Last night, the New York Legislature legalized gay marriage. This is probably one of the “hottest potatoes” in today’s Society. People’s opinions are on extreme sides of the issue. There really isn’t much of a middle ground to have footing to stand on. The debate reminds me of many religious and social issues of the past: the roundness of the earth, bullying of Native Americans, women’s rights, racial discrimination, etc. During each of these intense debates, people utilized Scripture to justify fighting the new concepts. As time went by, Scripture did not change. However, understanding of the Scripture did. Many conservative Christians vehemently oppose homosexuality. They present it is both a choice and a sin. I believe more understanding is on the horizon on this topic, as well.
Over the past ten years, I have had the privilege of meeting many gay/lesbian people. I also worked with a transgendered person. At first, I heard all of the traditional well-churched warnings going through my psyche: “They are not born this way; they recruit and will try to convert you to their perverted lifestyle.” “They are sick perverts.” You probably know the drill. I was, undoubtedly, a bigot. However, over time I discovered that some people struggle with their sexuality for years. Same sex attraction was evident and strong long before puberty. People do not wake up one morning and say, “I think I want to be gay. Now, let me go recruit straight people to have sex with.” It is sometimes a long and painful process that people have to go through to come to peace with who they are. I no longer believe sexual orientation is a choice. However, I do believe that how we all behave sexually is a choice.
Now, let’s examine Scripture. Scholars make Scriptural arguments against homosexuality. Scholars also make Scriptural arguments that, as you delve deeper, Scripture does not condemn homosexuality but other issues being dealt with within the text. In the same manner, you can argue Scripturally that women should be silent in church, that women should speak in church, women should not wear slacks, women are free to wear what they want, you should speak in tongues, you should not speak in tongues, you should baptize in water, water baptism is not necessary, you should baptize in “the titles,” you should baptize in “Jesus’ Name,” you can practice polygamy, you should be monogamous, once saved you are always saved, you can lose your salvation, etc. More than ever, I believe there is no grace in law and no law in grace. I do not understand everything. I do know one thing, I love people: red, yellow, black, white, straight, gay, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. That is what I was commanded to do. Oh, so were you.
The truth is we have same sex couples in our society. These couples have children. These families function as families just like straight families function. As a result, I believe they deserve familial rights. Unfortunately, there is still some bigot living inside of me. I do not like the term “gay marriage” for I believe the context of the term “marriage” is a union between a man and a woman. However, I believe that gay and straight families should have equal rights. As a minister, I do not believe that ministers should be forced to marry anyone they do not want to: straight or gay. The New York legislation protects those ministerial rights. Kudos, New York!
So, to my gay and lesbian friends, congratulations on your victory! To all my friends and readers, pray for and love all mankind.
For more information from Yahoo! News: NY Becomes 6th State to Legalize Gay Marriage