By Pamela Darling,
- The church can
ask God's blessing on anything it chooses, regardless of the state.
- The state defines
marriage and establishes the legal & financial framework.
- The state's
definition of marriage binds clergy who perform marriages since they are surrogates
for the state in this matter -- if the law says marriage can only be between
male & female, a priest could not "marry" a same sex couple.
- Hence, the key
is vocabulary -- blessing vs. marriage. Church controls one, State controls
the other. So, none of the protections the law affords to a man & woman
who marry are available to a same sex couple unless the state expands the
definition to include them — as is happening now in Canada.
that both the [American]
President and the Pope are weighing in just at this time...
church historian and assistant to the previous President of the House of Deputies,
Pamela P. Chinnis, who retired in 2000 .