In an interview with the Catholic News Agency, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Oakland Diocese cited the flawed and widely criticized Regnerus study as evidence that “Children do best with a mother and a father.” Not content with unjustly impugning the parenting ability of same-sex couples, he proceeded to claim that same-sex marriage is itself “unjust to children”:
The legalization of “gay marriage” in America, even on a civil level, is unjust to children and poses a threat to religious liberty, warned Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif.
“Marriage is the only institution we have that connects children to their mothers and fathers,” he said. “So really, the question is, do you support that institution?” […]
“Marriage is about fundamental justice for children,” he said. “Children do best with a mother and a father.”
Cordileone apparently saw no need to explain how same-sex couples being legally married would in any way prevent marriage from continuing to fulfill its alleged role in “connecting children to their mothers and fathers”. (Nor did he explain how legal prohibition of same-sex marriage would serve to prevent same-sex couples from raising children anyway.) He seems to be under the impression that marriage can only perform one function, and any role for marriage in addition to its “connecting” purpose must compromise that original function. This zero-sum model of marriage does not reflect reality.
If an opposite-sex couple has no children and does not intend to have any, or they have children from previous relationships, their choice to marry does no damage to anyone else’s marriage. No other family will falter, no connection between parents and their children will be severed, just because two people got married and did not conform to Cordileone’s favored “two biological parents” model. Cordileone may believe that no one should be having children out of wedlock, divorcing, remarrying, or doing anything that would separate a child from their biological parents. But we don’t see the Catholic Church making any organized effort to campaign against divorce, remarriage, single parenthood, sex or childbearing outside of marriage, or even same-sex parenting itself, in the realm of civil law. They have only chosen to make same-sex marriage an issue to fight in the legal sphere. This has absolutely no relevance to any of Cordileone’s goals, even within his own system of beliefs.