Last Sunday, our Catholic archbishop distributed a letter to every parish in Western Washington urging Washington’s Catholics to sign the petition for Referendum 74, which would overturn this state’s same-sex marriage law.
As a local physician, I find Referendum 74 incongruous. It has been more than a quarter century since the Academy of Psychiatry removed homosexuality from the list of sexual disorders. My profession has long since accepted homosexuality as a normal expression of human sexuality. To promote healthy, stable relationships within normal sexual expression would strengthen our social fabric.
But beyond this cold, clinical progress, gay marriage can be a model for faithfulness and love many times absent in the status quo. The basis for marriage has always been love, mutual acceptance and fidelity pledged in perpetuity. I have never seen gender included in that definition, and I see no reason to add it now.
The drafters of Referendum 74 have operated on an archaic concept of marriage, on fear and misinformation, or even on hatred and homophobia. It saddens me that my religious leadership has fallen in such a trap. I worry whether it will ever climb out.