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Unanswered Questions About Gay Marriage

Please tell me.

A bill to fully recognize same-sex marriage in the State of New Jersey was once again introduced. Many legislators who voted against a like bill in 2010 have said that they would turn their votes about and vote in favor of passage this time around. We have a governor who has stated he will not sign such a bill should it come to his desk. And the beat goes on…

Of the people I speak to now, just as in 2010, those who are in favor of passage of this bill are vehemently so and those opposed likewise. Can’t say that I have run into anyone who has no opinion at all. For those in opposition I will always ask, “So why are you so adamantly against same-sex marriage?” Almost to a person they will reply with a question, “Well, what does that say about my marriage or the institution of marriage if gays are allowed to marry?”

To this I counter, “Okay, what does it say about your marriage or the institution of marriage?” I am a pretty old duck and I have asked this question of many people over a good many years. The response has been, almost to a person, “Ah, well, I think, really…hm. Well if you can get married then my marriage…my marriage…ah…well then that means that the marriage of anyone is…ah, well – I don’t think it’s a good thing because…yadda, yadda, yadda.”

I have been told that legalizing gay marriage will make less of everyone else’s marriage. How so? A politician recently pontificating said that the legalizing of gay marriage would be an ‘abomination’. A noted archbishop very recently given the nod by the Vatican to enter the College of Cardinals said last year when asked about the possible approval of gay marriage in the State of New York, “God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago.” This is not the church’s domain – we have separation of church and state in this country.  Like it or not – God didn’t get a vote in New York State. Ah, and the beat goes on…

The divorce rate in this country is at close to 50 percent in the heterosexual community. What exactly does that figure say about marriage in general? For the purist: what does the fact that many folks no longer feel a need to marry at all and just live together say? And, what say they about the still more couples worldwide who chose to have two or three kids before they finally marry. Do they make less of your marriage? Silly me, that’s different, of course, because they are one man and one woman. And the beat goes on…

I do not believe that any church, synagogue or other religious institution should be forced to marry within their faith anyone who they do not feel fits their qualifications. I don’t agree with this treatment but this is America and we have separation of church and state. What, who said that? 

There is no way to predict what will happen when this bill comes to a vote in New Jersey. I’ve heard of late that if the governor refuses to sign it, as he has promised to do, but lets it sit on his desk for 45 days then it can pass without his signature. I don’t think that will happen.

Still, lingering in the back of my mind is that question: ‘What does it say about your marriage or the institution of marriage?’ Are those of you who so fear legalizing of my right to marry concerned about the strength of your own union? Can you not rise to the occasion and make the life you share with another the epitome of marriage, a shining example of all that marriage can be? Can you not rejoice in my desire to meet the example you could set? It is so very sad - the example that the self-righteous set, so very sad. And the beat goes on…

C.M. McLoughlin, a writer and editor from New Jersey and New York, can be reached at mcloughlin43@gmail.com.

