Yes. I’m doing this.
Okay. This is a long time coming. But I need to get it in one place. From now on I’m linking everyone straight to this when I get into this argument.
Why I, a devout Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin, support gay marriage, and you should too:
We are going to break this down into its core elements. This is because people are fond of assuming and skipping around. Therefore, I am going to pin down each. And. Every. Individual. Point. So that there is no wiggle room. I’m putting in the basic tenets that I believe first. This post will basically take the form of a logical argument or syllogism: Premises, arguments, conclusion.
*For those uninitiated to clinical logical arguments and syllogisms: Premises are ideas that are taken for fact. They are not argued to be true by the arguer, they are assumed to be so. Most arguers (myself included in this case) try to make their premises something that everyone can agree on, so as to have a common starting point with their audience.
First up: The premises.
1. Homosexuality is a sin.
**I know that I just said premises are supposed to be something everyone can agree on, but if I or someone else referred you to this article, it’s probably because you think that gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed because you believe that this point is true.**
I’ve heard arguments that the idea that homosexuality is a sin is a misinterpretation of the Bible. I don’t believe that is the case, but I haven’t closed the book on it yet. I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen. My conscience, however, tells me no, and as a heterosexual guy who’s married to a lovely woman, I am perfectly content to not be gay, so that’s not a huge moral conundrum for me personally. While you won’t find me going around railing at people for being gay (one of my friends is gay and we get along fine), I don’t believe that Christianity condones it. There are verses, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. They are well known. I’ll leave it at that because the other points are the more important ones. This is just a starting point. To be clear: Homosexuality here refers to the physical and, really, the emotional act of becoming intimate as a man becomes intimate with a woman, between two members of the same sex.
2. Marriage is a (solely) spiritual union.
Marriage is a spiritual union, a “making of one” between a man and a woman. Being a sacrament of Christianity, Christians must define their marriage based upon the scriptures. Because it is a Christian sacrament, it is by definition dependent upon the approval of God and the adherence to the Scriptures. Furthermore, marriage is a solely spiritual union. The only people who can influence or touch it in any way are the people that it involves: the man, the woman, and God. Others can choose to recognize or not recognize its legitimacy, but in the end, the only one who can say for certain is God, and the only ones who can initiate or influence a marriage are the ones being married. From here on, when I say marriage without quotes, I mean this: the solely spiritual union.
Addendum: You might say, then, “Aha! So you DON’T support gay marriage!” You’re right. The title was an intentional misnomer. I believe that, if gay marriage is truly a sin as I am led to believe it is, then by definition a gay marriage is a logical impossibility, because a marriage requires God’s blessing, and homosexuality will not receive it. But read on…
3. Civil Unions are a thing the government can make. Here’s what they do.
The state calls it “marriage,” but any time a government entity says “marriage,” they mean what I will call a civil union. Because the government is not God (oh, but not for lack of trying), they are by definition unable to initiate, alter or administrate a marriage. What they can do is grant certain legal statuses and privileges to a pair of people, including but not limited to:
- A certain standing for inheritance; a (legal) spouse, in absence of a will, automatically receives the entirety of his/her spouse’s estate, for instance.
- Custody concerning children; I will absolutely not enumerate all that here, but suffice to say it can get hairy unless they’re technically your (legal) spouse.
-Rights to joint ownership, handling legal issues, signing for things, etc, etc.
Basically, being married, under the law, allows you to act in the stead of your (legal) spouse in most things. Most of these privileges, by the way, can be granted by way of contracts and legal actions to someone who is not your spouse, but they are more easily challenged by outsiders (other family members contesting the will, etc) if those privileges are granted in that way instead of through marriage.
That’s it for premises. Now on to the arguments:
1. The government cannot administrate a marriage.
This is an argument by definition. As I noted above, because of the definition of marriage and the fact that the government is not one of the three parties participating in a marriage (husband, wife, God), it cannot initiate, alter or end any marriage, no matter what they choose to pretend or call their civil unions.
