This has been on my mind a good bit lately, and I've been struggling to figure out exactly what I believe. Our elected representatives are not very helfpul since, from what I can tell, they have not put much thought into the issue. From what has been included in the news, a lot of them have just been droning on about their own great marriages and the "sanctity of marriage." Neither are very compelling or logical arguments. For every senator or representative who has a good marriage, there is another who has had an extra-marital affair or divorce. Oddly none of the elected officals in the second group are speaking up about that.
The sanctity of marriage argument is an interesting one. I wonder if it came up when states passed laws to permit "common law marriage" which gives heterosexuals marriage benefits despite the fact that they are "living in sin." I somehow doubt it. And if we get down to it, I'm not sure that permitting gay marriage is any more dangerous to the "sanctity of marriage" than the incredibly high rate of divorce and the divorce laws that make it incredibly easy to sever that union. Or television shows like the Bachelor. I guess my point is that our government does not otherwise seem very concerned about the sanctity of marriage. It's predictable that this issue has come back into the spotlight as it obviously gets the religious right out to vote.
The saddest part about this is that so many Christians express their disapproval of "gay marriage" in such an ugly, hateful, and non-Christian way. This response is a good example of how Christians can be the biggest threat to Christianity. Homosexuals' sin is no worse than any other sin, and in fact, the sin of homosexual sin is easily analogized to the sin of two unmarried heterosexuals. It saddens me to see how riled up Christians get about homosexuality, yet they don't have that same passion for the continual sin in their own life. Nor do they say a word about the unmarried couple in their Sunday school class who live together.
And alas, abstinence is a homosexual's cross to bear just as it is my cross to bear as a single person. So for a homosexual Christian, the answer is clear; pursuing a homosexual relationship is not God's will. I know that must be so tough for a homosexual Christian to conclude, but God's amazing love for us makes it so much easier to put aside our sinful ways and follow Him.
While I believe in the separation of church and state, I do not believe our government should permit "gay marriage." Doing so would force Christians to approve and support such sin--whether it be a business owner having to extend healthcare benefits to a homosexual's partner or a court clerk having to issue a marriage license to two men. This is asking Christians to do much more than tolerate sin; it is asking us to approve sin and in a sense, encourage it. Sure our laws permit a lot of sinful behavior, but I cannot think of any existing law that could potentially require me as a Christian to support sin.
As for what our government should do, I'm not sure. An amendment to the Constitution seems inappropriate. Practically, however, we might have an issue if a state permitted these unions. And already we have real issues given the fact that homosexuals have families, whether through artificial insemination or adoption. The problems arise when their relationships end, and only one parents has a "legal right" to the children from their union. Some issues can be circumvented with well written wills and other existing legal methods, but some cannot under the current state of the law.
I'm sure I'll have more to write about this at some point as my opinions and views on this issue are constantly evolving as I consider all of the different perspectives and considerations involved. I hope those that speak publicly on this issue will proceed with compassion and love rather than disdain and condemnation. We are all sinners after all.