Saturday, March 06, 2004

With this ring.... 

I suppose I should write something about the gay marriage issue. I mean, it's been in all the papers and I have been thinking about it. The problem is, I'm still kind of torn on the issue. On one hand, my religion tells me that sex between folks of like gender is wrong. I couldn't explain the logic behind it like I could for, say, extramarital sex, but since Biblical morality has proved reliable to date, I'm inclined to trust its judgment on this one. Also, since I believe the Bible is ultimately from an all-knowing, all-wise and all-loving God, it stands to reason that Biblical morality would be beneficial for all people, Christian or otherwise. On the other hand, I don't believe that God calls His people to enforce Biblical morality on a non-Christian community. Speak up for it, sure. Maybe even vote for it if confronted with such a choice. But in the end, I feel that the church needs to respect people's God given free will. Plus there's the fact that the Bible has no gender prohibitions about the other aspects of marriage. (Leviticus may read like an insurance policy, but trust me, coverage for dependents isn't mentioned once.)

What has really been filling my thoughts though, as I listen to people state their opinions on this issue, are some of the basic concepts on which this issue rests. The concepts of marriage and the separation of church and state are two of the big ones. Folks argue their opinions on gay marriage assuming that the audience is in agreement on these base issues. For example, in a letter posted on the neighborhood list-serve, one of my neighbors was arguing about the state's interest in promoting families. He made a point to clarify that "this is not about kids." In another essay I read on the web, the author says that the only reason the state has an interest in families is because of the kids--the future of our society. Well, guys, which is it? And what is marriage, for that matter, that it should be either granted or denied to same gender couples? I can come up with my own answer, based on my own observations and experiences, but since I'm a religious man (well, I try to be, anyway...), my definition of marriage will include my religious beliefs. If I tried to, ah, divorce God from my marriage, would I still recognize it as the relationship I know as marriage? So how could I divorce religion from my definition of marriage, as I must do to find consensus with my non-religious neighbors? Methinks that this controversy illustrates a much deeper divide amongst the people of this country.

Ah, but such musings are naught but castles in the air. Like litlnemo said on Slumberland, the events in San Francisco are like the Berlin Wall coming down. Despite legal challenges and calls for constitutional amendments, I think that same gender marriage rights will become the law of the land. And it will be a little harder for conservative Christians to kid themselves that the U.S. is truly "one nation under God."