Those four words sum up the approach to "gay marriage" proposed by Catholic legal scholar Douglas W. Kmiec.
This post will not be an exhaustive article, but is meant to point out some severe defeciences in Professor Kmiec's argument: (1) Kmiec's approach is in defiance of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith's requirement for all Catholics with respect to equating homosexual relationships with marriages in civil law; (2) the Kmiec "solution" of the state certifying any "couple" under the civil law is nothing more than the legalization of "free love" or "wives in common" proposed by Karl Marx in the Communist Manifesto; (3) the Kmiec approach is a reverse Luther heresy, Luther rightfully pointed out that non-Catholics can get married but wrongfully concluded that this meant that the State not the Church had ultimate authority over marriage, Kmiec argues that because the Church has ultimate authority over marriage that the State has no authority over marriage and that non-believers cannot be married; and (4) lastly and worst from the academic perspective, Kmiec's solution to eliminate legal marriage is unoriginal and he has yet to attribute the idea to any of the feminist legal scholars who have discussed this approach to legally recognized family relationships for 20 years.
The CDF states that: "In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty." CDF Document on Homosexual Unions at Paragraph 5. Rather than emphatically opposing homosexual unions Professor Kmiec has proposed equating homosexual unions with marriage!
Here is an example of Douglas Kmiec equating marriage with homosexual relationships: "Instead, the state would give everyone -- gay or straight -- a civil union license and allow churches, synagogues, temples and mosques to say who can and cannot 'marry' within their individual traditions. Religious freedom, a bedrock constitutional value of like importance to equality, would also be a winner." http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/16/opinion/oe-kmiec16?pg=1
Does that sound like "emphatic opposition" to anyone?
Kmiec's solution is also Marxist. Marx's solution in the Communist Manifesto to the family was a system of legalized "free love" or "common wives": "Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalized system of free love. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of free love springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private. "
In other words, Marx proposed the elimination of marriage and replacing it with some system of cooperation agreements. Legalized "free love." Is this not the civil union proposed by Kmiec, which would require the state to approve of any two individuals who wish to have a legally recognized sexual relationship?
The solution proposed by Kmiec is also discriminatory against non-believers. The Church teaches that marriage is part of the natural law and is an institution that is accessible to all men and women. Marriage is a religious institution, but it is not only a religious institution. A marriage between non-believers is still a marriage, it is not a sacrament. See CCC 1601 ("The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.")
The Kmiec proposal is an anti-Luther heresy. Luther proposed that marriage was solely a civil institution under the authority of the state. Kmiec proposes that marriage is solely a religious institution under the authority of Church. The truth lies in the middle. The Church has ultimate authority over marriage, especially sacramental marriage, but the state has a role to play as well to recognize valid marriages and to ensure that the legitimate rights of husbands, wives and parents are recognized. The premise proposed by Kmiec, that marriage is a solely religious institution is wrong from the start. Marriage is both civil and religious. To deny unbelievers the status of marriage, is a denial of a God given right and the natural state of marriage.
Lastly, Kmiec's solution is unoriginal. After reading some of his initial articles on the issue, I was reminded of a Weekly Standard article by Stanley Kurtz written for the August 2003 issue exploring the dangers of gay marriage. Mr. Kurtz's article pointed out that several of the initial supporters of eliminating marriage, Judith Stacey, Martha Fineman, Martha Ertman became supporters of gay marriage as a stepping stone to their ultimate goal of eliminating marriage.
For example, according to Mr. Kurtz, Ms. Ertman has proposed eliminating marriage as a legal institution and replacing it with a system of contracts. Sound familiar? This is the Kmiec solution. Ironically, the different solutions to eliminate marriage proposed by these feminist women to liberate women have gotten little attention, but when proposed by a man, Kmiec, he gets space in the Los Angeles Times.
Most disturbingly, none a single one of these women has been mentioned by Professor Kmiec as an inspiration for his idea. Nor has he explained why his proposal is different from these women. A legal scholar should know better.
So, to sum it up the Kmiec solution is anti-Catholic, communist, discriminatory and unoriginal.