Cardinal George says gay couples in ‘friendships’

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Cardinal Francis George. - PHOTO: File

Catholic Cardinal Francis George suggested gay couples seeking to marry are friends not like heterosexual couples who wed, form unions, have families and build their lives together.

The cardinal, in Chicago at a special Mass for 400 couples celebrating their golden 50th wedding anniversaries, said, “Marriage is what it is, what Jesus said from the beginning: Two in one flesh, for which man leaves his family and joins himself to his wife; and wife leaves her family, and joins herself to her husband.”

He added, “There must surely be ways in our civil society, where we can honor friendships, where we can respect other people, without destroying the nature of marriage. It is very important, for your whole lives, give witness to what marriage truly means. And while civil laws might change – if they do – then society will be the worse for it.”

The Mass took place at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, where earlier this year LGBT civil rights demonstrators protested George’s comparison of gay rights activism to Ku Klux Klan activities.

George, during the recent special Mass, did not mention gay marriage, but his comments alluded to gay marriage. In Illinois, same-sex couples can legally join in civil unions but legislation and lawsuits are pending to establish marriage equality.

George said marriage “comes to us from God.”