on all other issues hangs on our ability to defend this teaching. If this teaching is no longer applicable, why should young people believe that anything we say is morally binding? If God is wrong about this, or if we are wrong about God's teaching, then our credibility is completely undermined. We are simply stating our personal opinions — and narrow, mean-spirited opinions at that.
When I realized this years ago, I saw clearly that if the pro-family movement is to prevail in the worldwide culture war, it must answer such challenges, but that it was, at that time, ill-prepared to do so. Therefore, in 1996, I began to research the issue of homosexuality, looking for answers to the questions posed by the gay activists and others. This book is the product of that long search.
I began by reading all the literature on the subject I could find — books, journal articles, news accounts. I contacted groups around the country that worked with persons who wanted to come out of homosexuality, as well as other pro-family groups that had come to recognize the rising influence of gay activists. I contacted the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), and through them a number of mental-health professionals who had been working on the issue for years. I found doctors from the Catholic Medical Association who shared my concerns. I discovered the wonderful work of Courage, a Catholic outreach to persons struggling with same-sex attraction (SSA). And I met many men and women who had found healing from SSA, and peace.
As years passed, I observed a noticeable escalation of gay activism, particularly in the demand for marriage rights. It seemed as if gay activists, confident that their efforts were working, could sense some imminent major victory. Then, in November of 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in the case of Hillary Goodridge v. the Department of Public Health that “barring an individual from the protections, benefits and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution.”
This was the decision that the defenders of marriage had feared.
The opponents of Goodridge began an effort to nullify the decision by amending the state constitution, and were able to gather over 170,000 signatures to that end. But the process revealed deep divisions within communities. Members of pro-family groups, most of them affiliated with churches, were unpleasantly surprised at the number of friends, family members (the younger generation, especially), and fellow congregants who refused to help the effort.
Those who refused to sign the petition did so, for the most part, because they saw themselves as compassionate people. They wanted to do the right thing. They didn't like being accused of discrimination or bigotry. They had friends, family members, coworkers, or neighbors with same-sex attractions, and they didn't want them to suffer.
Many found it difficult to answer the arguments made by those who would not sign: “Why shouldn't gays and lesbians be allowed to marry?” “They were born that way and can't change.” “How does letting them marry hurt other families?”
If this was the reaction to the petition, the organizers wondered, how could the amendment prevail if and when it was finally put before the people?
It was then that a group involved in gathering signatures contacted me to ask for help in training people to explain the issue. I developed a seminar and wrote for local Catholic newspapers a series of columns entitled Truth and Compassion.
In my columns, and now more completely in this book, I answer for you the crucial question: “How can we Catholics reconcile our desire to be truly loving, compassionate, and accepting with the unchangeable teaching that homosexual acts are always contrary to God's rules for sexuality?”
May these pages do good for me, for you, and for all persons with same-sex attraction!