Thanks to Kathryn Lopez for highlighting this interview in USA Today with Archbishop Cordileone on gay marriage.

Anybody who wishes to enter into a debate about gay marriage with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone else should read this interview and memorize each and every answer by the Archbishop.

This, folks, is how it is done. Do not accept their premises at all.

This is not a debate about tolerance or a live and let live mentality. If it was, some form of civil union or benefit structure would have been sufficient. This is about criminalizing the opposing views and driving Christianity further into the cubby hole.

Read this. Memorize it. Regurgitate.

Q: What is the greatest threat posed by allowing gays and lesbians to marry?

A:The better question is: What is the great good in protecting the public understanding that to make a marriage you need a husband and a wife?

I can illustrate my point with a personal example. When I was Bishop of Oakland, I lived at a residence at the Cathedral, overlooking Lake Merritt. It’s very beautiful. But across the lake, as the streets go from 1st Avenue to the city limits at 100th Avenue, those 100 blocks consist entirely of inner city neighborhoods plagued by fatherlessness and all the suffering it produces: youth violence, poverty, drugs, crime, gangs, school dropouts, and incredibly high murder rates. Walk those blocks and you can see with your own eyes: A society that is careless about getting fathers and mothers together to raise their children in one loving family is causing enormous heartache.

To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.

How can we do this to our children?

Q: How would the allegation that opponents are bigoted lead to their rights being abridged?

A: Notice the first right being taken away: the right of 7 million Californians who devoted time and treasure to the democratic process, to vote for our shared vision of marriage. Taking away people’s right to vote on marriage is not in itself a small thing.

But the larger picture that’s becoming increasingly clear is that this is not just a debate about what two people do in their private life, it’s a debate about a new public norm: Either you support redefining marriage to include two people of the same sex or you stand accused by law and culture of bigotry and discrimination.

If you want to know what this new public legal and social norm stigmatizing traditional believers will mean for real people, ask David and Tanya Parker, who objected to their kindergarten son being taught about same sex marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized it in that state and wanted to pull him out of class for that lesson. He was arrested and handcuffed for trying to protect his son’s education, and they were told they had no right to do so.

Ask the good people of Ocean Grove Methodist camp in New Jersey that had part of its tax-exempt status rescinded because they don’t allow same-sex civil union ceremonies on their grounds. Ask Tammy Schulz of Illinois, who adopted four children (including a sibling group) through Evangelical Child Family Services ā€” which was shut down because it refuses to place children with same-sex couples. (The same thing has happened in Illinois, Boston and Washington, D.C., to Catholic Charities adoption services). … Ask the doctor in San Diego County who did not want to personally create a fatherless child through artificial insemination, and was punished by the courts…. Ask Amy Rudnicki who testified in the Colorado Legislature recently that if Catholic Charities is shut out of the adoption business by new legislation, her family will lose the child they expected to adopt this year. … Nobody is better off if religious adoption agencies are excluded from helping find good homes for abused and neglected children, but governments are doing this because the principle of “anti-discrimination” is trumping liberty and compassion. …

When people say that opposition to gay marriage is discriminatory, like opposition to interracial marriage, they cannot also say their views won’t hurt anybody else. They seek to create and enforce a new moral and legal norm that stigmatizes those who view marriage as the union of husband and wife. … It’s not kind, and it doesn’t seem to lead to a “live and let live” pluralism.

Read the whole thing.

*subhead*This is how it is done.*subhead*