Monday, October 27, 2008

Gay Marriage and Christianity: A View From a Pew

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that laws limiting marriage to male-female couples violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. Since that time at least four groups have unsuccessfully sponsored new ballot initiatives for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Now a new anti-equal marriage proposition has made it to the November ballot. Proposition 8 proposes to add a section to the California Constitution that would read as follows: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

On street corners in California in the last few weeks, groups of men and woman stood holding “Yes on Prop 8” signs. As I walked by a group of them outside of my daughter’s elementary school one day, a woman holding a sign threatened to rip my Obama T-shirt off of my back. Our children attend the same school, and she did it in a joking manner, but then in a serious tone, she said, “Gay marriage will ruin society.” I said, “How so?” “Traditional marriage will not be the same,” to which I said, “You can’t be serious.” She added, “It’s in the scriptures.” It seems to me that advocating for a law because it is in the scriptures implies a motivation to proscribe the rules of a particular religion on our state. Not only are church and state supposed to be separate, but this is the opposite of freedom of religion. While I waited on the corner for the traffic light to turn green, I was, of course, compelled to pull out my iPhone lightsaber. And I started writing this post in my head.

There are a lot of misconceptions and differing views about same-sex marriage. I am utterly at a loss to understand how someone else’s marriage could possibly diminish mine in any way. Supporting same-sex marriage does not mean that I oppose traditional marriage. It seems to me that giving all adults the same rights to legalized marriage only adds credibility and cache to the entire venture, but maybe I’m missing something. Will our population dwindle away because same-sex couples cannot procreate? More likely, the children of loving same-sex couples that adopt or go the extra mile in other ways to raise them will have the same legal protections that benefit children of heterosexual parents.

I think that discrimination rather than same-sex marriage could be the downfall of our society. To promote a discriminatory agenda, sometimes people wield threats in God’s name. Such strong-arm tactics are the infant brother of crusades and jihads and holy wars. Some induce fear about sensitive topics like children, schools, church, and taxes. Gay marriage will not be taught in schools. For that matter, I didn’t know that straight marriage ever was. But personally I would not mind if someone taught my child that there are all kinds of families because as it so happens there are all kinds of families. Churches will not be required to marry state-licensed same-sex couples or lose their tax-exempt status. And in case nobody has noticed, many churches have been marrying same-sex couples that do not even have licenses anyway. And you know what? I think that’s what Jesus would do.

While church and state are supposed to be separate, and I think they should be separate, there is an awful lot of religious talk and financial backing from churches going into anti-equal marriage propositions and court cases. I think that is wrong, not simply because church and state should be separate, but because I don’t believe that God (or whatever you call your higher power, if you have one) would be a proponent of discrimination. Period. Only because the issue of gay marriage keeps coming up in the context of religion, and, in particular, by Christians, am I adding to the discourse my view from a pew.*

I find it deeply troubling that many Christians, the very people who profess to be following Christ’s teachings, are opposed to legalized same-sex marriage. Christ commanded that we be inclusive and nonjudgmental, and that we treat each other equally. What could be less Christ-like than denying all human beings the same rights and privileges based upon immutable characteristics (e.g., race, gender, age, or sexual orientation)? In 1952, our nation’s highest court ruled that separate but equal is not equal at all, making that the law of our land, and that law is wholly consistent with Christ’s teachings, even, if not especially, applied to legalizing same-sex marriage (or in the case of California, keeping same-sex marriage legal).

“I can disagree with gay marriage but still love gay people” and/or “I don’t mind the idea of civil unions just not gay marriage” is a common refrain from some Christians. But the love-the-sinner-not-the-sin attitude requires judgment and labeling forbidden to Christians. Not being the first to cast stones is a mandate not to judge or label. We are told not to “remove the splinter from our brother’s eye lest we miss the log in our own.” Civil unions and marriage are inherently unequal and therefore unjust. Christians are called to act for justice and fairness. That is what it means to love our neighbors. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is essentially a rule of justice and equality. Christians are commanded not only to refrain from discrimination, but to see the universal oneness in all. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, for all are one in Jesus Christ.” This list is clearly meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive such that we can say that there is neither black nor white, Christian nor Atheist, gay nor straight, for we all are one.

