Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Measly Contribution

Let me start by saying that this terrifies me. I haven't figured out why but I've been filled with dread ever since I decided to write this. It may very well be that I'm afraid of what people will think of me. Or it may be that I'm afraid that my thoughts and feelings will look stupid once I've written them down. Whatever the reason, the fear makes me more determined and Write to Marry Day (click the icon) gave me the push I needed. Here's why I am passionately in favor of legal marriage for homosexuals.
A few years ago this issue started pressing on me. The proposals to define marriage on the 2004 ballots forced me to finally figure out what I believed. So I studied. I read everything I could find on what the Bible really says about homosexuality. I studied and I prayed and I pondered. I already knew how I felt about the issue but I needed to figure out how that lined up with Scripture. I came to the conclusion that homosexuality is not a sin. I don't care to regurgitate all the info here but I would encourage you to do the research if you are curious.
Here's the thing. If I had done all the searching and studying and praying only to find that homosexuality really is a sin...I would still be in favor of gay marriage. It is absolutely clear to me that this is a civil rights issue. There are families out there, families that look a LOT like yours and mine, that are not allowed to call themselves families. There are children who are barred by law from the stability of having parents who are married. My heart aches for all the people out there who are being told they deserve less than the rest of us.
I've heard that some people oppose gay marriage because they believe homosexuality is a sin. I have a hard time understanding this because it seems contrary to what Christ taught us about sin; specifically what He taught us regarding our response to other people's sin. He got on the religious leaders of his day for the rigidity and hypocrisy of the rules they enforced and they were religious leaders. It is not my job to enforce the rules.
I've heard that some of these people oppose gay marriage because they are afraid that churches will be forced to perform same-sex weddings. I don't want to belittle anyone but that really is just ridiculous. Catholic priests still only marry Catholics and will not marry divorcees. This argument also makes the assumption that people would want to be married by someone who does not recognize the marriage. This demonizes the very real human beings who just want to be married to the person they love.
These are the two arguments I have heard. I don't know if there are others. I sincerely hope that by the time my girls are teenagers they will scoff at the idea that there was a time when gay people weren't allowed to get married. I will continue to pray that my children will be allowed the same rights as everyone else no matter what their orientation.

4 comments:

  1. It's nerve-wrackingly close in the polls right now. It's kind of disheartening, though understandable (maybe), that Obama hasn't released any statements or ads in California against Prop. 8. A large segment of its supporters are conservative African-American churches who are completely sold out for him in the presidential election. A little goading from their candidate of choice may not change their mind, but it might very well help.

    At any rate, I've already cast my vote. The sitting & waiting now is killing me.

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  2. Hey, I have to say that I agree with you that gay marriage should be legal. Marriage, as defined by God, in the Bible, is not the question here. The things in question are the benefits of partnership, as dictated by the state, such as joint tax filing, access to medical records, power of attorney for a loved one, etc. I don't think there's any way we should deny that to same-sex couples. However, I come to a completely different conclusion about what God is saying about homosexuality in the Bible. I think He does say it's a sin. (But I also don't think the main issue surrounding gay marriage is whether or not homosexuality is sinful, as I said above) I'd be interested to know some of the scriptures you looked at, and how you came to your conclusions.

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  3. I'm so glad to hear your take on this issue, Jess. When it comes to the sin aspect, I think a lot of it comes down to how liberal you are with your interpretation of Scripture. Allowing that there were things Paul found acceptable (slavery etc) that we no longer find acceptable, I do believe that leaves wiggle room when it comes to issues of culture. This is why we were given the Holy Spirit.
    For specific verses and such, I just did a quick google search for "homosexuality and the bible" The first site there is religioustolerance.org which has a pretty thorough rundown of the different interpretations of verses that reference homosexuality. I looked through sites like this one when I set out on this study but I can't recall which ones specifically. While I find it fascinating, I don't have the time or energy to really get into this kind of study again so I hope I gave you enough to get an idea of where I'm coming from.

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  4. Hey you posted on the Prop8 protest in Cincinnati... I think my friend is de facto spearheading it. If you're interested... contact me.. queercincinnati@gmail.com and we'll make sure you know.

    queercincinnati.com

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