My mother and father were married in 1942. They were hopeless romantics for 58 years until his death parted them in 2001. I'll celebrate 32 years with my same-sex partner this December.
My mother (born in 1917) had quite a reaction to Bishop David Zubik's Forum piece ("When Two Become One," Sept. 15). For starters, she says she had one reason only for marrying my father -- she was in love with him and wanted to share her life with him, and gave little thought to procreating. She says she never thought much about having children, but eventually ended up with me and my younger brother, whom she has loved with all her heart for all of our lives. Had she and my dad chosen not to have children, Bishop Zubik indicates that their relationship would have "lost meaning." At 96, she really bristled at that.
It's obvious that our Catholic Church has blessed and encouraged many a marriage where infertility or age or mutual decision has precluded having children, and to deny my partner and I a seat at the table of equality for all human beings as well as legal benefits of a marriage makes me almost as angry as it makes my mother. She made the decision to share her life with the person she found herself in love with ... and so did I.
The bishop's words were hurtful and devaluing to a great many people, and they not only sounded scornful of childless couples, but archaic and out of touch with the loving words of Rabbi Aaron Bisno of Rodef Shalom in Forum just a week before. Perhaps his close friendship with the bishop will somehow result in a more loving and inclusive position for the Catholic shepherd. His flock is more diverse than he seems to realize, and most of them have married for love, just as my parents did in 1942.