Same-Sex Marriage

Same-Sex Marriage

On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court decided that the State of California must allow homosexuals to marry. It determined that the State must begin offering marriage ceremonies and certificates to such couples, which it began doing at 5:01 PM on June 16, 2008. California has become the second state in the US to offer recognition of same-sex marriage. Massachusetts began recognizing same-sex marriage in May of 2004. The governor of the State of New York plans to allow same-sex marriage there as well in the near future.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others who value traditional morality have been critical of same-sex marriage and have attempted to prevent the practice. Forty-four states have adopted constitutional amendments and/or statutory language preventing the recognition of gay marriage. Efforts are under way in California to overturn the Court’s ruling and enact a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage there.


This current political and social issue reflects the nation’s basic moral commitments. Should people simply be allowed to do whatever they please, or are there moral considerations that limit behavior? What guidelines do we use to determine what kind of behavior is “good” for society?

This issue also points out the stark contrast in the conflicting worldviews driving today’s culture wars. On one side are those who endorse a traditional view of morality. These people typically are connected in some way to a transcendent (God-given) form of morality found in sacred Scripture (the Bible, the Koran, etc.). On the other hand are those who hold that morality is simply a human idea, and that each individual must determine his own moral standards. Since morality has no permanent basis, rules of conduct must be flexible and conform to the times.

Let’s examine the underlying moral motivations of the two sides of this issue.

  1. Same-sex moral values
    1. Human love is a wonderful thing, even when it exists between those of the same sex. Love should be tolerated and celebrated. Love will always win over hate.
    2. God made people as they are. God loves everyone equally. Nature (or God) is responsible for a person’s sexual orientation. A loving God would never condemn someone for loving another person.
    3. Equality is a basic human right that should not be denied to any particular group. Equality demands that all people be given the same rights.
    4. People should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t hurt others. Marriage between consenting adults is their own business. Same-sex marriage affects only those being married and no one else. Only individuals have the right to determine who will be part of their family. The government should not force adherence to any particular moral standard.
    5. Religions critical of homosexuality are merely folklore, mythology, and outdated superstition. No one should take moral standards from so-called sacred texts seriously. The Bible has nothing of value to say on the topic. Only uneducated idiots believe that stuff. Leave the Dark Ages and adopt modern values.
    6. Cultural traditions don’t matter. Many traditions have been wrong and evil, e.g., slavery, racism, sexism. The fact that something is traditional doesn’t make it right. Who says that marriage has to be defined as existing only between a man and a woman? Marriage began as a purely human invention and was co-opted by religion as a way of gaining control over people. There is nothing particularly sacred or special about any human relationship. People should be able to define marriage however they want.
    7. No one can judge anyone else for their moral choices.
  2. Christian moral values
    1. Human love is a wonderful thing. However, like all good things, human love can be corrupted and degraded. The proper expression of marital love is between one man and one woman only. Any other expression is wicked.
    2. God makes people and God loves people, even desperately sinful people. However, God never causes anyone to sin. Man is sinful by birth and by choice. Those who follow their sinful bent in their interpersonal relationships will suffer God’s displeasure now and merit eternal punishment in the future. Those indulging in perverse practices have no right to claim a positive relationship with God.
    3. Equality as a basic human right is rooted in biblical morality. Nothing in nature suggests equality of species or of individuals. It seems hypocritical to affirm this moral value while denying other biblical moral values. Further, homosexuality should not be afforded the same recognition as equality in race or gender, which are biological realities, not simple behavior choices.
    4. Individualized morality is a recipe for chaos and disaster. Without some kind of recognized rules for behavior, civilization is not possible. Other people’s behavior is a matter of public concern. Further, intimate contact between consenting adults is one thing; marriage is something else. Marriage has the status of public affirmation and recognition. By definition, same-sex union is not marriage. American society as a whole is not ready to re-define marriage.
    5. The critics’ assertion that the Bible is obsolete and irrelevant is purely a matter of opinion. Christians (and other advocates of traditional values) have the same right to promote and defend their viewpoint as anyone else. The Christian worldview has been dominant in western culture for many centuries, although its dominance is now beginning to wane, which is the only reason same-sex marriage has become legal.
    6. Traditions are not valuable simply because they are traditions; no one is arguing that. The debate concerns the value and definition of marriage. Is the traditional understanding of marriage to prevail in our culture, or should the concept of marriage be re-defined, or perhaps dropped all together? Recognizing same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to validating other perverse relationships and behaviors.
    7. Morality is by nature subject to judgment. Even the statement “no one can judge my moral choices” is a judgment. Any time someone alleges that something is good or bad, he is making a moral judgment. Frankly, those who deny morality have no basis to complain when their “rights” are violated.

