Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thoughts on gay marriage (from the middle of the road)

I guess I'm undecided about gay marriage. From some of the other political or theological positions I've taken, there might be a logical progression towards a strong opinion one way or another, but I'm at a loss for one. One of the problems I have is when conservatives talk about "saving marriage" or other societal detriments that may come about if gays were allowed to marry. Let's look at the list of things that homosexual persons might do or want to do:
  1. Serve as pastors
  2. Hold marriage certificates
  3. Engage in consensual acts of sex
  4. Cohabitate, in the sense of buying houses together as a couple
  5. Adopt and/or raise their own biological children
  6. Go on dates in public places (restaurants, movies, etc.)

Personally, I have held that the bible frowns upon 3. As such, I have supported church movements that have called those serving as pastors to refrain from engaging in same-sex acts, but not to bar all of those who are self-aware as having homosexual orientation. Some might call me a bigot for that.

On the other hand, if there were truly a destruction of western civilization, a destruction of the very institution of marriage, an undue influence on our youth from gay marriage, then I insist that 3, 4, 5, and 6 all do exactly the same thing. If gays getting marriage certificates is the undoing of civilization, then gays holding hands in movie theatres, and living together does very much the same thing. In fact, I'm purely convinced it does this MORE than having a certificate. No one really knows if my wife and I have a marriage certificate in a drawer somewhere, but we act out in the community as a non-celibate, paired-up, home-sharing couple. We broadcast that far and wide; if we weren't actually married, many of our associates wouldn't know the difference.

And that is where I'm entirely tired and fed up with conservative rhetoric about gay marriage. I just heard a sermon podcast where one opined about the election, "I guess marriage is safe for now." No, it is not. If it were at risk, it would be at risk due to gays holding hands in movie theatres and being allowed to keep the children they have, from the failure to criminalize many sexual acts.

My thoughts are that much of the conservative rhetoric on the topic are in fact borne of bigotry. It's an unfair rap to blame the 50% divorce rate on gays-- it happened before they were ever allowed to marry.

No comments: