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On gay marriage (1) Wed, May 30, 2012
I heard a soundbite recently from a John Q. Citizen that went something like, "I don't believe in gay marriage because it goes against my beliefs."  For one thing, the wording was odd.  Whether you believe in it or not, it can exist.  But that's just Christian-inspired semantics.  My main criticism is the idea of judging another person's actions based on your own personal convictions, especially when those actions have no conceivable effect on you whatsoever.  It would be one thing if it was an ethically obvious issue like murder or spousal abuse or racism, where there's a clear victim and a clear victimizer.  But gay marriage, and homosexuality in general, is the product of consenting human beings, with the only victim being the sensibilities of bystanders. 

The most common argument against gay marriage is that the Bible forbids homosexuality.  I'd like to point out a flaw in that logic:  The Bible also forbids, among other things, the worship of any other god besides the god of the Bible, and it does so in the Ten Commandments.  I know plenty of people who, if not outright worshiping other capital-G gods, surely don't worship the god of the Bible.  Opposing gay marriage makes the exact same amount of sense as opposing Hindu marriage, or atheist marriage. 

I'll be honest:  I haven't always felt this way.  There was a time during my fundamentalist phase where I happily opposed gay marriage because it could lead to the further deterioration of the moral fabric of our fine nation, to say nothing of the abhorrent thought of a gay couple raising a child.  But at some point (fairly recently, admittedly), I came to think of sexual orientation in the same vein as gender and race:  Qualities a person has that shouldn't be repressed or made illegal.  And marriage is a right just like liberty and justice.  To restrict it to certain groups of people based on personal qualities is distinctly un-American.  And as for gay people raising kids -- being around gay people doesn't make you gay in the same way being around lawyers doesn't make you a lawyer and being around cats doesn't make you a cat.  Also, it could be argued that Christian parents can be damaging as well.

It's funny because I find myself bringing up the topic of gay marriage quite a bit in conversation, which might suggest something about me.  But the thing is, I'm not gay.  Like at all.  To be completely honest, I think gayness is gross.  I'm repelled by homosexuality.  But as a supporter of individual freedom, I think people should be as disgustingly gay as they want, as long as their actions don't impinge on the freedoms of anyone else. 

Someday I hope we'll look back on this period of human history in the same way we look back at slavery.  How could we have been so stupid, so naive, so insensitive to think the opinions of the majority reflect the interests of the minority?  Nowadays it's almost preposterous to think that there was a time when women weren't allowed to vote because of their gender, and black people weren't allowed to attend the same schools as white people because of their race.  Hopefully we'll add to that list:  Gay people weren't allowed to marry because of their sexual orientation. #sociology

Comments:
Wendy Sun, Jun 17, 2012
Today I heard this soundbite from Andy Stanley based on 1 Cor 5:12: "What business do I have of trying to hold them accountable to a standard they never signed up to begin with?"

It was a great quote in part 3 of his thought-provoking "Christian" series (http://www.northpoint.org/messages/christian/part-3).


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