“Why Do You Feel Gay People Should Not Be Allowed To Marry?”

My last article, Chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, and… hate, drew a lot of attention and generated a healthy conversation in the comment section. One comment was from a high school friend of mine, and she asked a few good questions. This post will address each of them.

Why do you feel gay people should not be allowed to marry? Is it because God said so? Is it because gays don’t procreate? Do they detract from our society? As someone who has had zero religious indoctrination, its hard for me to understand. People are people and come in all sorts of flavors.

I cannot speak for all Christendom because there are different answers to this question depending on an individual’s particular focus. For instance, the  Biblical thinker who’s highly engaged in the political arena might oppose the issue because they feel the federal government has no jurisdiction in this area. These are some of the most “conservative” thinkers I know and they oppose the Defense of Marriage Act as well. Their reasoning is the same, the federal government needs to stay out of it. Other politically motivated folks are all about DOMA and want the federal government to issue a decree. I don’t posses the political acumen to dissect  the question from a political perspective, so I’ll stick to what I know.

Ultimately I believe the idea of “gay marriage” is illogical for a couple of reasons.

First, Marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. I find that definition rooted in Biblical scripture (Genesis 2:22-24, Matt 19:4-6, Mark 10:6-9, etc). To demand that two men be united in marriage is like trying to buy an iPad from Bill Gates.

Second, I do not accept the idea of “gay” in the first place. I’m referring to the idea of gay as a “sexual orientation” not the existence of same-sex attractions. I wrote at length on this issue in my article The problem with “Being Gay,” but I’ll highlight some points here.

1) The idea of “Sexual Orientation” is a moving target at best.

The concepts “lesbian” or “bisexual” are usually used to refer to these women, but their choice of partners and their sexual behavior no longer always accord with such descriptions of identity. There are self-defined lesbians who have sexual contact with men, even for money, and there are women who define themselves as heterosexual but have female sexual partners. (1)

Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. (emphasis mine) (2)

2) “Sexual Orientation” is not defined in any quantifiable way whatsoever. It’s a subjective designation based on an individual’s changing preferences.

Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex,  gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. … Therefore, sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one’s sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component of personal identity for many people. (3)

“Sexual Orientation” aka “being gay” is incredibly difficult to define. Even the Kinsey Scale points to this fact. Someone might be “predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual” or “predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual,” among other greyish “orientations.” We’ve come to embrace the idea because loud voices – Ellen, Gaga, Oprah, Elton, etc – speak it, but psychology and medicine do not agree.

That being said, there’s nothing in our country’s legal statutes or in the Bible that prohibits two men from sharing a deep friendship, sharing hobbies and interests, or sharing a house. Sharing a marriage, however, is a logical impossibility and an inferred Biblical prohibition.

I’ll come back to the “inferred Biblical prohibition” idea a little later, but let’s first understand why, since it’s a religious institution, it is such a legal and political debate.

Advocates for gay marriage claim a civil rights violation because same-sex relationships are denied the same rights and benefits granted to heterosexual marriages. They are fighting for the right to file taxes jointly, enjoy hospital visitation privileges, and come under a single insurance policy, among other things. Very few are seeking recognition from any religious organization, they want acceptance from the government.

In the English common law tradition from which our legal doctrines and concepts have developed, a marriage was a contract based upon a voluntary private agreement by a man and a woman to become husband and wife. … Entering into a marriage changes the legal status of both parties and gives both husband and wife new rights and obligations. (emphasis mine) (4)

The changed legal status of both parties is the aim for those seeking to legitimize same-sex marriage. The tax, insurance, and legal issues could be addressed by each of the entities involved, but those are beyond my working knowledge base. Regardless of the individual benefits, proponents claim the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution should grant them the privilege of this “changed legal status.” Section I of the Fourteenth Amendment reads,

… No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (5)

At first glance this appears to win the debate for the same-sex proponents. But upon further review it’s not the case at all.

1) There are existing prohibitions, not against certain people being allowed to marry but to whom an individual may marry.