To live as Christ taught, as Christ lived, we must treat everyone with fairness and justice, and without judgment and labels. Moreover, we know that Jesus asked us to take particular care to treat equally and protect those who are vulnerable, those who cannot or are less able to stand up for themselves. There are many Bible stories to support this, but one that I like is when Jesus picked up the little child and told his disciples, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” Jesus also said that what we do for the least of these we do for him. When Jesus used as an example a "child," or spoke of “the least of these,” he meant anyone without power, anyone without an effective voice in society, anyone who is vulnerable because he or she is different from the majority. And isn’t each of us different from the majority in some way?

Drawing a line that says homosexuals engaged in committed, consensual, loving, adult relationships are not entitled to the same rights and privileges and legal status that are granted to heterosexuals under the same circumstances is drawing a discriminatory line. Not only did Christ speak and act against discrimination, he asked that we take action against any such injustice that might be rendered upon another. Offering one set of couples a civil union and allowing another to marry is separate but equal all over again, and our nation did away with that discriminatory practice in 1952. As recently as 1967, anti-miscegenation laws in some states prohibited interracial couples from legally marrying. Eventually “separate but equal” and “anti-miscegenation” laws were held unconstitutional, with churches among the strongest civil rights proponents leading the way. With regard to legalized same-sex marriage, it is time again for churches to step up and lead the way so that all of God’s people are treated equally in society.

____________________________
*The views expressed herein are mine, of course, although not mine alone. However, I recognize that the topic of legalized gay marriage raises strong feelings, mine included, and that not everyone will agree with my views. For example, some might argue that I purposefully cherry picked pliant Bible verses to discuss. I am aware that there are other passages in the Bible that many people, scholars, theologians, and religious leaders read to specifically prohibit gay sex. I am familiar with those, and I have opposing views as to how those Bible passages are properly interpreted, which views I am willing to share and discuss. What would you expect from a lawyer with a Bible? So if you don’t agree with my views and/or if you have additional points that you want to raise or discuss, I will respond to relevant and respectful comments or questions by email, in the comment section, or in a follow-up post.

61 comments:

Scout said...

I like your idea that these protests and propositions are little brothers of holy wars. It's a slippery slope, an argument people who are anti gay marriage use to predict the end of society as we know it. Maybe society as we know it isn't so ideal.

csquaredplus3 said...

I thought you handled this very well Cheri. I also liked your footnote because I've had similar discussions with Christian leaders and been confronted with and debated the "opposing" scriptures. I imagine many of your readers concur with you - as I do. I really hope this post is read by people who need to think about the topic the way you've presented it. The ones who are stuck on "is homosexuality biblically moral?".

Really great.

smalltownmom said...

Thank you for this excellent post.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Cheri, I was listening to the rather excellent LA DJ and comic Stephanie Miller on Air America just now, and this very topic came up. A dude called and said that if gays got married, then a father could marry his daughter. She said that is illegal. Next dude calls up and asks (seriously!) what if a guy want to marry a duck? or two women??? Still illegal.
BUT WHAT does that have to do with two loving, consenting adults?
One thing I like about Obama is that he really is the face of a new America--mixed race couples were illegal just a short time ago. America is different. Gay couples don't have to hide, and why shouldn't they do what adults do, sometimes, which is marry? Plenty of people DON'T get married. And you know what? It isn't my business or your business if two consenting adults want to get married, or if they don't.
America was founded on the idea of liberty, and privacy, and so mind your own business.

Mrs. G. said...