Christina Warren January 14, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Ok this is a touchy subject, however I have no shame in my beliefs. As a Christian woman, I believe what God says about the sanctity of marriage, it is between a man and a woman. The Bible also states the the ACT of homosexuality is the abomination and sin, not the people. We are just outright sinners, we commit the sins. It is our disrespect of God's law with sex out of marriage and with same sex affiliations that defiles the sanctity of marriage, hence divorce. I have love for ALL people, I HATE NO ONE, but my faith in God is strong and I stand on His Law and not on man's personal choice. No matter who they are. Hope that answers your question of "why?".
B January 14, 2012 at 02:40 PM
The Bible also says don't eat pork and shellfish. Do you follow those laws w/ your "Christian" belief? People use the Bible/Torah/Koran to justify anything.
Christina Warren January 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Leviticus tells us what is appropriate for man to eat to keep their bodies healthy, due to these creatures being bottom feeders and trash gobblers. However, it is not a SIN if you do.
Christina Warren January 14, 2012 at 02:56 PM
If you do not live according to the Bible then these laws will not hold meaning to you. This is a choice that I have made to structure MY life on. NOT force you to live by. And the glory of the constitution is that I have that right. She asked for some answers, and I supplied one, it does not have to be one she believes.
Edward Van Embden (Editor) January 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Well, if we're taking the word of the bible literally, it also supports polygamy.
Christina Warren January 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM
It doesn't support it, it states it happened. Sin did not just develop during this century, history books are made to help us learn so we don't make the same mistakes. The Bible is History (His Story).
Scott January 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Homosexual marriage does not interfere, or remove, my rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; thus it should be legalized.
Nora Hall January 14, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I simply do not understand the "christian" attitude toward gay marriage. If God made us all, who are we to say that certain people don't have the right to happiness and security?
John Roberts January 14, 2012 at 06:15 PM
lev says take slaves of the unbelievers in the surrounding countries, for life, and pass them on to your children as inheritance. yet under the new covenant slavery is an intolerable evil because it comes against love your neighbor as yourself "i have love you". in numbers 15:32 a man was stoned to death for doing a menial task of gathering firewood on the sabbath. but christ's love said woman actually caught in adultery was to be forgiven rather than stoned. what does christ's love say about homosexuality. is it a violation of loving your neighbor as yourself "as i loved you" if so, how?
Ernest Anemone January 14, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Christina, the heart of Christianity is much richer than beliefs. Faith is an attitude of trust; an openness to Truth, whatever it may be. Jesus was born a Jew under Roman occupation. Although the Romans did not yet recognize a "gay" identity, same-sex love was practiced openly. As we know, Jesus makes no mention of same-sex love anywhere in the Gospels. However, one of the closest examples we have is the story of the Roman centurion and his favored male servant. The servant was very sick and the Roman soldier begged Jesus to heal him. Jesus offered to go to his house to heal him but the solider said that he would simply accept Jesus' word that it would be done. Upon hearing this, Jesus told his disciples that he had not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. This story is important in understanding Christianity for several reasons. Maybe the soldier had an intimate relationship with his servant (it would certainly seem so since the soldier went to such great lengths for him to be healed and how distraught he was) but even putting that issue aside, the man was a Roman soldier, despised among Jews, and Jesus was a Jew, despised among Romans. Yet, Jesus tell his disciples that this man is to be praised and welcomed for his great faith. If you read the Gospels again, but focus on more accurate translations and the historical context, you may find that the only "belief" that should be honored as a Christian is an attitude of radical inclusiveness and compassion.
Dena Reger January 14, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Marriage equality is a civil right. No one has yet answered Carolann's question. How does same sex marriage impact heterosexual marriage? I have never heard anyone answer that question with legitimacy.
Christina Warren January 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
No offense, but what Bible do you read? NKJV states that God had left man to his own perversion and was heartbroken over their behaviors...when Lot escaped Sodom and Gomorah he fled to his brothers house and the guards almost broke down the door saying "send him out and let us have our way with him". Where do you think the word sodomy came from? It was a right that the guards thought they had. Sorry but there ate some really harsh truths in the Bible and as man translates it gets more and more sugar coated. I cannot force you to understand. You are going to believe what you want. The truth of the matter is that it doesn't interfere with our constitutional right it bothers our spiritual beliefs.
William Stevenson January 14, 2012 at 09:36 PM
As far as I can determine, no one has ever come up with a valid reason to oppose same sex marriage. First, all religious arguments are invalid. We have separation of church & state, so what the bible or any other religious document says must not be considered. Religious institutions can make any rules they want for their members, but they cannot affect others, so no one should even bring them up. Second, whatever anyone else, gay or straight, does in their marriage has no affect whatever on my marriage. Third, the institution of marriage is under attack by many factors, such as divorce, cohabitation etc. Gay marriage is not one of them
Christina Warren January 14, 2012 at 10:56 PM
This country was built on the foundation of the very God we are discussing, so was the constitution. That is why people have a right to base their choices of legislation by it. God bless America not man bless America. Let's face it church and state have never truly been separated.
Linguist January 14, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I am a person of faith. My partner and I were married, by a rabbi, in a mainstream Temple, before God and our families. It was wonderful. It gave social and religious standing to what was already, for many years, the most important aspect of our shared lives. People are free not to believe in God the way we do, of course. That's about faith, though, and I think we have to respectfully acknowledge that we may all never agree, nor do we have to. Now we are looking to protect our most important relationship legally, civilly, so that we are not legal strangers to one another. We share a house, a car, a mortgage, bills, decisions about what to have for dinner and decisions about life and death. Heterosexual couples get to protect their most important relationship with a single marriage contract. We need to protect ours as well. I don’t understand why anyone would want to actively prevent us from doing that.
