Q. A recent Gallup poll has revealed that, for the first time, a majority of Americans support gay marriage. According to the figures, 53% of Americans say they believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid; in 1996, the figure was around 30%. Most of the increase in support came from Democrats and Independents, with Republicans' views staying the same. On the other hand, only two days before Gallup released its figures, Minnesota voted to ban gay marriage.
A few days after the poll was published, Rev. Nancy Wilson, a member of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said the Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed. Wilson, who is gay and married her partner in Massachusetts, said, “We come to our nation’s capital to tell our elected officials that our marriages count and that DOMA should be repealed.” A recent poll by the Human Rights Campaign says that the majority of Christians (68%) support protection for the LGBT community from discrimination and 52% oppose the Defense of Marriage Act.
Given these changing trends, can you see gay marriage becoming legal across America in the near future? And should gay marriage be a strictly civil matter and not involve religion?
How about that? The more people come out of the closet and talk about their lives and loves, the easier it becomes to accept that “you are just like me.” So thank you to all of the courageous gay and lesbian couples who have opened their relationships to public scrutiny. Fortunately for you, straight people seem to be getting bored with your lives as we realize that a gay marriage involves the same issues around money, children and fidelity that you find in a heterosexual marriage. I suppose it’s better said that the challenges are the same but worse, since anti-gay marriage laws make money management and childrearing that much more complicated.
In my opinion, religious values always have a place in our public conversations. If our careful nurturanceof love, mercy and compassion does not extend beyond the walls of our churches, what good is it ? “God has shown you, o people, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: to seek justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8) Because of this justice requirement, people of faith must always be alert and active in situations where people are being treated differently. Because of this kindness requirement, we must illuminate the world with our compassion rather than darken it with our judgment. Because of this humility requirement, we must always approach God and one another with the assumption that we don’t know all that there is to know — especially when it comes to human sexuality.
The Rev. Paige Eaves
Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church
I can envision homosexual marriage becoming the law of the land, and I interpret it as one more contribution to the decline of America’s morals. The further we turn our back on our biblical moorings, the closer we become like other pagan cultures that have reached their zenith, serving now only as tourist spots for their many ruins. And polls hardly impress me regarding moral decision-making, as we could poll a ship of pirates and get majority support for raping, burning and pillaging the next port — hardly moral.
Most of us of biblical persuasion reject any oppressive or deliberately discriminative policy that abuses those bound by sexual misdirection. However, we also do not have any desire to see the definition of marriage change from societal recognition of heterosexual union to that of same-sex acknowledgment for what can only be achieved by complimentary opposites. We see God as having created us male and female for his purpose, and heterosexual marriage not only achieves his purpose, it contributes to our thriving. When we pervert the created order, it is no different than any other perversion. It’s wrong, and it doesn’t fit the definition. It is something, but not something divinely sanctioned or biologically normative.
It's not so much that biblical Christians are especially put off by religion playing a part in homosexual marriage; it’s the “marriage” designation that insults us most. People do all sorts of things in America, and there are people who worship idols, or nature, or whatever else their sinful minds may imagine. But to take a heterosexual institution and impose upon it a homosexual inclusion destroys the institution. If homosexuals want to have civil unions for the purposes of life that include insurance and familial rights, then such a provision may be the better of two evils. Calling them “married” in any sense of the word is a moral offense and our bigger objection.
The Rev. Bryan Griem
Montrose Community Church
Absolutely I can see gay marriage becoming legal across America. It already is legal in Canada and in some European countries, too, I think. I believe in the concept of the institutional church, but I also believe in a saying I read sometime ago, the jist of which was that if you aren't going to lead or follow, then get out of the way! That's what I believe about the gay marriage issue. It is happening and will continue to happen, and if the church isn't going to lead then it should get the heck out of the way! I know that some of you can throw Scripture passages at me that say that gay marriage is an abomination to the Lord.
Well, the ancients saw nothing wrong with slavery, either, and yet what American, religious or not, believes in slavery? And I'll throw a Scripture passage right back at you: when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he said to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. How can you love the Lord your God with your mind and not let “liberty and justice for all” mean liberty and justice for all? “For all” means “for ALL”, not just the straights. And while you use your God-given mind, do you really believe gay people choose to be gay?