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THE MORALITY OF ST.

THOMAS AQUINAS IN CONTRAST TO


SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
I. INTRODUCTION

Human person has a capacity to do anything. Man has a will which is the way for him/her

to want he/she want. As a human person we must follow on what is morally good in accordance

with the law. Laws are the rules that are impose by the society for us to hinder us to do things

can lead us to consequences that the society impose if you break the law.

Law is directed by its nature to the good, especially to the universal or common good. It

is addressed not primarily to private persons but to the whole people meeting in common or to

persons who have change of the community as a whole. This paper will tackle about the four

main laws of Aquinas the eternal law, divine law, human law, and natural law.

The content of this paper will dwell in the morality of St. Thomas Aquinas. It will tackle

more on the laws which I presented above. The topic about the morality of Aquinas will be used

as the basis of the action that the human person is acting. The paper will focus most in the natural

law of Aquinas.

According to the Oxford dictionary, Law is the system of rules which a particular country

or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by

the imposition of penalties. Aquinas describes the law as “a certain rule and a measure of acts

whereby man is induced to act or is restrained from acting” (Floyd, n.d.). Because the rule of

human action is reason, law has an essential relation to reason, first place to divine reason and in

the human reason, when it acts correctly this is in accordance with the purpose or final cause

implanted by God. Law is directed by its nature to the good, and especially to the universal or
common good. It is addressed not primarily to private persons but to the whole people meeting in

common or to persons who have charge of the community as a whole.

In connection to the morality especially to the law the paper will present a connection of

natural law of Aquinas in the marriage. Marriage has a norm which the humanity are following

since the beginning. Marriage has a different definition due to different perspective of a people.

A social union or legal contract between two consenting persons for the purpose of

creating children may be referred to as a traditional marriage. A marriage, a societal institution,

may refer to an interpersonal relationship whereby intimate and sexual engagements are

acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on where the bond originated. A traditional

marriage usually has a formal induction through a wedding ceremony, otherwise known as

matrimony. A marriage occurs for one of a number of reasons, including legal, social, libidinal,

emotional, economic, religious, and spiritual in essence.

Marriages are often recognized by the state, religious authority, or both institutions. Civil

marriage is a legally recognized union recognized by the governmental institution unattached to

a religious organization. Marital contracts can also be broken or dissolved through a separative

process known as a divorce or annulment. Both definitions carry different connotations from

culture to culture with each imposing varying penalties based on the wavering of the legal and/or

religious affiliation.

Some same-sex marriage, are legally or socially recognizable union between two

consenting adults of the same biological sex or social gender. Same-sex marriages have varied

from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, which has resulted in legislative changes of marriage laws in

order to meet the constitutional demands of equality established by the Founding Fathers. Other
opposing nations recognize same-sex marriages as a civil rights, political, social, moral, or

religious taboo (Anonymous, n.d.).

II. BODY

A. Human Action

Marriage

Marriage is the union of man and woman. It is a permanent and exclusive union of the

two person with opposite sex and they are destined to bear and have a children. Marriage is

valuable in itself, but its inherent orientation to the bearing and rearing of children contributes to

its distinctive structure, including norms of monogamy and fidelity. This link to the welfare of

children also helps explain why marriage is important to the common good and why the state

should recognize and regulate it (Girgis, George & Anderson, n.d.).

For Christians, especially for Catholics, married is cause of love by a man and woman to

each other. The Catholic Church, with other Christians and those of no particular religious view,

regard the family based on marriage between a woman and a man as the single most important

institution in any society. To seek to re-define the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as

the fundamental building block of our society. The Church seeks with others to reaffirm the

rational basis for holding that marriage should be reserved for the unique and complementary

relationship between a woman and a man from which the generation and upbringing of children

is uniquely possible. This understanding of marriage is deeply rooted in all cultures: it is not

intended to exclude or disadvantage anyone (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, n.d.).

Every human being has a right to have a child or to produce offspring that’s why human

has a right to marry. Marriage is not prohibited even to the slaves or to the lower class of
humans. According to Aquinas a right to marry has many other rights to be followed like a man

as the husband and to be the head of the house, woman as the wife and the mother and children

to be nourished by the parents to their physical, moral and spiritual growth. In addition, not every

human is obliged to enter the state of matrimony. Every individual may forego marriage if he/she

wishes to dedicate his/her life to the attainment of ideals that can be realized not at all or only

indifferently in the marriage state (Meyer, n.d.).

In the contrast to this, there are new revision of the term marriage because in today’s

generation there are new kind of marriage exist, a marriage between same sexes. Marriage in the

revise meaning is a union of two person even if it is same sex or opposite sexes. It is a union of

two person who commit to romantically loving and caring for each other, to share the burdens

and benefits of their lives. It is essentially a union of heart and minds, enhanced by whatever

form of sexual intimacy both partners find agreeable. The state should recognize and regulate

marriage because it has an interest in stable romantic partnerships and in the concrete needs of

spouses and any children they may choose to rear (Girgis, George & Anderson, n.d.).

