Yes, you read the headline correctly.
I am adamantly opposed to “gay marriage.”
We've all seen the headlines of various states which are now allowing “gay marriage.” And I’m here to tell you that it’s a stupid and silly way to describe what’s actually happening. The terminology is not only imprecise, it’s misleading.
In truth, the action by states that have recognized same-sex marriage didn't mandate the creation some new “gay marriage” license or legislate a different ceremony just for the homosexuals. What the states decided was that gay and lesbian citizens would no longer be denied the rights of marriage. In other words, it’s not “gay marriage,” it’s marriage equality.
Marriage is a legal contract. A wedding can take place in a church or mosque or synagogue, but to be legal, there must be a license issued by the state. While some faith institutions may have restrictions on the couples they will not marry, the legal contract has fewer limitations.
As a civil institution (i.e., legal contract), marriage should be made available to all citizens; to do otherwise is called discrimination. Gay and lesbian couples only want our loving, committed relationships to be recognized and protected by the laws of civil marriage. Marriage equality is about receiving benefits that are immediately bestowed on legally recognized married couples, but not afforded to long-term gay/lesbian couples.
I know there are faith groups that oppose this recognition based on their understanding of sacred writings, ecclesiastical interpretation or a host of other reasons. As a 45+ year student and teacher of the Bible, I have a different understanding, but I won’t attempt to argue their traditions. I just don’t see how their set of beliefs should be allowed to impact those who do not hold to that narrow viewpoint.
I grew up in a church where the Pastor did not believe in divorce. He would not perform the wedding ceremony if one of the couple had been divorced. He would not ordain a divorced person into the ministry. And in all that time, divorce was still legal and no one from the government ever came to our church to try and force him to perform the wedding of a divorced couple. That’s the wonder of church-state separation at work.
If your faith community doesn't believe in same-sex marriage, no one will require you to change that practice. It's not an assault on your religious liberties nor is it persecution; it's about equal treatment under the law. Your faith community shouldn't dictate how civil marriages can be applied. I see it as the pinnacle of religious superiority to impose a rigid conviction on those who only ask for the same legal protections as other committed couples. Not "special" rights, just the same rights.
Moreover, it doesn't matter that the majority of Americans might oppose same-sex marriage (though that's changing rapidly), or that same-sex marriage has been voted down by the majority of voters in numerous states. As we saw in an earlier post, equality and civil rights are not...cannot be...dictated by the majority. They are granted by the Constitution.
There are also some who say this push for equality would “move along” faster if we compromised (i.e., settled for) with something that did not use the word marriage, as if that term belonged exclusively to a select group of privileged citizens. However, I feel strongly that we should not be appeased with promises of pseudo-marriage (e.g., “civil unions” or domestic partnerships) that don’t give us full equality. That’s tantamount to being allowed to ride on the bus, as long as we sit in the back. And as the civil rights struggles of the past have shown, “separate, but equal” is not equal.
So, I’m going on the record as openly and adamantly opposed to “gay marriage,” which is kinda like being opposed to Leprechauns ‘cause there ain’t no such thing!
Let me be crystal clear about what I want…NO, what I demand.
Nothing more and certainly nothing less.