Note: The link is probably only free for about a week.
Dr. O'Brien asks very pointed questions as well as giving definitive background on Massachusetts same-sex marriage. For example, he points to then Worcester Bishop Daniel Reilly testifying to the legislature that the church did not approve of such marriage but would discuss legal rights of all couples. He also skewers the state's bishops for their DoMA position without "...the slightest effort to consult their pastors, their most respected couples, or any lay leaders before pronouncing against gay marriage. By acting without reference to pastoral experience, unfortunately, they not only weakened their case on gay marriage but further damaged their genuinely helpful efforts to support family life in other areas of social policy, such as income support, full employment, and affordable housing."
Perhaps from his years in Holy Cross' ethics school or his wide and deep research for his numerous theological books, he seems to lack patience with hypocrisy and duplicity. He notes the inanity of pretending that a heterosexual couple that can and will produce children in a closed environment is the only real marriage. Of course, most marriages are childless at any given time. This brings him to the point of his lengthy analysis — "Should love be considered? Marriage, after all, is not just about sex; it is also about love."
He is, if your pardon the expression, straight about the church hierarchy being flat out against what they call sodomy, which to them includes any form of homosexual sexual contact. O'Brien concludes:
So one moral question is sodomy, another is love. And you don't have to be a Christian to understand that love is good. We are all better off when we and our friends and neighbors and coworkers and children love and are loved. What happened in those towers and those captured airplanes on 9/11? Hundreds of people called people they loved to speak at the end of love.I suspect that would lead to a lot of subject changing or rephrasing to avoid the issue. Maybe O'Brien's clearheadness will pick off a few confused minds and set them right.
So try an experiment. The next time an argument starts about gay marriage, see what happens if you ask: Does love matter, or doesn't it?