Statement of the Catholic Physicians' Guild of Chicago on Same-Sex Marriages:
April 10th, 2004
An essential part of the mission of the Catholic Physicians' Guild of Chicago is to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith and ethics in regards to issues that affect not only medical care, but also ones that can pose a risk to the emotional and physical health of society and its members. One such issue is that of same-sex marriages, a crucial problem that has become especially important after the decisions of officials in Massachusetts and San Francisco legalizing same-sex "civil unions" or "marriages" and statements supporting such unions by Mayor Daley of Chicago and other politicians in the state of Illinois and Cook County.
The Catholic Physicians' Guild of Chicago would like to voice our members' strong opposition against any attempt to legalize marriages or "civil unions" between same-sex partners in the state of Illinois, Cook County, and in Chicago. We also fully support a federal amendment to the United States Constitution protecting traditional marriage defined as a legal union between a man and a woman.
As faithful Catholics, we agree with the document, published by the Vatican on June 3, 2003 and approved by Pope John Paul II, entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons." This document was addressed to "all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society." In this important document, it is clearly stated that:
"If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legislation of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians... The Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law as harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
("Considerations," no. 10)
This does not relate just to Catholics, since marriage as a union between a man and a woman is based on natural law, and is agreed upon by all of the major branches of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
The Catholic Physicians' Guild of Chicago recognizes that men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in this regard should be avoided. As physicians, we practice this ethic in our daily encounters with our patients. However, respect for homosexual persons cannot lead to approval of homosexual behaviors, and especially legal recognition of homosexual unions.
The Catholic Physicians' Guild of Chicago will be closely observing the introduction of and voting on any bills regarding this issue. We will fully support those lawmakers who will support the federal amendment in regards to defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. On the other hand, we will actively oppose those politicians who support any measures to partially or fully change the existing laws in regards to marriage being considered legal only when between a man and a woman.
The Catholic Medical Association of Illinois
All Catholic physicians, dentists, and medical students are welcome.