Gay Marriage


There will be readers who may be offended by my points in this post and I’m prepared to hear your arguments if you disagree with anything I’ve said. Please engage with the debate, but I ask you to treat it with sensitivity and respect. Thank you.

 

This is one of those posts that I’ve been mulling over for a while now and it has just been begging to be written….but I don’t know what to write or how to write it!!

I’ll tell you what’s in my mind; forgive me for burbling on.

There is massive debate at the moment over the legalisation/implementation of gay marriage here in the UK. There was a parliamentary vote last night that was passed in favour of it and the general consensus is that this is a good thing.

But is it?

men holding handsMy gut feeling is that marriage is a life-long commitment between two people who love, respect and care deeply about each other and that it shouldn’t matter what gender those two people are, or what their sexuality is.

But I’m swayed over several things, the first being a vague, back of the mind type feeling that it is “inappropriate”. I couldn’t tell you why I feel that, it’s just that there is something ringing a bell somewhere deep in my mind that “it shouldn’t be allowed”. But then I come back to the statement above – that marriage is between two people who love each other etc.

Then there’s the biblical instruction. We are told that relationships between same-gender couples is unnatural and is against God’s law….but that was the Old Testament and we all know that Jesus came to spread the word of love and compassion, and to subvert the old into the new, to overturn the old laws and to make a new covenant. So is it a biblical “instruction”, or is it something that we should be challenging along with the old laws of purification and sacrifice for example?

There is the thought that marriage exists in order to bring children into the world in a stable, established family. Well we all know that THAT is a load of old tripe don’t we! How many children are born to single mothers with no intention of living with the father in ANY sort of relationship, let alone a married one? What about families who can’t have children biologically and turn to adoption or foster care to provide a stable home for children? What about marriages that turn violent and abusive where children are used as pawns in a game of power and control between two people who don’t love each other any more? What about couples who get divorced? What about parents who are widowed with children to look after? What about people who want to get married yet have no intention to have children AT ALL?

Do all of those cases conform to the so called ideal of a marriage and married life? I would say not.

So what then of couples who are of the same gender? Are they not capable of bringing children into a loving family environment by the means of fostering? Adoption? Donor insemination? Are they any more or less likely to get divorced than heterosexual couples? Are they more or less likely to turn violent towards each other than straight couples? Are they more or less likely to lose a partner to accidents, cancer, old-age etc than other couples?

So if a gay couple are capable of providing a loving home for children, with a stable family life with two parents who love each other, then why can’t we accept that their commitment to each other is just as valid and recognised in law as a heterosexual couple’s marriage?

Why does the word “marriage” only have to apply to the formal recognition of the commitment between a man and a woman? Why can’t it apply to the formal recognition of the commitment between two men, or two women? We already have civil partnerships in this country, so why the problem with same-sex marriages?

Which brings me to another point: In the interests of equality, why are civil partnerships only between homosexual couples? Why can’t they be between couples of the opposite gender? If there is a difference between civil partnerships and marriages, then why can’t both be open to both? It doesn’t make sense to me. Which brings me back to my starting point and I’m wondering why if heterosexual couples want to be in a civil partnership (and there are people who do want a formal relationship but who don’t want to get married) and are satisfied with that, why do homosexual couples want to be married and why can’t they be satisfied with a civil partnership instead?

What is about marriage that is so attractive to couples of all sexualities?

I can only answer from my own perspective, which is a mixed one really. I have been married to my husband for almost 22 years, having got married at the tender age of 20. We have had our ups and downs – some significantly more DOWN than up – and we are at a stage now that I couldn’t ever have foreseen if you’d asked me back at the start. Our understanding and appreciation of each other only gets deeper as the years progress, and the friendship we experience is like no other. We still have problems (who doesn’t?!) but we share an outlook on life and a vision of the future. Our lives are built on “we” not “I”, and there is not a decision or action that I take that doesn’t involve my husband in some way, and he is the same. Even to deciding what to watch on TV or what to eat for lunch, there is a discussion, a compromise, an agreement or whatever (sometimes we agree to disagree and end up doing something that neither of us wants to because to do something else means disappointing or hurting the other).

Now, does that way of life exist with couples who aren’t married? I’m sure it does, so what is the magical attraction of MARRIAGE? It can’t be the sex can it? Everyone knows that the first thing to go when you get married is your sex life haha!

So why the problem with saying that marriage is only for some people and not others?

My head says no to gay marriage (that vague uncertainty buried at the back of my mind), by my heart says why the hell not? If two people are so loved up with each other that they want to share the intricacies and the intimacies of everyday life for the rest of their lives, then why not allow them to get married and show the world that they are committed unit?

The more I think about it the more my heart is overruling my head and I am in favour of gay marriage. But I’m mindful that we are referring to it as “gay marriage” and not just “marriage”. It just goes to show how far we have got to go to be fully equal if we differentiate it as “gay” and “normal” marriage doesn’t it? Love is love, and marriage is marriage, end of.

It will be interesting to see how this argument plays out in parliament and in the press in the weeks and months to come.

 

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13 thoughts on “Gay Marriage

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  1. Civil Partnerships between heterosexual couples, wasn’t there a news story a while back that had a heterosexual couple struggling to get a civil partnership? In which case, we allow everyone to have a civil partnership or marriage.

    I’m reminded of a quote which was something along the lines of “So, I’m in favour of gay marriage, or as I like to call it: Marriage. What? It’s not like I went out and had gay lunch”

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  2. Your post is courageous…bravo! Here in the US the news is focused on the debate in the world of Boy Scouts as to whether the by laws should be rewritten and homosexual males be permitted. An interesting question.
    I believe that marriage was designed for man by God. The marriage bed in the New Testament is called to be sanctified. To be homosexual is not sinful but to engage in homosexual behavior is. Scripture admonishes us to not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds Romans 12. Meditate upon this verse and have The Lord of righteousness speak to you.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate that my post wouldn’t have been to everyone’s approval and I am grateful to you for your contribution.

