Yesterday morning I was hearing the continual references by the lawyers exiting the Supreme Court that gay marriage is the Civil Rights issue of our day. And so this impels me to post yet another note on the subject.
It is terribly frustrating for me to hear the accusation because it obviously implies very negative things about those who defend heterosexual marriage. No one wants to be thought of as trying to restrict someone’s “Civil Rights”. And this is doubly so when it isn’t true!
So let’s think about it!
The reality is that homosexuals have exactly the same “rights” that any other American has when it comes to marriage!!! (Yes! It is true! Please read that over again!) There is NO discrimination based on their sexual orientation! The same laws governing marriage apply to the heterosexual that apply to the homosexual. This is very different to actual civil rights issues in the past where the laws of the nation were applied differently depending on a person’s race.
Firstly, it is important to remember in the debate that no one has the right to marry anyone they want. There are laws and rules and moral restrictions on marriage. But in all these restrictions that define and govern marriage, no discrimination is made against the homosexual.
Let me just turn it over to the words of Mr. Greg Koukl, founder of Stand to Reason at www.str.org, and let him explain further:
“But I can’t marry whomever I want,” they say. Well, neither can I.
“But, I can’t marry the person I love.” Well, you can if it’s a woman; you can’t if it’s a man. Neither can I. I can’t marry any person I love. If I fell in love with my sister (Perish the thought!), or if I fell in love with my daughter, I couldn’t marry them. If I fell in love with my first cousin I can’t marry her. You see, I’m restricted in the same fashion. I have the right to marry any woman of my choice who is not already married and who is distant from me in terms of kinship. Homosexuals have that very same right.
But they say, “I don’t want to marry a woman, I want to marry a man.” Well, what you want is a different issue. The fact is you have the same freedoms I have, you just don’t want to exercise them.
And so, to restate the important point in all of this: the accusation that refusing same sex marriages is a civil rights violation is completely false. No one is being “unfair” to the homosexual community. It is just that the very definition of marriage as we have understood and practiced it in this country (and as defined in scripture) simply does not include same sex relationships. It is something like saying that a man’s civil rights are being violated because he can’t give birth to a child. The definition of a “male” does not include the capacity to give birth! It really is not hard to grasp this concept.
So the REAL question before our nation is: Will we re-define marriage to include the same sex relationship – or not?
You can read this post I wrote some time ago to see why reasonable Christians will oppose this redefinition to include same sex marriage.