Why do gay people need to be married?

20 Nov

I’m serious; that is the question.  See, I can understand two homosexuals wanting to be united to show their love and commitment to one another through a ceremony of sorts.  I acknowledge that same-sex couples want a legal union that allows one’s partner to visit his or her beloved in the hospital, allows a partner access to his or her partner’s health care, and all the other stuff that comes to a married couple.  But why on earth gay people need to be married?  Why do they insist that their unions be defined as marriage?

Prop 8, a ban on same-sex marriage in California, was recently voted on by the people of California, which is arguably one of the most liberal states in the nation.  Yet even here the voters reversed a decision to allow gay marriage.  Except for Massachusetts and Connecticut, the other 48 states still define marriage as a legal (and sometimes spiritual) union between a man and a woman.  And only a handful of other states recognize the civil unions of same-sex couples.  However, we’re not talking about that.  We’re talking about marriage.

Marriage.  Judging by our high divorce rate in this country, to many it’s just a word, but to many who uphold traditional values, it means a lot.  Throughout human history, marriage has been defined and understood as a legal and in later centuries, emotional, union between a man and a woman.  The Bible’s first recorded human relationship–that between Adam and Eve–was a marriage!  Granted, not everyone cares what the Bible says or believes it is the Word of God.  But I do.

My argument isn’t a religious one (though my religious beliefs do oppose gay marriage and the practice of homosexuality).  Rather, I am looking at this from a logical perspective.  It seems from articles I’ve read, news programs I’ve watched, and conversations I’ve had, that all same-sex couples really want are the same rights given to married couples.  I know many people who have no problem with this, but still believe that the institution of marriage needs to be kept as it is.

Why, then, do gay couples, who are seeking to be accepted by the population-at-large, need to use the word “marriage”?  Can’t the heterosexuals keep that one?  It seems that gay rights advocates would do more for their cause if they abandoned the use of the word “marriage” and came up with another term or simply used the term “civil union”.  Plus, anyone who opposes same-sex marriage or the practice of homosexuality is automatically labelled “intolerant.”  Now how tolerant is it to force people who don’t agree with your position to give up a tradition that they hold dear?

Then there’s the problem of pastors and other religious leaders who are against gay marriage (and/or homosexuality) being accused of “hate speech” should they speak their opinions from the pulpit.  Similarly, churches would be forced to perform gay marriages or risk being charged with “hate crimes”.  Sound a bit radical?  I doubt most homosexuals would care what pastors say about them and wouldn’t want to get married in a church that doesn’t really want to marry them anyway.  But there are always radicals who like to push the issue (you know, like the ones who have protested in California assaulting an elderly woman as well as stomping on her cross [story] and bopping a missionary on the head with a Bible [video]).  It’s these folks who will defiantly seek to “make the most” of the laws of the land and in turn, become intolerant of those who they label “intolerant”.

My argument isn’t just logical; it’s personal.  I’m no fool.  I know that the United States is not a Christian nation and we’re sliding towards a secular progressive worldview.  As societies change and evolve, Christians are constantly trying to determine what it means to live for God and follow Christ in this world.  So we hold to what we believe is not a cultural or social or secular institution, but a very decree for creation–we hold fast to marriage, which we believe is a spiritual, sexual, emotional, physical, and even legal, union between one man and one woman.  There’s a beautiful mystery as “two flesh become one” and there’s a tie-in in how the God is the bridegroom and the Church is His bride.

For me and for many others, marriage is not a word or even an ideal; it is the very definition of not only a husband and wife, but a God and His people.  We will stand up and we will protect traditional marriage, even if our pastors are accused of hate speech and our churches are closed due to hate crimes.  Some things rock the core of faith, even though they seem silly.

This all seems terribly dramatic, doesn’t it?   I mean, why not just make another concession and allow gays to be “married”?  Or wait, why can’t same-sex couples just drop it and find a new way to define their relationships in a secular progressive society?

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No Responses to “Why do gay people need to be married?”