Same-sex Marriage

Same sex marriage is a marriage between two persons with the same sexes. It is a new

social phenomena, leading a new type of family formation. Same sex marriage is known in

twenty-first century when a number of countries increasing to have this kind of marriage

(Chamie & Mirkini 2011). The countries who legalize this kind of marriage are Belgium,

Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the U.S. states of

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire and among the Coquille Tribe,

(hope-fully the District of Columbia early 2010) as well as Mexico City (Woodford, 2016) and a

new spreading in the country of the Philippines to be legalize by the new president.
The event of same sex marriage is extraordinary even during the most of the twentieth

century. Only the homosexuals has a knowledge of this kind of event. But many year passed

there are many debates are done due to this kind of phenomena. Same-sex marriage became

controversial around the word and many countries opposed to it. But contrary to the opposition

of other nation, there are other country who legalize this kind of marriage. The legal recognition

of same-sex marriage has emerged as one of the most socially, politically, and legally divisive

issues of the day. While most reactions to this new form of marriage and family formation have

been intense and vocal, many commentators as well as the general public have little factual

knowledge about same-sex marriage. All too often, public opinion and attitudes concerning

same-sex marriage are based on apprehension, misconception, and hearsay (Chamie & Mirkini,

2011).

Marriage differs, from other sex relations by the fact that it is a legal institution. It is also

in most communities a religious institution, but it is the legal aspect which is essential. The legal

institution merely embodies a practice which exists not only among primitive men but among

apes and various other animals. Animals practice what is virtually marriage, wherever the

cooperation of the male is necessary to the rearing of the young. As a rule, animal marriages are

monogamist, and according to some authorities this is the case in particular amongst the

anthropoid apes. It seems, if these authorities are to be believed, that these fortunate animals are

not faced with the problems that beset human communities, since the male, once married, ceases

to be attracted to any other female, and the female, once married, ceases to be attractive to any

other male (Russell, n.d.).

Nature of Human Action in accordance with the Law


Human actions are indeed important especially in marriage. There are laws that are

created for the marriage. Different nation has a different perspective of marriage. Others allow

divorce and some already allow same-sex marriage. Laws are impose for us by our society and

this laws are leading us the good. Laws are created to lead us to happiness.

Happiness in marriage is attain if man and woman has a feeling of equality on both sides.

Each one of them must not interfere with mutual freedom, complete physical and mental

intimacy is important to each other and standard values must similar to each other. Marriage

conditions are important in the relationship of the two human being. If marriage is to achieve its

possibilities, husband and wives must learn to understand that whatever the law may say, in their

private lives they must be free (Russell n.d.).

The idea of life in accord with nature, the idea of the perfection of being and virtue, the

idea of end and purpose, the viewpoint of happiness, the idea of regulating the will through the

order of reason which in turn rests on the order of being, and the theonomic system of morality,

are all in themselves guiding viewpoints, each one of which alone might be a sufficient ethical

principle. Morality is not synonymous with the universe of values and purpose; it is the

actualization of a certain value in man, and depends on the decision that makes, the decision to

carry out in order which he has come to know. Man is directed to the perfection of his being as

his end and therefore he has an alienable relation to what is comprised under this end.

Man’s obligation to perfect himself corresponds to his right to perfection and vice versa.

Aquinas did not develop a separate system of natural rights, although we are able to discern in

his teaching an outline of a system of natural rights. A sketch of man’s fundamental rights will

correspond to the different phases of the human person.


Like I said every human being has a right to beget children or produce offspring, which

human being has a right to marry. Marriage serves the preservation of the race and the

quantitative increase of individual persons, and thus it serves the nation, the state, and the

church. Marriage is the origin of the family and it is also the origin of the natural rights to all that

belongs to the maintenance and activity of the family. This includes the right to security and the

preservation of a certain economic stability, the right to growth, the right to have children, and

the right to provide for their physical and spiritual welfare. The natural rights telling that the

children is in the care of its father before the ages of reason, and it would be against the natural

right to take the child to the care of its parents or to do anything against their will (Meyer n.d.)

Aquinas says that the hose hold enjoys a degree of self-sufficiency, particularly with

regards to giving of birth to offspring and the provision of food, and that a particular street or

neighborhood within a city will be self-sufficient in respect of the particular trade that is

practiced there (Aroney 2014).

Human law is the interpretation of natural law in different contexts. Like Aristotle,

Aquinas believed that just laws relate to the species, so the collective good comes before the

individual good – although in a just society, these are not in conflict. This means that law is not

about individual morality, and individual vices should only be legislated against when they

threaten harm to others. Unlike Aristotle, Aquinas believed that an informed conscience takes

precedence over law. No individual should obey a law that he or she believes to be unjust,

because laws that violate reason are not laws. Moreover, laws must have sufficient flexibility to

be waived when necessary in the interests of the common good.

Now we are facing a different perspective of marriage the same sex marriage. Once one

accepts that non-procreative, loving sex is good, the argument from natural law against
homosexuality becomes untenable. What remains central from a Thomist perspective is what it

means to live well as a sexual creature whose relationships reflect the love of God and respect

the dignity of the human made in the image of God.

Natural law is our rational capacity to interpret the laws of nature in order to use our

scientific knowledge well. It is still relevant, even if our science is very different from Aquinas's,

as we see from debates about the ethical implications of the laws of evolution. The Darwinian

eugenicists of the early 20th century were engaged in one kind of natural law deriving from

evolutionary science, and debates on this blog about genetic altruism are another form of natural

law (Beattie 2012).