The majority of states limit people to one living husband or wife at a time and will not issue marriage licenses to anyone with a living spouse. Once an individual is married, the person must be legally released from the relationship by either death, divorce, or annulment before he or she may remarry. Other limitations on individuals include age and close relationship. Limitations that some but not all states prescribe are: the requirements of blood tests, good mental capacity, and being of opposite sex. (6)

2) Other than those exemptions, every American citizen has the right to get married. No one is excluded. What people are objecting to is their right to marry whoever they want. This is where the exclusions appear. I’m not free to marry another woman, or man for that matter, while I’m still married to Jeni. An adult is not free to marry a minor and close cousins aren’t legally allowed to marry either. We must also remember heterosexual people are also prohibited from marrying someone of the same-sex. A person might call the last example ridiculous because the heterosexual would not want to marry someone of the same-sex, but it illustrates the shared prohibitions and permissions of our marriage laws. None of these examples violate the Equal Protection Clause, and neither does the prohibition against same-sex marriage.

Digging deeper, one might say the prohibition of same-sex marriage is a basic violation of civil rights. Let’s explore this one too.

The word civil is derived from the Latin for Citizen. Civil rights, therefore, are simply citizen’s rights. Legally speaking, civil rights are:

Rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution. Civil rights include civil liberties (such as the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion), as well as due process, the right to vote, equal and fair treatment by law enforcement and the courts, and the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a democratic society, such as equal access to public schools, recreation, transportation, public facilities, and housing. (7)

Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. (8)

This discrimination idea is where the battle is being fought, and the primary weapon is the idea of “Sexual Orientation.” If it could be established that a person’s sexual preferences constituted an inherent mark of identification, like race, then those who prefer same-sex activity would have to be granted the same rights as everyone else. Or so the thinking goes.

The problems with this have already been addressed. First, the myth of “sexual orientation” is just that, a myth. Second, no one is granted or excluded any rights based on whom they want to have sex with. These are issues of personal preference, not civil rights. A man cannot alter the amount of melanin in his skin, therefore he should not be treated differently because of his skin color. If the same man became wheelchair dependent from a car accident he should not be denied access to a job. In neither instance is the man’s choice dictating his situation. Denying rights to a “gay man” is impossible because the “Sexual Orientation” idea is unfounded and therefore “gay men” do not exist. Men who prefer homosexual activity are a plenty, but none of these people are denied any rights based on their maleness, race, gender, height, or any other inherent quality.

Also, there are thousands of people in our country who claim a sexual preference for children, animals, and dead people yet we aren’t debating granting them their rights, not yet at least. Actually, many same-sex marriage advocates seek to distance themselves from the aforementioned list due to the criminal and non-consensual nature of the practice, and I completely understand the distinction. However, this is logically inconsistent because the primary argument for same-sex marriage is the alleged involuntary nature of homosexual attraction in an individual. This same involuntary attraction exists in each of the aforementioned sexual preferences. Bear in mind, it wasn’t until 1974 that homosexual attraction was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and in many states homosexual behavior is illegal. My point is, the criminal nature of an activity can change over time, as well as its subjective designation in the psychological world. So aren’t the proponents of same-sex marriage violating the same principles they use to justify their position?

In closing, I want to go back to my phrase, “inferred Biblical prohibition.” There is not a single passage of scripture that explicitly prohibits two men or two women from marrying. Because of this omission many attempt to conclude that the Bible is silent on the issue of same-sex marriage. However,  what you do read, over and over again, is the declaration of marriage existing between one man and one woman and commands given to men on their relationship to a wife, as well as commands given to women on their relationship to their husbands. So even though the Bible explicitly outlines the participants in a marriage – one man and one woman forever – some proponents for same-sex marriage argue scripture fails to address the issue directly.

This current debate was fueled by the comments of Dan Cathy, and read carefully what he said.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” (9)

These comments so offended people that boycotts were planned, same-sex kiss days were organized, and celebrities lashed out against Chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, and anyone who eats there. But never in Mr. Cathy’s statements did he explicitly denounce a same-sex marriage. He did say he supports the Biblical view of marriage though.

The logical inconsistency is how Mr. Cathy’s statements are read to imply homosexual marriage is wrong, even though it was never directly stated. Yet, the Bible does the exact same thing and proponents of same-sex marriage claim it’s silent on the matter. It cannot be both. Either Cathy and the Bible said nothing about homosexual unions or they both spoke against them. You can’t have your chicken and boycott too.

Even though they don’t speak directly to same-sex marriage, there are quite a few passages of scripture that denounce homosexual behavior: Genesis 19:4-13, Leviticus 18:22, 24-30, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Jude 1:4,7,19, and more actually.

I believe I’ve answered why I don’t support the idea of gay marriage, but one question is still unanswered, “Do they (homosexuals) detract from our society?”

