Fifty years ago, the march in Washington initiated an era of civil rights with boundaries yet to be determined. Recent changes in US policies such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA,) the repeal of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell and Canada’s legalization of same sex marriage have reaffirmed the political weight of organizations seeking equal rights under the law. Sixteen of the US states acknowledge same sex marriage. Several other states recognize same sex civil union. Meanwhile, legislations are being written, debated and awaiting an up or down vote in the states legislatures.
A battle of arguments and counterarguments constantly rages between the Christian paradigm which embodies marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman, instituted by God, versus the liberal paradigm which seeks equal rights under the law.
Christians face a two-sided dilemma. The first is whether to accept a state sanctioned same-sex marriage. The second pertains to their belief which reject such marriage as ordain by God. Practicing Christians rely on the bible as the infallible word of God therefore consult the holy scripture to address the issue. The Christians’ argument is surveyed through several Biblical passages in both Old and New Testament. From the latter it cites the Sodom incident Gen. 19, the Levitical prohibition Lev. 18 & 20, the Gibeah incident Judg. 19 and male prostitutes 1 King 14:24. From the former it refers men and women committing sins against nature Rom 1, homosexuality as contrary to sound doctrine 1 Ti 1 and going after « strange flesh » Jude 1.
Those who approve of same-sex marriage provide Biblical references affirming its legitimacy and acceptance. They believe the Levitical prohibitions condemned ritual sodomy and prostitution as reference in 1King 14, 1 Co 6:9, 1 Ti 1:10. They interpret the incidents at Sodom and Gomorrah as gang rapes which are wrong whether homosexual or heterosexual.They argue that acts against nature are not against nature if one is born that way. Further more, in seeking for approval, their argument reference the strong, loving and nonsexual relationships of several pairs of biblical characters such as David and Jonathan, 1 Sa 18; 2 Sa 1, Naomi and Ruth, Ruth 1. They hold a firm conviction that same-sex relationship between two committed persons is never condemned in the bible because, although Jesus condemned adultery and divorce he did not mentioned same-sex marriage.
From the three-fiths compromise to Black Codes to woman suffrage to the Jim Crow laws, there has never been a time in American history that a minority group of people was not intentionally, mistreated, misrepresented, oppressed, persecuted or denied basic human rights. The United States of America was founded on Christian principles. It was intended to be a safe haven for those who escape religious persecution and tyranny. Two centuries later, the oppressed have become the oppressors. The few who defy the norms are categorized are conflicted and ill.
The struggle for same-sex marriage is propelled by reason and refuted by passion. As this endeavor continuous one can not ignore the unpredictability of the US Supreme Court. A court which not only makes the final ruling but has on occasion reversed itself.
The framers of the constitution ensured that congress can not restrict marriage to heterosexuals only. Today diverse religious organizations lobby the members of Congress with the hope of achieving a bill defining marriage as between a man and woman. Even if there were such a bill , it would never become law because it would violate « The Establishment Clause ».
How does an African American slave needing his master’s permission to marry compare to gays needing their foe’s consent for equal rights? It is fair to say that he was not autonomous, ergo he was forged a false sense of self -worth.
The case for same sex marriage is arguable as liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness which are unalienable rights. The case against same sex marriage is arguable as contrary to Divine law which supersedes human laws. The reality is not one of either aforementioned, but rather a case of social justice.
Credit: Nikolae Bastien