  1. amanda November 21, 2008 at 2:10 AM #

    How are homosexuals “taking away” anything by asking for equal rights? When black people were given the right to go to formerly segregated schools, they didn’t “take away” schools for white kids. They didn’t “take away” white drinking fountains and white lunch counters. Same sex marriage isn’t going to “take away” heterosexual marriage. If marriage is between a man and a woman and god, then should we let athiests marry? Just “let” the gay people marry and let it be between the parties involved.

    Why do you think they should be treated differently? I can much more understand why two people of the same gender would want to marry each other than I can understand why anyone else who doesn’t even KNOW them would want to prevent them from doing so.

    I think they summed it up well on Family Guy when they said, “Gays marrying? Next thing you know they’ll want to vote.” Gay people are citizens too. They pay taxes. They have jobs. They have dreams. They love. They vote. They bleed red. It is no more yours or my business if or *who* they chose to marry than what they chose to eat. They can be kosher or not. What if I’m Kosher? Them not being Kosher doesn’t take that away from me. No matter how strongly I believe in eating Kosher, I have to accept the fact that others do not feel the same and will eat differently. That doesn’t mean that they should be treated differently or afforded different rights or denied rights.

    Do you realize that it is perfectly legal for a gay man to marry a woman- any woman over 18? Where is the sanctity in that? He can even lie to her, himself and society and be married by YOUR pastor. How many couples has your pastor married where one partner has cheated on the other? Were they have divorced? Where they stayed in loveless marriages and grew to hate each other? Yet, for all their disrespect of this sacred institution, they still have the legal right to marry and even to do it again as many times as they want. I could marry a perfect stranger tomorow in Las Vagas- as long as he’s a man.

    So back to your original question.

    Why do they NEED to get married? They don’t. They don’t NEED to live in Michigan either. But they do. They don’t NEED to shop at Macey’s, but we don’t forbid them from doing that. Rights are not needs. We don’t NEED to speak (freely or otherwise), express oppinions, read the paper, own guns, vote, drink alchohol, own property, remain silent, have an attorney present, attend church services (of our choice), read the bible, or read anything at all. But we do have the RIGHT to do those things. We have the protected right to do all those things that we don’t strictly speaking NEED to do.

    Why do you cherish your rights and personal freedoms? Do you think it is any differnt for gay people? How much more they must cherish those rights which are denied them, which they have to work so hard to obtain. Rights that they have never been able to take for granted.

    You have every right to personally oppose gay marriage, just as you have the right to believe in God. But what right do you have to force those beliefs on someone else?

  2. Todd Porter November 21, 2008 at 4:19 AM #

    Did you know that Elton John agrees with you? In a recent USA Today article he stated that the gay community needs to give up the fight for marriage, because it is to sensitive an issue and instead fight for civil unions. I agree.

  3. thepurebed November 21, 2008 at 9:19 AM #

    While it is our Christian view that marriage is representative of Christ’s relationship to His Church, we must acknowledge this elevation can never translate well into the fight to preserve traditional marriage in our culture.

    Marriage is an ‘ideal’ for most. While that ideal has survived romantically as one man one woman, the homosexual model will become increasingly normitive through media images and commentary. Our best defense in the preservation of ‘real marriage’ is to ensure our marriages are strong and demonstrative of God.

    Visit us at http://thepurebed.wordpress.com

  4. Amy November 21, 2008 at 9:59 AM #

    Amanda, did you read the part where I talked about how pastors/church could be accused of hate crimes/hate speech for NOT agreeing to marry gay couples? That is personally intruding on and infringing upon my belief system.

    Second, did I say that same-sex couples should be denied rights? No. I said that they should find another term or just leave it at “civil union”. Let marriage be between a man and a woman.

    Third, I don’t think this is the same issues as Civil Rights at all. I’m not saying that gay people can’t eat at the same places I eat, shop at the same places I shop, or any of that. I’m just saying, “Call it something different and don’t force everyone to agree with you.” I feel like the protests in California are people forcing their opinion on society more than my reaction to the riots.

    I’m sitting here in the comfort of my apartment sharing a view point. You can choose whether or not you want to read my blog posts. If you don’t like what I’ve written, you can simply move on or leave a comment. I am just offering an opinion, to which readers can choose to read and respond. Yelling in the streets of a city, blocking traffic, and protesting is far more attention-oriented.