This one’s tricky. A common refrain from the church a few years back was “hate the sin, love the sinner.” This was an effort to apply the concept of grace and truth in the face of clear sin. You would say to the drunk, “you shouldn’t get drunk.” But at the same time, you might give him a ride home and wouldn’t stop being his friend. The advent of the “sexual orientation” myth merged the behavior with the person, so now a rejection of the behavior is a rejection of the person.

As I’ve stated, I do not accept the idea of defining an individual by their sexual preferences, so I cannot answer the question as it was asked. Let me phrase it a bit differently; do I believe homosexual activity detracts from our society? Absolutely. It’s unhealthy to the participating individuals (10) and it undermines the family, and I believe the disintegration of the family is the reason for many of our society’s ills. In fairness, un-biblical divorce is as much, if not more of a contributor to those problems and the church needs to start clamoring for its end as loudly as they do for the end of homosexual activity.

Do I believe a person living rigidly in sin detracts from our society? Yes. The thief, murderer, adulterer, liar, crooked politician, drug dealer, promiscuous frat boy, corner cutting builder, price gouger, and yes, the person choosing to engage in homosexual behavior or any other sexual activity outside of a one man and one woman marriage is detracting from our society.

I know people who feel same-sex attractions and would call themselves homosexuals, and I do not think they are plotting evil to destroy the world. They would be welcome to play Monopoly at our kitchen table. The issue isn’t so much about an individual who experiences those attractions; the issue is with the aggressive marketing and political campaign to legitimize it. If the issue only involved my neighbor my conversations would only be with my neighbor. But the issue is a national issue, being discussed on talk shows, portrayed in movies and TV shows, debated in congress, and promoted in schools. Therefore, I feel compelled to add my voice to the conversation.

I hope this sufficiently answers the questions and I hope the discussion can continue. After all, my hope is to generate conversation not perpetuate condemnation.

_______________________________________

(1) Department of Public Health, “HIV Risk Among Women Who Have Sex with Women”, in San Francisco Epidemiologic [Bulletin, 9: 4 (April 1993), 25. – http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/SEXOR4.HTM#F35

(2) American Psychological Association, “Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality, http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

(3) ibid

(4) Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, Marriage in Family Law – http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/marriage/

(5) Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, Constitution – http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv

(6) Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, Marriage in Family Law – http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/marriage/

(7) Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, Civil Rights – http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/civil_rights

(8) ibid

(9) Baptist Press News, “Guilty as Charged…”, K. Allan Blume, http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38271

(10) The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality – http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=Is01B1&fb_source=message

21 comments

  1. Well written. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for doing research to back it up. Keep it up!

  2. Very well explained – helps break the issue into smaller pieces and less a big emotional bomb. It helps clarify in my own head a rational reason why my gut and heart don’t support gay marriage but I was not able to articulate.

  3. Ryan, as you continue to delve into this very important subject, please look at suebohlin.com She has talks you can download – especially helpful are her talks to teens on same sex attraction. She has been studying this subject for many years and is the most compassionate person I have ever read regarding it. She gave me terrific personal guidance when my brother “married”…. Keep up the good and hard work.

  4. I live in New York City. The majority of my friends, neighbors and colleagues are gay. My wife’s maid of honor at our wedding is gay. One of my best friends in the world is gay. We have traveled to Europe with gay friends, attended gay weddings and seen our gay friends adopt babies, buy houses and now, thankfully, get legally married in the state of New York. We know gay couples who have been together in long term loving relationships of thirty years or more and seen the joy of gay parents with their newly adopted children.

    Unfortunately, I have also seen how the argument against gay marriage affects my friends. How it makes them feel like second class citizens. It may seem trivial to those who can get married, but what if you were told you were not allowed to stand up in front of your friends and family and commit your life legally to the love of of your life. How would that make you feel? Cathays comments are hurtful because he reiterates this. You can read between the lines in his comments: same sex relationships are “inferior” to heterosexual relationships.

    I believe marriage is more than just the statement: one man/one woman. I believe it’s about love, its about two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together. Who want to create a family. Who want to build a home and a life together. Why does that have to be one man/one woman? Great families are born out of love regardless if it’s gay or straight

    And I know this has a lot to do with religious beliefs. But, why would God want to deny love to exist in the world? Why would He want to deny certain people the same opportunity for happiness as everyone else? I believe people need to search their own hearts and find the truth about where this prejudice comes from, and maybe see the world as it truly is from a human point of view and not just a world influenced by scripture.

