On Tuesday, more was on the ballot than just a couple of Congressman and Governors, two states were wrestling with the idea of marriage and the rights that the states have conferred upon people that enter into such unions.
The voters of Maine voted to prohibit the legislature and Governor from permitting same-sex marriage in their state while the voters in Washington1 have voted to provide the same rights and privileges of marriage on same-sex couples without the name.
Why Would Anyone Have a Problem with Same-Sex Couples Marrying?
This is a pretty popular question, and for good reason. On one level, it seems like a pretty petty thing to take a stand on. Homosexual couples have won the right to no longer be considered a mental illness, and have incorporated themselves into the mainstream. They have lobbied for rights, and received many of them—different degrees in different places.
And yet every place where a public vote on “same-sex marriage” is held, it is rejected. It’s rejected as parts of constitutional amendments. It is rejected as laws that are passed. The only way that “same-sex marriage” is law anywhere in the United States is where it has been made law through court order or through the legislature.
So what’s the big deal?
It’s Only Partially About “Same-Sex Marriage”
The problem with this question is that it ignores a lot of data and people’s opinions. You see, I believe that while many may be willing to let individuals do what individuals want to do (the American “live and let live” belief), there are many that understand that tinkering with “marriage” is not the end.
And I happen to believe they’re right.
For a little history lesson, just come back with me 15 or so years. There were many benefits that only married people could have. Whether it was health plans or bank accounts, marriage was an institution that society upheld for the purpose of bringing up the next generation.
Between cohabitating couples and homosexual partnerships, companies and other institutions were forced into providing benefits separate from the position of marriage. This helped to feed the divorce rate and the number of unwed couples sharing housing.
This was not totally result of homosexual activism, but it was a major contributing factor. The problem is that what I believe is at the root of this problem—acceptance—is not to be had in legislation.
First it was acceptance of my lifestyle choice. Then it was acceptance of my partner and considering that choice equal with yours. If and when same-sex marriage is accepted in the country, it will be much like it is in other countries—where if you speak out about same-sex marriage or call it sin, you will be imprisoned.
It’s not about, nor do I think at root has it ever been about, “marriage” per se. It’s the question about whether a homosexual relationship is right. It’s about validation of a lifestyle. People want other people to approve of them, to accept them.
A couple that it living together, and whose parents want them to marry, may get married for that reason—so that they will get acceptance from their family. This same dynamic is happening within the homosexual movement—and everything they try to legislate isn’t going to change people’s beliefs about homosexuality. You can’t have freedom and force people to accept you or your lifestyle.
So Why Fight Over This Term?
Because of what it represents. A homosexual person in a relationship that they have in private does not have the weight of society’s approval. Giving people that live together the same rights as married couples erodes the “marriage incentive” but may reflect the times. But once “marriage” is given over, it is society’s blessing on the couple.
It’s not that a homosexual married couple breaks my marriage or cheapens it. I’m not worried that the whole thing will come crashing down. What I am saying is that as same-sex marriage is approved, the next step will be to use that approval to state that criticisms of the lifestyle are out of line. It will then lead to persecution of those that disagree.
And I believe that homosexuality is an action and a sin. It’s a choice, just as any other sin, and it’s something that Jesus died to save us from. It’s no worse or better than any other sin—from the thief to the cheat to the liar—but I do believe it’s a sin.
- As of this writing [↩]