I've read many posts on this subject and this is the best. Thanks for a reasoned and loving start to my morning.

katydidnot said...

i hope you're sending this to some newspapers as well as publishing it here.

my problem with the yes on 8 people's argument that this is in the scripture is that it's also in the scripture to love christ. and we should add a constitutional amendment that we should all love jesus?

i see their slippery slope to marrying ducks and raise them an greasy minefield built on the side of a volcano to legislating religion.

Sojourner said...

I second Mrs. G's comment! Beautifully written. Your intellect is showing ;). Also- this is what I have been trying to say about Christianity, all along- the "Moral Majority" has it all wrong.

Thank you Cheri!

Sojourner said...

PS - I agree with katydidnot- send it to a newspaper!

Jess said...

Beautifully written.

I don't believe Jesus would want us to discriminate. He said to love everyone and that we should not judge... Only god can judge. So who do these people think they are?

I agree whole heartedly and I could not have said it better. Thank you so much for this awesome post!

Jonathan said...

Extremely well said.

Lisa Milton said...

I love your heart Cheri.

Thank you.

Manic Mommy said...

I recently had to attend a workshop called Protecting God's Children in order to volunteer at my son's Catholic school. Primarily, we watched a couple of videos and discussed them.

When asked what we'd learned from the video, one woman in our group volunteered that she had not realized that pedophiles were not necessarily homosexual.

The level of ignorance and unwillingness to learn even in today's churches is disheartening in the extreme.

So much harm continues to be done in the name of God. I think it makes Him sad.

Michelle said...

Well said! and Amen! I especially loved your 3rd paragraph - so true! I don't understand why some people feel threatened by gay marriages either - it doesn't affect them, or their own marriages, in any way.

I have a family member who is gay. He has been with his partner well over 10 yrs - a lot longer than a lot of people I knew were married before divorcing (including myself w/my first marriage!) They have a very strong relationship and committment to each other and I find it sad that this relationship can't be recognized.

Janet said...

Beautifully written, Cheri, and so very true. I know two folks (strangely enough, both republicans) who are against gay marriage, but neither one goes to church or in any way, shape or form, are involved in religion. Smacks of prejudice to me.

kcinnova said...

I still struggle a bit with this.
Everyone - EVERYONE - judges others. I try very hard not to, but the human nature is still there, judging others against my will. I've read Jason's blog and I think he is an incredible human being with a family full of love. I'd say I'm more guilty of judging the neighbors who have a perpetual pile of junk outside their house than of judging the lesbian couple down the street who take excellent care of their property. Guess I am more concerned about kindness, respect, property values and asthetics than I am concerned about who fell in love with whom. Jesus probably doesn't care about property values or asthetics, but I'm pretty sure He is concerned with kindness, respect, and love.

San Diego Momma said...

You've summed up my thoughts exactly.

When I see these "religious" TV ads purporting the decline of "traditional" values and whatnot, all I really see is the subtext of fear! fear! fear! non-inclusion! judgment! ignorance!

What happened to the cornerstone of religion? It's love, is it not? Where does it say we limit our love to only those we judge worthy?

I'm Catholic, but I'm increasingly dismayed by the closed, judgmental, label-y, fearful basis from which Christ's teachings are shared.

The point's being missed: love is what makes a difference, not who's doing the loving.

Jen @ Amazing Trips said...

Great post, Cheri.

I wish I had known you were writing this today. I would have held off on posting my thoughts so I could have linked over!

the other Mike said...

Thank you so much for your post Cheri! So beautifully and thoughtfully written. I think you speak for the true "moral majority."

To add to the discussion my question is this: If people who support eliminating same-sex marriage argue that they are trying to protect "traditional marriage," then why don't they go for a constitutional amendment barring divorce? After all, isn't divorce the real threat to marriage? I would suppose the reason they don't would be that that would affect their rights.