    1. Hi, Hunter. I appreciate you reading the blog and taking the time to comment. I’ve only been to New York once and all I saw was a hotel room, the Meadowlands, and the Statue of Liberty; something tells me there’s a little more to the city. My wife enjoys visiting there, so maybe I’ll get to do it right one day.

      While I can certainly appreciate your sentiment about not being allowed to legally commit my life to someone, a person’s feelings about an issue cannot dictate a society’s, or even the individual’s, response. In no way am I saying one of your friends is a second class citizen. I am saying a person is more then the sum of their sexual desires. I am saying your friends should be treated with dignity and respect. I am also saying we are not required to affirm their sexual preferences to treat them such. This speaks to the “Sexual Orientation” myth I wrote about. They, not your friends or any individual necessarily, but the movement leaders have worked so hard to reduce these individuals to nothing more than hormonal impulse that we cannot talk about the activity without condemning the person, at least in their eyes.

      To your paragraph about marriage. you stated your belief, but I ask you whose definition are we going to use? Why does yours carry more weight than another persons? Our culture loves relativistic moralism, aka “tolerance,” because we all want to say our morality is true morality while at the same time allowing others to embrace their own personal morality. However, the idea is unworkable. As soon as another’s morality infringes upon our freedom we are stuck in a he said / she said with no way of acting justly. This is why a transcendent morality is vital. We have to live our worldview completely, but the relativist simply cannot live theirs consistently.

      You said, “But, why would God want to deny love to exist in the world? Why would He want to deny certain people the same opportunity for happiness as everyone else?” Why do you conclude I’m saying God would deny love, or prohibit someone from expressing love? There are plenty of people I love but am not married to. There are plenty of people I love whom I don’t want to have sex with. Your friends are free, in fact commanded, to love. The idea that God is limiting a person’s expression of love due to a specific standard for human sexuality is unfounded. I am prohibited from having sex with anyone besides my wife, but that doesn’t mean I cannot love another person. I am not allowed to abandon my family and live with someone else, but that doesn’t prevent me from loving another.

      You then said, “I believe people need to search their own hearts and find the truth about where this prejudice comes from, and maybe see the world as it truly is from a human point of view and not just a world influenced by scripture.” From a human point of view, humanisticly speaking, (what you are about to read are not my thoughts. I am expressing the eventual conclusions of a philosophy, not how I feel) society should kill any practicing homosexual because they are an evolutionary mutation that will hinder our ability to advance as a people. They cannot procreate, therefore they will either be killed off or disappear. There is absolutely no reason to maintain their existence. (Now I am speaking my thoughts again) However, scripture declares that all are created in God’s image and therefore have dignity and worth. Scripture teaches us to love our neighbor and forgive. Therefore, when I’ve befriended those who profess a homosexual lifestyle, I’ve opened my home to them, shared meals with them, played games, and enjoyed conversation. I’ve treated them as I have any other friend I have, and that included addressing immoral behavior and poor choices.

      Being a friend doesn’t require me to turn a blind eye. I’ve had friends who could share similar feelings to the ones you expressed about your friends. They found happiness and a fulfilling relationship. They wanted to start a family and establish a home. However, I challenged them because they were already married and what they sought, regardless of their feeling, was wrong. Was I unjust? Was I unloving?

      I hope you’ll continue in the conversation.

  5. Hunter, I understand your frustration and the sympathetic point of view you have for your friends and the pain they must feel. I am a Christian and I do share the point of view of Mr. Cathy and Ryan, however, there is another argument here.

    The redefining of “marriage” is, by its most basic nature, unconstitutional and a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Seeing as the current definition of marriage is one derived from scripture, to redefine marriage would be in violation of our own law. It would be the same as the federal government declaring the rosary as a deadly weapon and requiring that all Catholics register their rosary and, if not properly registered, run the risk of having them confiscated and the offender serve time. The government has no rights to redefine or attempt to re-establish what a group of people believe so long as those beliefs are not forced upon those who do not share those beliefs. Just as those who believe homosexual relationships qualify for marriage, have no right to redefine what marriage really IS and was originally defined through scripture.

    As for the argument for a civil union being granted the same benefits as a marriage. I can see where one might think this is a viable solution, however as Ryan explained, there are clear and present health risks that are present and proven through scientific and statistical data when a sexual relationship is entered into by members of the same sex, genetic lineage, or from age limitations. These particular areas ARE the responsibility of the government for public safety and prevention of disease. I know this sounds cruel because your friends are directly affected by this, it doesn’t make them any less true.

