This chapter derives from a lecture sponsored by Boston College Allies, and was originally given in Boston College on November 18, 2003, on the day when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in the United States of America recognized that gay and lesbian couples are included in the equality and liberty provisions of the constitution of the United States Commonwealth, and are thus free to marry The present version of my lecture contains significant modifications which are much indebted to the lively discussion following the lecture on that occasion, and in particular to the responses and questions with which Professors Lisa Cahill, Jim Keenan SJ, Stephen Pope and John Baldovin SJ honored me. It has also benefited greatly from a critical reading by Professors John Ranieri and Andrew McKenna. Needless to say, the fact that all these respondents agreed to engage me critically does not imply their agreement with my conclusions.

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