    Todd, I always wanted to agree with the Rocket Man. The rub is that I don’t know how to feel about civil unions. On one hand, how can they be denied in a secular progressive society that does not embrace Christian values? But, on the other hand, how can I, as a Christian, fight to legitimize a relationship that I know is biblically wrong? And what does that mean for heterosexual relationship that are also immoral? I’m still thinking through and considering a lot of these issues.

  5. renee November 21, 2008 at 3:34 PM #

    i believe homosexuals (as well as transgendered peeps) should be allowed to use the word and the act of “marriage.”

    there is something about “marriage” that involves commitment and stability and security, and to not allow that level of commitment or strength is unjust.

    homosexual marriage doesn’t threaten anyone. it doesn’t threaten anybody else’s marriages, it doesn’t threaten anybody else’s family, it doesn’t make your marriage or pastor frank’s marriage any less valid or meaningful.

    in fact it enhances it. it includes people that pastor frank may not like. it embraces others who come with different perspectives and journeys.

    this sounds a lot more like the church than running around disallowing them the term of “marriage.”

    I have many gay friends, some married, some not. they just want to be recognized, acknowledged, and allowed the privilege to love and commit to each other legally.

    And honestly? i think that god’s view of “marriage” DOES include homosexuals.

    (i know i haven’t commented recently. i am so far more left than you, i’ve been frustrated by many of your posts so i’ve stayed away… but this one i just had to comment on.)

  6. Amy November 21, 2008 at 4:18 PM #

    Renee, I appreciate your comment. But homosexual marriage DOES threaten people because speaking out against it could cause churches and pastors to be accused of hate language when they are just enforcing a view that is traditionally held by churches and evangelicals (yes, I know there are exceptions).

    I don’t understand why the gay community won’t just use a different word and expand upon the meaning to fit their unique situation. I think gay unions would have a lot more support if they dropped use of the world “marriage”.

  7. MB November 21, 2008 at 7:08 PM #

    I think the grand mistake is that marriage is a state licensed action at all. I wish that many moons ago someone had had the wisdom to have civil unions licensed and registered with the state and had left marriage to the Church.

    Unfortunately this isn’t an option today.

    I’d rather have the states’ interest in the legal union of two individuals be limited to the legal stuff and allow churches to marry who they will according to their own understandings of scripture.

    But – that won’t happen.

    I’m not sure how I feel about gay marriage – but I do not think coming to resolution is served by the question “Why do gay people need to be married?”

    Peace & Presence.
    MB

  8. amanda November 22, 2008 at 2:10 PM #

    I wasn’t talking about forcing your oppinion on others just by stating it. I was talking about forcing your oppinion on others by preventing them from being able to marry. You are not just saying that you don’t think they should marry, you are saying that you don’t think they should be allowed to marry and you don’t think that they should be allowed to call it marriage. In other words, you feel that YOUR oppinion should be enforced upon others.

    The other point that I tried to make is that Christianity does not and never did own marriage- the institution, the idea or the word. People are married in all continents and countries in this world, and always have been. Non-Christians marry and always have. Jews marry, Muslums marry, Bhuddists marry, people w/ religions you’ve never heard of marry. Ancient Egyptians married, Ancient Roman’s married.

    Churches have every right to marry or not marry whomever they want. However, I don’t feel that they really have a right to comment on who marries outside their church. Churches that preach that homosexuality is a sin (and not all of them do) do not really need to comment on homosexual marriage, since it is obvious that they would not believe in, practice or recognize it. HOWEVER, gay marriage is really no different from Buddhist marriage in that neither one of them have anything to do with the Christian church. (Although there are gay christians, they would obviously need to seek a more progressive conragation if they wished to consecrate their union in a church.)

    I have more thoughts on this topic, but I don’t have time to go into them now. I’m glad that we can dissagree and stay civil. I hope that will continue.

  9. Jeff Greathouse November 28, 2008 at 7:05 AM #

    Boy, I read the last topic about toning it down, so I had to scroll down and see what you did to cuaes a stir…….