Andreas Lights January 15, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Christina, While God is referenced throughout America's founding documents and slogans, the first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—the same document EVERY elected official is SWORN BY GOD to uphold—contains the unavoidable Establishment Clause, the provision that prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another." In God We Trust. Have you forgotten that God, who created the heavens and earth, also created humans and with it humanity? Clearly there are homosexuals in this world, none of whom started out choosing to be gay—regardless of what you've been brainwashed into believing. So God crated homosexuals as part of human diversity and part of life and nature on this little blue marble in the sky. In God We Trust—where's YOUR trust? "God Bless America" is a command. It should be, "MAY God Bless America," a plea. It's brazen to say the least that we should be telling the Almighty what He ought to be blessing. Endowed by the Almighty with certain INALIENABLE RIGHTS. Do you know what INALIENABLE means? It means those rights that should NEVER be put up for a vote to be taken away. Those rights include the pursuit of happiness AND equal protection under the law. If my heart leads me to another man or another woman, then that is my brand of happiness, harming no other in the process. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE HISTORY BEING MADE. YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF IT.
Andreas Lights January 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM
(God CREATED homosexuals, not crated;—)
elliot jonez January 15, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Christina - which God is that specifically? The Catholic God who condemns divorce and birth control? The Baptist God who condemns Rock 'n Roll music and dresses above the knee? Or the Unitarian God who loves all His Children and considers them equal? Presbyterian God? Methodist God? You get the point (I hope). People can base their personal choices on whatever God they choose to follow or not. But civil rights are just that - civil, human rights. Not Christian rights, not Jewish rights. All law-abiding, U.S. Citizens should be treated equally, and be provided the same opportunities to provide security to their family. No church should be required to marry anyone who does not subscribe to their beliefs, but no church should be allowed to deny a civil marriage to two consensual adults just because they don't agree with that particular church's beliefs. Believe it or not, the Christian Church did not invent the concept of marriage, it has changed in nature over centuries. Keep your Holy Matrimony - but give us all our Civil Marriage. And STILL no one has answered the question: How does allowing gay marriage damage, degrade, or in any way affect hetero marriage? I don't think "bothering spiritual beliefs" is an acceptable argument. Steak restaurants may bother Vegans, but that doesn't give them the right to make eating meat illegal.
Christina Warren January 15, 2012 at 01:07 AM
The commitment of same sex marriage is a personal choice, if you choose that path it is your right to do so. Our author asked for a political reason to oppose the bill, again I say, this does not POLITICALLY impede on heterosexual marriages, it goes against our moral and spiritual beliefs as Christians. This does NOT mean that homosexuals are heartless gouts that are incapable of loving or they can't love each other enough to want to protect the ones they are committed to. They are human? They do have a heart? Pumps the same color blood as mine, right? It just means that our christian beliefs are based on what God has ordained as law in the Bible, marriage is an institution of one man and one woman, and it was that law that our constitution was written upon. The constitution was left open by man, with flexibility to change because man knew the world would drastically change from the time it was written. Even God knew that. The commandments, however, were written by God with no flexibility of change, because God said what He meant and meant what He said. Man has a choice to do or not to do, God loved us that much, He lets it be our choice on who to love, who to marry, and what to believe. Just don't forget what He did out of love for you.
Christina Warren January 15, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Elliot please read my comment below
Christina Warren January 15, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I am not opposed to any person making their choice to date or marry whom they want. Please listen when I say, That I have a love for people not their sin. What you choose to believe is your choice, doesn't have to be mine. And I am not force feeding anyone anything. My choice, my right, my life, isn't that same thing homosexual couples are pleading for? Sounds like we all want the same thing.
Kristen Watkins February 09, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Hi. I know there has been confusion about exactly where God states that marriage cannot be between a man and a woman. The bible has recently been rewritten to better portray exactly what the original version had said, so it is very possible, very likely, that God's exact message was somewhat skewed. Would you tell us the exact excerpt from the bible that says that it can only be between a man and a woman and that it is a SIN for a man to marry another man? Also, u would need to speak latin an whatever other languages that were incorporated in the original bible in order to truly understand what God had meant. Also, as the article does state, the church is (supposedly) separate from the government. Therefore, it makes no sense that marriage cannot be LEGAL (a political word, am i wrong?) because God (a purely religious figure, yes?) says (and we do not even have clear proof of this) that it is wrong. A counter argument can be made that murder is against gods will and is also illegal; but murder harms other people. Two people who are in love marrying one another is in no way hurting someone else. Therefore, Gods apparent viewpoint should not even be taken into consideration when the LAW determines whether same-sex marriage should be legal. Thank you
Kristen Watkins February 09, 2012 at 11:57 PM
amen
Barbara Ganim May 08, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Thank you for the intelligent responses to Christina's personally biased comments on what "God wants us to do." As she stated, this is the truth she follows. Please dear Christians, follow your faith and do honor your own truths and spiritual beliefs. But please treat others as you wish to be treated by allowing us the legal rights to follow our own truths and spiritual beliefs without your imposed restrictions. Christina you also say, "Let's face it, church and state have never truly been separated." That has always been at the heart of the civil rights problem. Civil rights are what the question of gay rights is all about. It is not about God, Christianity or any religious belief or approval. Even though Christians are strongly attempting to make it so. In this country, we have always fought the interference of the church to impose its beliefs on our legal rights. If we lose this fight for gay rights, we will come dangerously closer to being a country controlled by its clergy. We need only to look at Middle Eastern countries controlled by clergy to see how they exercise their "God Given Right" to not just suppress but destroy any one person or group, including other religious groups whose beliefs differ from their own. This country was founded on religious freedom, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When we all have equal rights, including women who still do not have an Equal Rights Amendment, we will have a truly democratic country.

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