      I looked up the verse you quoted and I have to say that while I agree with you that we shouldn’t just comply with things just for the sake of complying, I have to disagree that this verse can be applied here. You have to read it in context – Paul was writing to a particular audience and he was talking about leaving the old ways and embracing the new, ie, leaving behind the old practices that the Jews held fast as their laws and embracing the one final sacrifice of Jesus for their sins. I can’t see how he was writing it for an audience 2000 years down the line where society was as totally different as it could have been back then. It’s an interesting point you make though and I will give it some more thought.

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      1. You make an interesting point how does this take into context that scripture is living and breathing?
        Also I have been giving thought to your statement in the post about old vs. new testament. The new testament doesn’t remove adherence to the laws of the old(think 10 commandments) it says that we no longer need to make sacrifices of animals to God as Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.
        I believe that God doesn’t change. He says that the marriage bed is sacred, to be shared by a husband and a wife and that children are a blessing to them. The sanctification of gay marriage is a violation of God’s law.
        Thanks for the opportunity to debate this very hot topic.
        Paige

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      2. Thanks Paige, I appreciate your comments. It is a difficult one because I accept what you say about the violation of God’s law, but I still can’t help my gut feelings about love and loving relationships. It really is a thorny issue and I have got some more thinking and debating to do yet. Thank you for joining in with me.

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  3. I posted on this yesterday and am of a similar mind to you.
    Marriage is a way to show your partner and the world that you have love for and a high level of commitment to one person.
    Some folk don’t need it.
    Some marry and muck it up.
    Some marry and stay together.
    Family composition is no longer nuclear and we have to have more flexibility in the way we look at what works.
    Whether or not there are one or two parents (or even three!) or whether they’re the same sex is of no consequence to me.
    Thanks for the post – hope you have time to read mine.

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      1. It is. Mainly because we as a society have so many ingrained ideas and prejudiced about a subject which most of us know nothing about. Like you I apply what I know about my own marriage and that of friends and disregard the sexual aspect. People are people.

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  4. Hmm, so maybe I should just stay out of the fray, but on the other hand I’ve previously typed up a long explanation of my beliefs to a friend before, and I’m mostly going to cut and paste that here, with a little editing because I was replying to her and so a couple of things I wrote only make sense in the context of a couple of earlier emails.

    I respect your views on gay marriage/rights and certainly think that using the Bible as an excuse to treat others unfairly isn’t exactly acting in a Christian manner. However, I have to respectfully state that I do not and cannot in good conscience support homosexuality, and to me allowing gay marriage is supporting homosexuality. I do believe that the Bible is pretty clear that homosexuality*** is a sin. I’m not saying that it’s any greater a sin or any less of a sin than any other sin out there, but I do firmly believe that it is a sin. I’m NOT saying that I’m better than homosexuals or any less sinful. The Lord knows that I sin plenty and I’m not supposed to sit here and measure my sins against anyone else’s.(Mine might just be less obvious because they aren’t something that I go about advertising.) Also, my church teaches that is is very clear from the Bible that the only definition of marriage that it recognizes is between and man and a woman.

    Now, I have heard the argument that the rest of the world isn’t all Christian so it’s bigoted of me to impose my views on others. I’m not. However, since I believe that it [homosexual behavior] is a sin I cannot support it in good conscience anymore than I could any other sin. (And isn’t just a little bigoted to try to force me to deny my beliefs and say that because others think it’s ok I have to as well? It goes both ways.)

    I don’t hate people who are gay and know several people who are openly gay and I don’t mind them or try to tell them they’re sinful or anything. However, I DO have a problem with being asked to condone what I view as a sin just as would have a problem being asked to condone murder or heterosexual adultery etc. And in my opinion gay marriage is condoning a sin.

    *** By homosexuality is a sin I am taking my church’s official position that while homosexual orientation is not in and of itself sinful, acting upon those desires is sinful just as we consider sex outside of a heterosexual marriage to be a sin.

    Anyway, as I said at the beginning I’m NOT interested in a debate. I respect your views and assume that you will respect mine. I’m not trying to change your mind, just wanted to state my beliefs. Truly, I have NO interest in getting into an argument, and I doubt that I’ll change anyone’s mind and I know that no one will change mine on this matter (particularly not by arguing – not I expect that you would argue with me or anything Pam, I’m just stating this in general).

    Thanks for having this discussion Pam! I always know that your posts are well-thought out and thought-provoking, even if I don’t agree!

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    1. I do not believe that the bible states that homosexuality is sin but the act between two homosexuals is sinful. How otherwise could we say that all are created in His image? And that He knew us before we were born? Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed as a result of their heinous sexual acts not because of their sexual preferences.

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      1. Diggingher, sorry if I didn’t make that clear in my comment (it was late and I was tired) – I do NOT believe that homosexuality is a sin, I believe that the act between two homosexuals is sinful. As I said in my first comment “while homosexual orientation is not in and of itself sinful, acting upon those desires is sinful just as we consider sex outside of a heterosexual marriage to be a sin. ” Sorry if I was confusing in the first comment!

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    2. You have managed to put my own thoughts into far better words than me! You have hit the nail on the head and you have helped me with that “niggling at the back of my head that it’s wrong” feeling, so thank you for that. I am still struggling with this issue and I feel it is going to take more praying and more meditating about yet before I’m comfortable with my feelings.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I really do appreciate the debate.

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      1. I’m glad to have helped in anyway. Thank you for having this conversation – it is definitely a tricky topics and one that can be hard to have respectfully.

        Hope you are doing well!
        -Mary

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