First, let me be clear on this… being gay is not a sin. (When I refer to gays in this article, I am also including lesbians and bisexuals). I also don’t think that sexual acts between homosexuals are sins in and of themselves. This is my viewpoint and it’s not my intent to debate it here so let’s not go there. I am writing about marriage, specifically gay marriage.
Sure, go ahead, get married…if it’s something you want to do. However, I am of the opinion that having the state recognize something legally does not validate a couples private commitment to one another. Nor does it enhance it. In other words, just because me and another person get married should not altar the basic essence of our relationship or commitment to one another. I think we have been convinced that it does, but it shouldn’t.
Committing to someone for the rest of one’s life is a decision that is made in private. Having a ceremony with friends and family celebrating that commitment (i.e. wedding) is purely optional, however, affirming. Going to the courthouse and getting a marriage license to call each other husband and wife (or wife/wife or spouses), that’s a legal step binding each other into a contractual relationship…nothing more or less in actuality.
So maybe you see where I am going with this…
Some have said that gays being given the right to marry weakens the long-held traditional idea of marriage. They say that, now, marriage between a man and a woman has been dishonored.
I say just the opposite.
The gay couples that I have read about this week who have been together 5, 10, 15, 20 years or more who are now getting married are actually weakening and dishonoring the long-held commitments they have shared. It is my opinion that the gay community has missed an opportunity to broaden the church and governments understanding of relational commitment by saying, “we don’t want your idea of marriage as the only legal means with which we can express our commitments to one another. Traditional marriage in it’s current form is flawed and it has failed.”
It seems gay people, in this instance, have become the traditionalists that they tend to avoid. The gay people I know have a unique perspective on life. But in conversations with a few, they have this idea that now that they can get married “validates” them to their families and friends. That although they have always been seen as “less than” and “abnormal”, that getting married would give them at least some sort of “normalcy” to parade to those that think this way.
I say that sort of thinking is short-sighted. Instead, I think, gays can lead those of us that are straight to understand a better idea of love. Through them we might learn what it means to love someone even though you have to hide to do it. Through committed gay couples we might learn to love someone in the face of persecution, ridicule or the possible loss of career and family. Maybe if straight couples had to face this type of daily struggle, they would appreciate each other more and less marriages would end in divorce.
To be fair though, I don’t think gay couples have stronger relationships than straight couples or that less gay couples will get divorced than their straight counterparts. I would venture to guess that eventually the statistics will bear out that the gay divorce rate will most likely be the same as it is for straight people. So, my question is why do it? Why let the straight world “define” you now when you have spent so many years not wanting to be under their labels?
If I was gay, I would let straight people have marriage. Men and women (not gays) have ruined that word by not respecting the commitments and trust it implies. In the meantime, I think gays should continue to demand that the government recognize their partnerships so that they can have all the benefits and rights that straight couples do. If the current policies aren’t strong enough, let’s change them.
But, in my opinion, gay marriage is stupid. They really deserve something better than marriage in its current state. Actually, we all do.