Because this argument is true, anyone saying that the government should “defend marriage” is blowing hot air, because the government has zilch to do with marriage. It can neither assail nor defend marriage, because it has no power in the spiritual realm.
2. A civil union is not tangential to marriage, or to sex.
This is another slam-dunk argument by definition, but it’s one that I feel I need to enumerate for clarity’s sake. What the government calls “marriage”, which I have already defined as a civil union, is not tangential to (does not touch in any way, shape or form) a real marriage. Because the government has no spiritual authority, it can’t legislate a spiritual bond one way or the other.
Additionally, a civil union does not touch upon sexuality, because previous cases have already booted the government out of legislating our bedrooms. While there are still laws on the books regarding sexual acts between consenting adults, they are 100% unenforceable, and thus moot. While I did say “among other things” when enumerating what a civil union actually does, “other things” do not include anything tangential to sex.
3. Granting a civil union does not grant license to or provide encouragement for sexual activity, nor does the withholding of one prevent or discourage it.
This is a baby-step from number 2, but it’s also important. People are going to have sex. As long as one’s not paying the other for it (prostitution), and both participants are human adults and consenting (ruling out necrophilia, bestiality, pedophilia and all forms of rape), the government is keeping their hands out of it. If a gay couple is waiting to have sex until the government recognizes their “marriage” (civil union), it’s not because it’s illegal for them to have sex before then (at least enforceably illegal, as noted above). More often than not, if somebody (homo- or hetero-sexual) wants to have sex, they’re gonna freakin’ have sex, regardless of their legal marital status. And the government’s going to stay out of that. And that’s as it should be.
And because a civil union is not tangential to sex or to marriage, the government granting or withholding one is therefore by definition not tangential to whether or not that couple is going to be getting down, so to speak. Therefore, civil unions (or a lack thereof) don’t affect whether or not people are going to have sex, nor do they signify the government’s approval or disapproval of the sexual act in question because, as previously stated, the government is legally blind to that.
Believe it or not, I just proved my point. Let me explain:
Because the sin in homosexuality is sexual / spiritual in nature and civil unions are in no way tangential to sexuality or spirituality, there is no sin, nor encouragement to sin, in a pair of people of the same gender receiving a civil union from the government.
There are still a few issues here, weaker arguments that I did not feel needed a full note to address, but will still get a nod:
A lot of Christians (accurately, in my opinion) complain that the gay rights movement is attempting to not only gain governmental recognition and civil unions, but also force people at large to accept the legitimacy of their “marriage” on a social level. If you want to fight against that, that’s fine. That’s what freedom of speech is for. But because civil unions aren’t tangential to marriage, trying to get the government to deny them civil unions isn’t going to do anything to reduce the societal pressure, nor is it really going to prove anything to them. It’s like someone asking to sit in your car and you responding by locking the front door of your house and then telling them “No, you can’t come into my house.” You’re talking past them, not addressing what they’re actually after, and taking away something else, in what looks a whole lot like a fit of childish spite. Again, you may feel free to fight back against this social movement socially, through free speech, if you feel it necessary, but don’t try to use the government as your bully to push them down because you don’t like what they’re doing.
A lot of people say “But homosexual couples are materially different (read: legally distinguishable) from heterosexual couples! They can’t have kids!” If that is the only argument, then congratulations, you just annulled the civil unions of every infertile couple in America, because hey, guess what? Neither can they! But guess what both infertile heterosexual couples and homosexual couples can do? That’s right, they can adopt!
An additional way to approach this argument is to specifically enumerate each right or legal privilege that a civil union grants and ask one’s opponent whether there’s anything wrong with a pair of people of the same sex sharing each legal status. The problem is that lots of people will see what you’re trying to do and start saying no, not because they actually think that right shouldn’t be given to a homosexual couple, but because they know that if they say yes to them all that they’ll have agreed with you. Unfortunately, most people that get into arguments are in it to win, not to learn and exchange ideas, honing the good ones and dropping the bad ones.
I thank you for reading this. I truly hope someone reads this, and I hope it gives them something they can use to make themselves a better person, and the world a better place. That is the most I can ask to accomplish with my writing.