EDIT: I just wanted to say that I no longer agree with this article — I’ve changed my mind about a number of things since then. However, I’ve so far decided to leave up my old posts as a record of the evolution in my thought processes over the years.
I’ve posted on the subject of homosexuality before, and it’s something that I believe the Bible teaches is wrong. But in this post, I’d like to focus more on the legal arguments of their position.
If you’ve paid attention to the recent news surrounding Proposition 8, you’ve heard the argument that gay marriage is a civil rights issue and should be legal. I’ve run across two articles (there are countless out there) that make this same point, and if you’d like to read them, you can do so here and here.
Personally though, I disagree. Proponents of gay marriage say that gay people are being discriminated against because they are not able to marry the person of their choice, while straight people can. This excellent article makes the point that straight people can’t necessarily marry the person of their choice either. For instance, a straight man might be in love with his sister, but he can’t marry her.
In fact, gay people actually have the same rights as straight people when it comes to marriage. Any straight person can marry a willing member of the opposite sex. Any gay person can do the same thing; they simply choose not to. I’m not trying to be flippant about it, but calling gay marriage a civil rights issue is grasping at straws. Their rights are exactly the same as anyone else’s.
From a personal standpoint, I honestly have nothing against gay people. I think domestic partnerships and civil unions are avenues that should be open to them. Gay couples should be able to visit each other in the hospital and have access to the financial benefits and rights that married couples have. I’m just not in favor of changing the word “marriage” to include same-sex couples. My brother has said that he might want people to refer to him as an astronaut, but if he doesn’t work for NASA and has never been to space, no one’s going to accomodate him. That’s not an equal rights issue, it’s a reality issue.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see where future debates on this subject end up. But hopefully, enough people will eventually realize that the civil rights argument simply doesn’t fit this issue.