    1. That’s an interesting argument. You make a good point, because marriage is a religious institution that the government has acknowledged and granted certain distinctions. For them to attempt to redefine it could be considered a church and state issue. This is the actual application of the church and state idea anyway – to prevent the government from getting into the religion business, not to prohibit individuals from having religious motivations.

      Thanks for adding your voice.

  6. Adam,

    First of all to say that we cannot redefine marriage and change laws is ludicrous. We change laws all the time. 15 states made it a crime for blacks and whites to marry in the 60s where marriage was “defined” as being valid only for those of the same race. We changed those laws didn’t we?

    And why is marriage a purely religious event? I didn’t have a religious wedding. We weren’t married in a church or by a minister. Does that mean we aren’t legally married by the state of New York?

    You can choose to define marriage however you want and that is your right, but the laws governing marriage are still in the hands of the state and the people who vote in that state — not the church. You can’t say that government has no right to change the laws of marriage because you consider marriage to be an exclusively religious event. For you it may be but for many of us it is not.

    And it is irresponsible for Ryan to claim that there are health risks related to same sex couples. Not everyone in NY is running around gay bars and having unprotected sex and spreading diseases. The majority of my friends are in healthy, loving, long term relationships and have adopted children and are creating families. Children from crack houses, from third world countries who are given a second chance in life by parents that love and care for them. And by allowing these couples to have marriage rights only solidifies that family unit.

    But nothing I say is going to matter because ultimately Christians in this country believe that homosexuality is a sin (even though Jesus never says anything about it). Gay people are considered no different that rapists or murderers in the eyes of the church. And when you say “I know it’s cruel because your friends are directly affected by this”, you hit right on the head, it is cruel and very un-Christian.

    1. Hunter, You are absolutely right; we change, eliminate, and add new laws all the time. This is why this is being debated so seriously.

      “Marriage” is a purely religious event at is foundation. Our government has granted it rights and privileges, adding a legal component to it. Hence the need for licenses and notary’s signatures. You are absolutely married legally by the state of New York. However, the practices of a state don’t override the tenants of scripture.

      You’re also right that states are debating the issue and the laws might change. But Adam did make an interesting point about the govt. redefining it. While they are probably safe to redefine the legal aspect I believe they would be in error to try to force religious entities to honor their redefinition.

      I disagree with your belief that my mention of those truths about homosexual activity is irresponsible. You’ll have to read the CDC reports yourself. It may be true that you know folks who are in monogamous homosexual relationships, but they are the gross minority, a statistical anomaly. Read Dan Savage’s stuff, he’s a wildly popular homosexual activist and writer and he boasts of the promiscuous, swinging lifestyle “gay” couples live. Read the research conducted on these couples and hear their answers. Multiple partners is the norm. Unprotected sex is the norm. Granted, we see this in heterosexual practice as well. But to say you know a couple, or some couples, who claim they aren’t doing this and it is therefore irresponsible for me to discuss, is like pointing to Magic Johnson and saying we shouldn’t warn people about AIDS. The facts are the facts. Promiscuity leads to STD’s and unintended pregnancies. Sexual behavior outside of, pardon my frankness, vaginal intercourse leads to expanded disease due to the unnatural nature of the acts. The male is specifically built to complement the female physically. Just read the report I linked and see the new cancers and other issues that are specific to practices outside vaginal intercourse.

      You said, “But nothing I say is going to matter because ultimately Christians in this country believe that homosexuality is a sin (even though Jesus never says anything about it). Gay people are considered no different that rapists or murderers in the eyes of the church.” and I must clarify a few things.

      First, you may be right, nothing you say might change someone’s mind. But do you anticipate having your mind changed? My assumption is you believe your position pretty passionately and are convinced of its rightness. Therefore, to condemn another of having their mind made up sounds a bit hypocritical to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      Second, Are you sure Jesus never said anything about homosexuality? In three of the gospels he defines marriage as one man and one woman for life. He also prohibits adultery, sex outside of marriage. And we’ve already established how He defined marriage. So he did, by implication set homosexual activity and union out of bounds. And before you cry foul, remember why you are upset with Dan Cathy. You believe he has declared the “gay” person inferior or spoken against homosexual activity or unions. However, he says absolutely nothing about those issues if you use the same logic you are applying to Jesus. I wrote about this fallacy in the article. Either Jesus said nothing and therefore neither did Cathy. Or Cathy did and therefore Jesus did as well. You must pick one. Also, as a Christian we submit to scriptural authority beyond Jesus direct words. Therefore, we accept Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians, Timothy, and Titus as inspired and he speaks directly against the behavior. Also Jude speaks against it.

