Why is the question of gay marriage such a dilemma? To the majority of the world (85% Christian), it’s not, it’s simply wrong. Two issues arise from this dilemma. 1) Who are the lawmakers, and 2) why is it being debated? I am not going to address the first one (who are the lawmakers) in this post, but instead address the question of why is it being debated or contemplated at all.
From a religious standpoint the origin of marriage can be identified with the first two human beings, Adam and Eve. The father and mother of life. A man and a woman created in order to procreate and populate the world. A physical manifestation of God’s love. God outlined Adam’s duties and responsibilities to his wife, Eve, and also outlined Eve’s responsibilities and duties to her husband, Adam.
There is probably good reason why God didn’t create two men first and tell them to love one another as I have loved you and to go forth and procreate as well as not creating two women first and telling them the same thing.
Now Adam and Eve would be the symbolic origin of marriage, however, the sacrament of Holy Matrimony didn’t come into play until some time later. In the Old Testament, marriage is most frequently treated as a patriarchal institution for the perpetuation of the tribe. However, late in the history of Israel, we can see signs of a growing sacramental awareness in the creation stories of Genesis and in the prophetic literature. In the New Testament, all three Synoptic Gospels record Jesus affirming the permanence of marriage. In both Mark and Matthew, Jesus makes reference to Gen. 2:24 which speaks of the union of man and woman as part of God’s divine plan. Similar references are outlined in the Qur’an (Homosexual acts are condemned as unnatural. 7:80-81, homosexual activities are condemned as unnatural. 26:165-6, homosexuals commit abominations and act senselessly. 27:54-55).
One significant development which occurred in the Middle Ages, was the rise of ecclesiastical marriage ceremonies and legislation. Prior to this period, it was left to civil authorities to legislate marriages. The Church concerned itself with only the moral dimension of the marriage relationship. In the Roman culture, a marriage was legal and binding on the basis of consent between the spouses and their guardians. In the Frankish and Germanic traditions, a marriage was not considered binding until consummated by sexual intercourse.
Throughout the Church’s history, theologians have been somewhat skittish about the religious significance of the marriage institution. The attacks of the Albigensians and Waldensians on the goodness of sexuality, much like the Gnostics and Manichaeans of an earlier time, led the Church to speak explicitly of the sacramentality of marriage. It was included as a sacrament in Pope Innocent III’s Profession of Faith in 1208 and was listed definitively by the Council of Trent in 1563.
Now, I don’t know a single religion that recognizes or condones gay relationships or marriages, but I only say that because I can’t name one that does. There might be one out there somewhere, but there is always an exception to every rule.
Now for the social and legal ramification and basis of the socially acceptable union of a man and a woman. It is generally accepted that our civil laws are based in whole or in part on religious laws (i.e. the ten commandments, the bible in general). However, I see two significant reasons for the civil marriage (outside of religious grounds) and that is the importance of identifying a person as a “naturally born citizen” of a particular country, born of two citizens married in said country. The other issue being the legality of having sex as it pertains to the illegal act of sex called prostitution. This brings to mind a number of interesting situations. Outside of homosexuality being wrong to 85% of the population that has a Christian or religious upbringing, if gay marriages are made legal ( as has been the case in a couple of states) they can’t bring any children into this world (between two men) as natural born citizens. Obviously two gay women married to each other can bring a child into the world as a natural born citizen but wont be a product of their marriage, since one or both would have to be impregnated artificially or have sex outside the marriage constituting a natural act of heterosexuality. The only other option is to adopt a child.
It’s interesting to note that most prostitution is between a man and a woman. How often do you hear or read or see a situation where a man pays for sex from another man and is arrested for prostitution, or a woman paying another woman for that matter? Heterosexual prostitution, yes, child pornography, yes, rape of a woman by a man, yes, rape of a man by another man?(usually restricted to prisons) rape of a woman by another woman? Where are these stories?
There are a whole slew of issues and problems and situations that are going to be created from legalizing gay marriages just from a civil standpoint. Obviously from a religious standpoint it is and always will be wrong in the eyes of God. Probably a darn good reason for that. God said it’s wrong. Who am I to put myself above God and say otherwise. How much of an idiot would I have to be, not knowing what comes after this life, to take the risk of superseding, preempting, or rescinding God’s law?
Now, the judges, politicians, lawmakers who make a ruling from a legal/civil standpoint, what must be going through their minds if they are at all religious? Supposing there is nothing after this life, how important is their career or their job or their social status to use it to preempt God’s law if that judge or politician or lawmaker is a Christian or religious and takes that risk?
We all talk about separation of church and state. But how in the world does a judge, a governor, a president or ANYONE separate their religious belief and upbringing from civil law, especially if the law is in contradiction to the religion? This certainly sounds like a conflict of interest in view of the fact that civil law is based in whole or in part on religious law.