Note the Quote: The heterosexual marital relationship, even with all its imperfections, constitutes the bedrock of civilization. Marriage — female wife and mother, male husband and father — is the basic social unit. Redefining marriage, given its integral design, is like tampering with root arithmetic: no court, retaining any semblance of respect for the concept of jurisprudence, would do so.

  1. What God Says About Marriage
    1. Marriage is a partnership of opposite sexes, in kind, with full compatibility. (Gen 2:18-24)
      1. Opposite sexes: God did not make another man for Adam; He made a woman, a human of the opposite sex.
      2. In kind: Nothing in the animal kingdom corresponded to man; nothing was a suitable companion for Adam. Adam was human, not animal. God supplied Adam with another human—a woman—of the same “kind,” but a different type of human.
      3. Full compatibility: a “help meet”
        1. Help: the word often speaks of God supplying something people are unable to supply for themselves.
        2. Meet: fit, suitable, corresponding to. God created Eve to correspond to Adam. She was a perfect match for him. What he lacked she supplied. Only man and woman can procreate. The natural design of the human body (male and female) implies that they go together.
    2. Marriage involves commitment based on a covenant. (Gen 2:23-25; Mal 2:14)
      1. Commitment is key to marriage. God expects spouses to hold fast (KJV “cleave”) to one another. God designed marriage to be a permanent union held together by mutual commitment.
      2. Marriage is a form of contract or covenant, an agreement with certain stipulations. The spouses agree to “leave” their original families and “cleave” to one another for life. Only in certain limited cases can this contract/covenant be invalidated or dissolved.
    3. Marriage involves a sacrificial, mutual love and respect. (Eph 5:33; 1 Pet 3:7)

Marriage is more about giving than receiving. Mutual, sacrificial love and respect is necessary in a marriage.

    1. Marriage is best when the husband and wife accept their God-given roles.
      1. The husband: lead, love, protect, provide
      2. The wife: assist, complement, submit, encourage

Conclusion: The nature and definition of marriage are issues of basic morality. As western culture continues to deny its Christian heritage, it will adopt increasingly immoral standards of behavior. All manner of perversion will first be tolerated, then recognized as normal, protected as a right, and finally celebrated as good. American society must decide if it will retain its association with biblical morality or turn its back on that tradition and embrace moral chaos.

“Same-Sex Marriage in Perspective” Christian Research Journal, volume 27, number 2 (2004). Article: DH260 www.equip.org.

This material condensed from Barry Pendley’s article “The Problem of LGBTs and Their Marriages.”

Comments

  1. Sherwin M Wiles says:

    I am glad to see a very clear explanation regarding the turn of the times, and how ( as he has many beleiving The devil does NOT exist ) devil is running away with the various souls, and the presentation from the different view points. I love this and I respect this article as it was not filled with hate, but only the facts and allowing those who disagree to deal with their decision based on the facts that have been presented to them in a very valid and courteuos manner.
    Thank God for you,and I love you,
    Sherwin Wiles

  2. wisdom akatah says:

    I praise God who has giving you the wisdom on these teach, is wonderful .May God be praise .amen

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