      You’re right and wrong about “gay” people being no different than rapists and murders. Wrong in that scripture doesn’t recognize “Sexual Orientation” and wouldn’t reduce an individual to their sexual preferences. But you’re correct that it sees that person no different than anyone else. However, that’s good news. It sees me the same way. I am no better and no worse than the rapist, the murderer, or the person attracted to someone of the same sex. We are all dead in our sin, but Jesus died for all of us. Our sin is universally true, but our chance for redemption is also universally true. His love for all those people is the same. But I must ask, would you condemn a rapist? Would you say his sexual preference is wrong? If so, on what grounds? Why does your morality trump his? Why does your picture of sexuality override his? This is the problem with relativism I wrote about.

      Curious to read your thoughts.

  7. Seriously, where to begin?

    I’m pretty sure you are not trolling, so I’ll dismiss that as an explanation to this post.That really only leaves one explanation. How do I put this without being ugly….

    You have an understanding of logic that is not really logic, at all.

    To define a concept, then point to that definition and state that the concept is invalid, literally, doesn’t make ANY sense. WHY is the definition problematic? All you said was sexual orientation is not necessarily binary, that there may be a gradient. Ok, yes? What is the issue? What is the objection? You also point out that sexual orientation has a social dimension. Yes? And? (The concept of gender has a social dimension as well!) You carry on as if you’ve made an argument. You haven’t. You haven’t said WHY these definitions are a problem. Furthermore, You go on to equate sexual orientation to mean gay! WHA?!?!?!?! Either you have a rhetoical point to make and have the arguments in your head and forgot to type them, or you don’t understand the concept of sexual orientation. All of the concepts, as you quoted them, apply to heterosexuals. What is your point here? I literally have no idea. I understand you are trying to delegitimize the concept of sexual orientation, but to do so you simply define the term and then move on?

    I could go on to the rest of the post pointing out serious break downs in your logic, but why?

    Look, regardless of your stance on an issue, for me to understand your point of view, you have to make reasoned arguments. Otherwise, what are we doing here?

    Also, after reading this and the related “Being Gay” post, (again, sorry for being ugly here, but someone NEEDS to tell you) I don’t think your reading comprehension skills are where you think they are. For instance:

    ” “Despite much research there is no proven explanation of how sexual orientation is determined. However, many scientists share the view that for most people sexual orientation is shaped during the first few years of life through complex interactions of genetic, biological, psychological and social factors. -Australian Psychological Society

    Back in the states, the APA says,

    There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation. -American Psychological Association

    There is zero evidence of genetic or biological ties to homosexual behavior.”

    The very text you cite provides that there is at least SOME evidence of genetic and/or biological factors. The APA quote saying that scientists can’t CONCLUDE that a particular factor(s) is(are) responsible, doesn’t mean that the factors considered are therefore without a role in our current understanding.

    1. Ugabk, I appreciate your efforts to keep the discussion civil. and I apologize for being unclear. Allow me to clarify my points.

      My initial assumption is we are discussing whether or not same-sex marriage should be legitimized in our society. My second assumption is the primary argument for its legitimization is sexual orientation is an inherent quality and therefore denying a person a right based on said orientation is a basic violation of their rights.

      The quoted excerpts were sufficient to illustrate the idea that a person’s so called orientation is not an inherent quality and therefore the civil rights argument erodes. People are born as women and men, black, white, or brown; these are the qualities protected by our civil rights.

      Your concern that I’ve overstated my position with the quoted excerpts can be addressed by simply offering you a few more statements from the APA, from the same position paper.

      “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”

      and

      “Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex (the anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female),* and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior).”

      and

      “Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others.”

      Notice how orientation, in the second quote, is contrasted against the anatomical, physiological, and anatomical qualities of a human. These would be inherent qualities where orientation is not.

      It must be pointed out the researchers are desperately trying to nail orientation, homosexual attraction in particular, to a genetic cause. And despite all the research the results prove there is no genetic link. However, groups like the APA simply state its a combination of factors and include genetic because it’s considered hurtful to suggest otherwise.

