fall, a "Minnesota Pastors'
Summit" plotted strategy for religious leaders lobbying
for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions.
They claim they are
defending heterosexual marriages from the threat of homosexual ones.
father happily married for 25 years, I don't see how somebody else's
marriage is a threat to my own. No one has offered a single cogent
argument explaining how same-sex marriages -- or any marriages --
pose a threat to others.
Christian faith not only allows, but encourages committed gay couples
to marry. For many Christians, Biblical passages on love and
commitment are more compelling than the handful of verses about
homosexuality. When I see the love and commitment of same-sex
couples, I see this as something that is valued and pleasing to God
and therefore worth defending.
favor gay marriage and promote making a sacred,
lifelong bond between couples who love each other. It is
because of our faith, not in spite of it, that we
promote marriage and work to strengthen families of gay couples just
as we do for heterosexual couples. We believe that a child is better
off if his or her parents are committed to each other, regardless of
whether it is a heterosexual or same-sex couple.
scripture cited by anti-gay-marriage Christians as proof that
homosexual intercourse is sinful is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
But a literal reading suggests it is a condemnation of violent gang
rape, not homosexuality. The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel
interprets the sin people of Sodom committed: "This was the
guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess
of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."
of what these ministers think the sin of Sodom was, Jesus says that a
town's unwillingness to welcome an outsider is worse than Sodom's
sin. (Luke 10:10-12) Do these ministers also favor a constitutional
amendment banning inhospitality to immigrants?
other main scripture quoted in support of their amendment is
Leviticus 20:13, where gay sex is an "abomination."
Despite their stated desire to interpret the Bible
"literally", few of these anti-gay-marriage Christians
support a literal interpretation of this verse, because it requires a
death penalty for homosexuality. A literal reading of scripture also
provides a death penalty for equally "sinful" behavior like
working on the Sabbath.
focus on homosexuality when there are many biblical condemnations of
economic injustice and lack of concern for the poor, for every
condemnation that they find against same-sex relations?
anti-gay-marriage pastors do not speak for all Christians, they win
some followers among sincere people who feel apprehensive about
homosexual attraction and consequently accept the interpretation that
homosexuality is "unnatural". After all, for those of us
who are heterosexual, it is not part of our nature; therefore it is,
by definition, unnatural to us. However, for gays and lesbians, it
is opposite-sex attraction
that is unnatural.
always figured that people who truly believe that sexual orientation
is a choice, are those who themselves experience sexual attraction to
both men and women, i.e. people who are bisexual. For them, it is a
choice. Our views about sexual orientation are colored by
our personal experience.
this discussion of religious beliefs about homosexuality and gay
marriage because that's what this debate is about -- religious
beliefs. These topics are appropriate for religious groups and
people of faith to discuss. Minnesotans on either side of the debate
should respect the right of others to disagree.
this religious debate does not belong in the political arena.
Churches that oppose gay marriage can refuse to perform same-sex
marriages. They can even deny membership to gays and lesbians.
churches that support gay marriage deserve the same freedom to
perform those marriages and to welcome people who are gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender just as they welcome people who are
decision about whom one should marry is a matter appropriately left
to each couple; the decision of a church to consecrate a marriage is
appropriately left to each church. I can think of few things more
intrusive than having government telling churches whom they can and
law already prohibits same-sex marriages. Those who want to put that
prohibition in the constitution are trying to impose their
religious beliefs on everyone.
we really want such a heavy-handed, invasive government? The
constitution must respect religious freedom and provide equal civil
protection to every couple. Let religious groups decide whether to
sanctify gay marriages, but keep the state out of it.