There has been much debate about the definition of marriage and the threat the Fundamental Christian Republican Right (FCRR) perceives if homosexuals are allowed to marry. With many Republican State controlled Legislatures introducing legislation to overturn their particular State’s equality laws this debate finds itself still in the wings of the national theatre waiting to take its place on center stage to plea in front of the ultimate audience –SCOTUS. The argument for same sex unions is simple: equality; the argument against is a little more complex so let’s address the con position.
The FCRR believes if homosexuals are allowed to marry their sacrosanct definition of “marriage is between a man and a woman” would no longer hold; God is against same sex marriages; the human species would soon be extinct; and last but not least, the children of gay marital households would themselves be turned gay. So let’s discuss marriage, its evolution, whether or not God prefers the FCRR’s definition of marriage, and if children of gay marriage are somehow indoctrinated by being raised in a same sex household.
If I remember correctly from my courses in history, people married, in times gone by, for political alliances, economic purposes, and to propagate the species. Marriage was a contract with negotiated provisions agreed to not only by the husband and wife to be but by their families. Somewhere along the way, probably in troubadoured Europe, love became the ideal. During that time marriages were still contracted for political and economic ends though and the husband and wife reserved their emotions for their lovers. Fast forward to the 20th century where we now marry for love in western culture.
Much like marriages of old, marriage today is still based on a contract. There are contractual provisions pronounced during the wedding ceremony that the bride and groom must agree to by saying “I do.” Once married, that contract by way of a Marriage Certificate, brings with it certain State and Federal benefits, including but not limited to, spousal medical decision making, spousal survivor’s benefits to pension plans and Social Security, tax benefits, and employer family leave benefits.
All such provisions a same sex couple cannot enjoy. The FCRR’s answer for this inequity is a Civil Union. Civil Unions are not marriages and would therefore only be subject to that particular State’s provisions. Unlike marriages, civil unions may not be recognized in sister states and since the Federal Government doesn’t yet recognize civil unions there are no federal protections for the couple joined in such a fashion. Since marriage is a contract between two people and the ultimate expression of love in our culture it is no surprise same sex couples want to enjoy that ultimate expression of love while also enjoying the accompanying contractual benefits.
The FCRR often retreats to the Bible in their arguments saying God is against same sex marriage, God says marriage is between a man and a woman only. Really? Has anyone recently talked with God about this subject? Has God rendered a recent decision in this regard? Certainly the FCRR is aware that the Bible has been translated so many times it may bear little resemblance to the original text. When translating a document it is important to translate it without any personal biases of the translator. This cannot be said of the Bible which has been translated in the past by the likes of the Council at Nicea, motivated by politics and patriarchy for the Bible to echo their sentiments.
Such translations are sullied and each successive translation carries that taint. Since Christians are always telling me that God is the God of love I find it difficult to believe God would deny marriage, which is the ultimate expression of love in this culture, to some because according to the translators of the Bible, same sex couples are not worthy. Perhaps God should come to the table and mediate, that way at least we would now what God is currently thinking about the subject.
As to the FCRR’s assertions that the human species would cease to exist if same sex couples were allowed to marry, my response is “are you serious?” There are a lot of straight people out there, enough to continue propagating the species. We are not in danger of dying out because of lack of babies. There are a lot of children born of straight couples that are thrown away and who adopts these children? Same sex couples, that’s who. (for you detractors out there I ‘m aware straight couples adopt).
Same sex parents are parents and their brand of parenting isn’t any different than the wide range of parenting skills exhibited by straight couples. While same sex parents likely do not indoctrinate gayness into their children straight parents, in contrast, oftentimes indoctrinate heterosexuality into their children. In a video that you may have seen as it’s gone viral, Zach Wahls of Iowa speaks to family and how he was raised by a same sex couple. Wahls eloquently explains this issue and whether or not you’ve seen this video, it’s worth watching again or for the first time with your listening ears on.
So when this debate enters your sphere again let’s keep in mind that at its base, what marriage equality is about is two human beings wanting the same rights as other human beings, to express their love by getting married and to enjoy the state and federal benefits that come with that marital contract.