      Just to be thorough, the following statement comes from the Alliance for Full Acceptance and their “Fact Sheet” about gay, lesbian, tansgender, etc (it appears they pulled much of their information from the American Psychiatric Association):

      “Currently there is a renewed interest in searching for biological etiologies for homosexuality. However, to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality.” – http://www.affa-sc.org/affa/AFFA%20SGO%20Notebook%205-23-05.pdf

      Like I said earlier in this comment, the existence of genetics in the list of possible factors does not automatically mean it is in fact a contributor. They’ve simply left all options available to cover their bases. When pressed, you’ll find the conclusions, at least to date, are there is NOT a genetic link and therefore a civil rights claim is unfounded.

      I hope this clarifies my argument.

  8. Ryan,

    First of all, I want to say that I appreciate you debating me in this argument with such intellect and class. Many times I just get rhetoric and emotion. As much as I disagree with you, I respect all your thoughts.

    Again, I have to disagree with you about marriage being a religious event. It may have started out that way but you can’t say that in terms of marriage the state can’t override scripture. Marriage is not a babtism or a christening or a briss. You don’t have to be religious to get married. And marriage doesn’t have to have any affiliation with the church. My wife and I had NO affiliation with the church when we got married so how can you say the laws of our marriage our governed by scripture? If we have no religious affiliation then our marriage is strictly governed by the state of NY, not the bible.

    The state has no right to come into your church and tell you what to think or do, but to classify marriage as a part of the church or a religious event is just wrong. Atheists and agnostics get married all the time how is this a religious event if the people involved don’t believe in that religion?

    I also want to reiterate my thoughts about homosexuals and disease. Yes. I agree there is rampant promiscuity in the homosexual world only because men are driven by their sexual urges — both heterosexually and homosexually. Men, excuse me for being blunt, want to have sex more than woman. And when men are with a partner who wants sex as much as them, then there is going to be more sex. And diseases, like AIDS, are going to become more of a problem in the gay community only because there is more sex being had than in the straight world. But, my point, is that the majority of my friends and colleagues are in monogamous relationships. They are not spreading disease because they are with only ONE person. And not every gay person is having male intercourse with other men. In fact, a lot of my single gay friends do not engage in male intercourse because they either find it non appealing and/or dangerous.

    As far as religion and this subject is concerned, what frustrates me the most is that I believe my thoughts are based on personal experience and intellect. But I find that many Christians just use the default button and say “God says it’s wrong, and that’s what I believe” instead of using common sense and their own experience to come to a logical conclusion. We can’t just take everything from the bible literally. There are too many things in there that are outdated and wrong. You have to look at the world and see what it truly is. Gay people exist in the world. They are my english teacher from high school and the pastor’s son from the church where I grew up. Both in Augusta. Closeted when I was younger but now both out and in relationships with other men — and finally, happy.

    And as far as Cathay’s comments are concerned, we all know what he means. We all can read between the lines. We are not stupid. He denounces gay marriage by saying he believes in the biblical determination of family. That is code for gays should not have the same rights as straight people. Their love for one another means less. Sorry, but it’s true. He may not have said it outright but we know what it is because we’ve heard it from every church leader and Republican in this country. That’s why people are upset. It’s the same thing we hear over and over. I feel it’s the church’s morality being forced upon us when we are not a part of the church.

    I posted my original response to you on my facebook page and I can’t tell you the number of people that have written me who are Christians who are ashamed of how the Christian community has responded to this. The number of people who believe that being a Christian is not condemning another person for who they are and how God made them.

    But, ultimately, my biggest beef is how does gay marriage affect you? If you are married and in a loving relationship and happy, how does gay marriage take away from that? If two men or women want to get married — and in my state it is happening left and right and I have seen no sign of the apocalypse — what difference does it make to you? If you don’t believe in gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person. It’s that simple.

    1. Hunter, civility is a good thing. You are right about marriage, to a point. It is a religious practice and the government granted those who do it a new legal status. Then, at some point in our history the government began performing them outside the church. Today, plenty of people get legally married outside the constructs of religion. I don’t think you were unaware of those things, but it’s necessary to help us debate facts instead of semantics. Of course I am referring to the purely religious idea and you are referring to the purely legal side so we are kind of talking about two different things. That being said, from a purely political and legal perspective many Christians would support each state’s right to define things as they see fit. Which is basically what’s happening today. So we stand on opposite sides of the aisle, but would probably agree that in the US, if a state sanctions it a couple is legally married, even if the church doesn’t recognize it.

      And we can also agree that your monogamous friends are not spreading disease beyond themselves. And this is a key point, while they might not be spreading Syphilis to new people because they are being monogamous, those who are engaging in intercourse run a high risk for the following (I’ll only list them due to their graphic descriptions. If you are curious about any of them I would encourage you to look them up).