    Since, I disagree with you, I will remain silent. I hope that you had a good thanksgiving.

  10. hmks December 11, 2008 at 2:23 PM #

    Had to go back and read this original post.

    Again, I will repeat my earlier comment. I wish that the government was not involved in marriage – gay or straight. But unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. I don’t really have any issues with gays being married. However, if the people of California have voted to not allow it, well then it looks like if you are gay and want to marry, you’ll have to move to another State. Welcome to reality – welcome to democracy.

    And I totally agree with Amy on this point – this is not a RACE issue. Many activists want to make an anology between the civil rights movement and gay rights. I’m just not at all convinced that being gay is one’s RACE.

  11. kate sanford January 12, 2009 at 10:19 AM #

    OK. I read through this. And then I came to this statement by you:

    “But homosexual marriage DOES threaten people because speaking out against it could cause churches and pastors to be accused of hate language when they are just enforcing a view that is traditionally held by churches and evangelicals (yes, I know there are exceptions).”

    Huh? This sounds like “perhaps in the distant future, some situation might occur and then something else might happen.”

    Churches and pastors speak out against all sorts of things. Heck, the Mormon church brought their money into our state to “get rid” of the dreaded gay marriage. That’s, by the way, in case you didn’t notice, having a church go over state lines to interfere in a big way with politics, which means that the church should have their nonprofit status yanked, since churches are not supposed to pay for over 50% of a political effort. Is that happening? No.

    So what is this stuff about “gosh, if we let those gays marry, people who criticize them will be penalized” business? Please source this. I just don’t believe it. If a priest doesn’t want to marry someone, I don’t believe that he’ll be made to, for heaven’s sake.

    Since the state of marriage is actively being denied to a segment of our culture, it would seem that the question should not be “why do they want to get married,” but “why are we denying this right to a segment of society?”

    Perhaps the answer should be that it’s really not up to us as individuals (who often have a history of interpreting “God’s word” in ways that support our own fears and prejudices). Perhaps society has finally evolved enough to allow this, and perhaps it’s God’s way. Certainly the history of people standing in the way of other people’s basic rights (often, in God’s name since, didn’t you know that he was ‘white?’), has been shown to be very, very wrong by history.

    As far as I know, part of being a Christian is in listening. Perhaps a real change is happening, and perhaps it’s time. Having a formerly marginalized segment of society grow, blossom, become functional members of our society, and having all of us scoot over a bit so that we can be a society together is a phase that’s happened again and again. It might not taste great at first. It might be uncomfortable. Certainly some religious leaders will caution against it. But a lot of other ones think it’s about time.

    There are so many bad things in the world right now, with the economy and terrorists, and hatred, and hunger, and war, that spending time withholding a “mature status as a family” place for gay couples seems like a huge waste of resources.

  12. GA Girl Living in Los Angeles April 6, 2009 at 3:06 PM #

    This topic is a quagmire. Is that a word? I think it is. I’ve never used it before. Quagmire.

    Bravo for having the courage to write what you feel.

    When it comes to things like homosexuality and partial birth abortion or prostitution or… whatever… To someone who doesn’t have the compass of the Holy Spirit, many of the things that are in absolute violation of God’s laws seem normal, convenient and pleasurable.

    1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
    19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

    The thing is, if we’re living in His word, we are in the world but not of it. He will address all things which are an abomination in His sight in His time.

    Sin is living in lawlessness (1 John 3:4) living outside of God’s law. And I don’t mean law as in customs and traditions of man, I mean the Ten Commandments which , as Jesus said numerous times, are to be lived by. Having said that, this can only be accomplished through GRACE poured out to us, not by our own merit for we are thoroughly imperfect when trying to live and lean on our own understanding.

    “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

    All we can do is look to Him, living in His LOVE and doing those things that are pleasing in His sight. we must allow the Holy Spirit to convict our own hearts and lead us wherever and however we should go.

    Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

    When it comes to the ways of the world… they will continue for a time.

    Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

    In His name,
    B

    • Amy April 11, 2009 at 11:59 AM #

      By the way, I love your comments! Keep commenting!

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