Same-sex marriage is surely a highly complicated and emotionally-charged issue. I’ve seen debate escalate lately, since the state of North Carolina has an amendment on their ballot this week that would reinforce their legal stance against same-sex marriage. Though I am a Texan now (praise the Lord), I was born and raised in North Carolina, and have quite a few North Carolinians I am connected with personally and through social media, so I’ve seen the topic come up frequently this week.
It goes almost without saying that when something is legalized, citizens perceive that legalization as a moral endorsement of the practice. Morality is indeed legislated in our country, despite claims of separation of religion and state. Marriage itself is a religious institution. Civil unions are not. The government really does not have the right to rule on the former, but the latter is certainly within its domain. This is a moot point, I suppose, and I don’t have the space to go off on that particular tangent.
Unfortunately, individual motives for supporting OR opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage are frequently misguided in and of themselves. I, as a Christian, certainly do not feel that I have the right to force my moral convictions on another person. Period. BUT, as a Christian, I do have the biblically-mandated moral duty to LOVE my fellow man by warning him of the horrible ramifications of sin, ANY KIND OF SIN. Therefore, I am obligated to promote moral truth by opposing government legislation that communicates the idea that the action in question is morally acceptable.
If I simply say, “live and let live,” “no skin off my nose,” or “to each his own,” I am essentially saying that I do not love my fellow man enough to try and protect him from actions that I believe will certainly lead to his spiritual and psychological destruction. By opposing government efforts to legalize (therefore morally endorse) a practice that I feel deeply hurts my fellow man, I am loving, not hating. I am also not judging the person, I am judging the moral status of the behavior.
Now, I am under no illusion that homosexual activity is curbed by the illegalization of gay marriage. But at least there is not an unspoken message being sent by the government that effectively eases the conscience of one participating in the behavior. I firmly believe that as morally-aware beings, our conscience affects our choices, though surely we don’t always listen to it as we should.
Billy Graham was once questioned about the morality of homosexuality (see The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham by Herold Myra and Marshall Shelley). The interviewer asked him what he would do if he had a child who was gay. Billy responded, “Why, I would love that one even more.”
SIDE NOTE: I’ve often seen the rebuttal, “You say the Bible teaches against homosexuality. Well, it also teaches that we should stone disobedient children. I don’t see you doing that!” This is a misunderstanding of Scripture, actually. President Obama committed the same fallacy. I will refer my readers to this article, which explains this very well: http://www.equip.org/hank_speaks_out/barack-obamas-twisting-of-the-scriptures/
I would like to close by saying that I do not believe sexual orientation lessens a person’s value. All of us are created in the image of God, though we are all fallen, sinful creatures. NO sin is acceptable, and NO sin should be promoted, directly or indirectly. ALL men are precious in God’s sight, and we should go to great lengths to love ALL of them to the best of our God-given ability.