      *
      Gay Bowel Syndrome, aka GBS

      – This is an umbrella term for these diseases: proctitis, proctocolitis, and enteritis.

      *
      Proctitis and Proctocolitis are closely related

      – the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that “[p]roctitis occurs predominantly among persons who participate in anal intercourse.” Granted, this could be true of heterosexuals as well, but you and I both know this is far, far more prevalent in homosexual relationships.

      *
      Enteritis

      – according to a report in The Health Implications of Homosexuality by the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, some pathogens associated with enteritis and proctocolitis “appear only to be sexually transmitted among men who have sex with men.”

      *
      Anal Cancer

      – Dr. Joel Palefsky, a leading expert in the field of anal cancer, reports that while the incidence of anal cancer in the United States is only 0.9/100,000, that number soars to 35/100,000 for homosexuals. That rate doubles again for those who are HIV positive, which, according to Dr. Palefsky, is “roughly ten times higher than the current rate of cervical cancer.” – Bob Roehr, “Anal Cancer and You,” Between the Lines News (November 16, 2000). Available at: http://www.pridesource.com/cgi-bin/article?article=3835560.

      So while they might not be spreading disease to others, they are putting themselves at a high risk for disease themselves.

      You mentioned again the weight of your experience and intellect being greater than scripture. Why does your experience count more than another. For example, what if I grew up surrounded by promiscuous homosexual activity and many of the people I knew died of AIDS, etc. Would I then be right to conclude that homosexuality is wrong? Whose experience trumps?

      Feel free, by the way, to point to anything in the Bible you believe is outdated or wrong and we can talk about it.

      I agree with you completely about Cathy’s remarks. He was condemning homosexual relationships by proclaiming the Biblical definition as correct. However, since you do agree with that idea you must also agree that Jesus spoke against homosexual relationships as well. That is my only point there.

      Lastly, how does gay marriage affect me? If we were just talking about my quiet next door neighbors, Eric and Paul, living a quiet and hospitable life together we probably wouldn’t be talking about anything. I would be free to educate my children and we could develop friendships together. But this isn’t what we’re talking about. There is a concentrated effort to legitimize these relationships by placing children’s books in kindergarten classes that feature homosexual couples, Lady Gaga writing about it and starting educational foundations, Planned Parenthood promoting the lifestyle, Gay days at theme parks and sporting events, vocal demonstrations at government centers, boycotts and public affection displays at restaurants, Pride parades, etc, etc, etc. Due to the loud, public presentation of this issue it is necessary to be vocal on the other side.

  9. Ryan, I would like to address your phrase of “inferred Biblical prohibition.” Prohibition of homosexuality is not just inferred, it is directly called sin in several New Testament scripture. Please know your scripture when addressing this issue. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    1 Timothy 1:8-10 “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.”

    There are several other scriptures, Romans 1 for example, that address this sin. This is what the Lord says regarding homosexuality and to say that He doesn’t directly address it is deceptive and why the nation is in the state it is in because the pulpits are not calling sin sin. Please understand without the blood of Jesus and the grace of God, we all are sinners. We all have fallen short of the glory of God and while we were still sinners Christ died for us. THe sin of homosexuality is no worse than any other sins one may commit, but it is sin.

    1. Kristi,

      Thanks for reading the blog and thanks for sharing your thoughts. However, I need to make a few distinctions. This post was not written to address the sinful nature of homosexual behavior; it was written to address the idea of gay marriage. I believe the Bible is absolutely clear that homosexual behavior is a sin, which is why I included this paragraph in the post:

      Even though they don’t speak directly to same-sex marriage, there are quite a few passages of scripture that denounce homosexual behavior: Genesis 19:4-13, Leviticus 18:22, 24-30, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Jude 1:4,7,19, and more actually.

      The question I was answering was about the idea of gay marriage. And the Bible never directly prohibits a same-sex marriage. This was likely because no one would have even considered the idea until recently. As I said in the post, it’s impossible for two men or two women to marry because a marriage can only be between a man and a women.

      Again, I never said the Bible avoids directly addressing the sin of homosexual behavior. I wrote it doesn’t directly address “gay marriage,” and there’s a difference. I’m sorry for any confusion, but I would encourage you to read any of my other posts because I’m sure you will hear my heart and become aware of my incredibly high view of scripture and its absolute authority.

      Please continue to read and participate in the conversation, and thanks for your involvement so far.

      Ryan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s