Children and Families

| September 11, 2016 | 0 Comments


Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.9

In May 2013, the Minnesota Legislature redefined the state’s civil marriage laws to include same-sex couples. In many states around the country, federal judges are striking down marriage laws that limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman. Both are troublesome developments that favor altering the purpose and structure of the civil institution of marriage, changing it from an institution that primarily protects a child’s right to be known and cared for by his or her mother or father to one that is instead focused on merely endorsing the romantic inclinations of adults.

By contrast, the Catholic Church offers an understanding of marriage as being rooted in the unique love that a man and a woman can give to each other as husband and wife in a union that is ordered toward the good of the spouses and to the creation and flourishing of children. Though the government does not create families or the institution of marriage, it has a compelling interest in bringing men and women together in a complementary union that has both individual and community benefits. A permanent and virtuous union fostered by husband and wife is a model of solidarity and communion and provides a dynamic that makes the family the first school of social life for children, and that helps to advance the common good.

The Church recognizes that because of tragedy, sin and the brokenness that we all experience, families come in different forms and do not always reflect the ideal of “mother, father, and child.” Single parents work each day to care for their children, often in difficult circumstances, and our communities should provide them with support and encouragement. Other families have courageously adopted children and incorporated them into their family life. Still, the natural family is the bedrock of society, and policies that support the well-being and rights of children “to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up within marriage,”10  and which uphold marriage as the lifelong, fruitful union of one man and one woman are always necessary.

  • Where does the candidate stand on the authentic meaning of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman? Did he or she vote in 2013 to allow same-sex marriages?
  • Where does the candidate stand on policies that protect the stability of the marriage bond and the best interests of children, such as limitations on no-fault divorce and surrogacy arrangements?


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Category: Voter's Guide 2016