And in regards to your reference to interracial marriage, a little bit more on the history. In 1948 when CA was the first state to legalize interracial marriage the national polls were overwhelmingly against it (approx. 90%+ against). As we've seen throughout our history, if it weren't for these "activist judges," and instead, civil rights were up to the voters, we wouldn't have desegregation, women's right to vote, and interracial marriage, just to name a few.

If anyone would like more info, volunteer opportunities, or to donate to No on Prop 8 I recommend going to:
http://www.noonprop8.com/

The Constitution should not be used to take rights away from a group of people. Please get out to Vote No on Prop 8!!!

Katy said...

Wow Cheri...this is a beautifully written post. Your arguments should be presented to anyone who thinks we should vote yes on Prop 8. I agree with others on here - how in the world do we go from two loving, consenting adults, to marrying one's pet? It's quite demeaning. Submit your article to the local paper. It truly presents many great points.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Just a few thoughts. You bring a lot of Christianity into this post and I don't get that. As a Christian, I totally disagree with homosexuality. I do not at all consider myself a hater or small-minded, but many people think I am. I think those that think I am small minded and a hater are haters of me and small minded about me and my views.

Anyway, back to the Christian points. I don't see how you can follow the Bible and hold onto those truths and condone homosexualtiy. I think Jesus would NOT have married gay people. I think he would have LOVED those practicing homosexualtiy as he loved all people whethere they were sinning or not. He did not condone sinful behavior, though. He pointed it out, told us to repent and forgave us. He wouldn't have followed the law and found homosexuality acceptable.

There is a huge difference in discrimination and condoning what is seen as a sin. And my point is not that I am right and you are wrong or that you are right and I am wrong. I just think bringing Christianity into the equation (which is admittedly WHY I am anti gay marriage) skews the written word of God.

Also, my views on not agreeing with homosexuality are not because I am afraid of anyone or because I feel threatened. I do feel threatened that I am soon not allowed to disagree and how is THAT not discrimination?

This is well written, though.

KEEP BELIEVING

Jenn said...

Outstanding post. As a friend pointed out to me, why we are even in this debate is beyond me. Why do we get to have a say in someone else's private life? The courts made a decision and why do we get to put it on the ballot to change that? She did not get to have a say in the our right to marry. We should not even be having this discussion because it is not our right to decide what is ok for others. It's about equal rights no matter who you are and what you practice. As a teacher, I do not teach about any kind of families and when it comes up (as it will with 6 year olds) we talk about ALL the kinds of families today: single parent, dad only, raised by grandparents, two homes, two sets of parents that include step-parents, plus the "traditional" mom and dad household, which is rarer and rarer these days. 2 moms and 2 dads are just another variation of the variety of families that our children are lucky to get to experience in this nation.

phd in yogurtry said...

advocating for a law because it is in the scriptures implies a motivation to proscribe the rules of a particular religion on our state.

bingo!

it would make more sense to pass a law prohibiting hollywood and vegas entertainers from marrying.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Angie:

You are absolutely right when you question why Christianity is part of this discussion. We may or may not see eye-to-eye on why Christianity should not be part of this discussion, but we seem to agree that it shouldn't.

I do not believe that any religion should be a part of politics nor should religious beliefs be a basis for state laws. However, I did my best to explain in this post why I opted to discuss the issue of legalized same-sex marriage from my Christian perspective. I know that many Christians do not share my perspective. I share a pew with them regularly. And they share one with me.

Disagreeing and hating are two very different things. And being of a different mind is not the same has being small-minded. Just because you disagree with me does not make me think of you as a hater or small-minded. I don't hate you for disagreeing with me. And I would be the small-minded one if I didn't welcome your thoughtful insights and opinions and comments. I'm glad we have the opportunity to share our views.

Thank you for speaking your truth, Angie.

Sam said...

I'm very moved by your post, Cheri. I have wanted to blog on this issue and just didn't have the courage (or your eloquence.) Maybe now I'll just post a link here. ;)

Kellan said...

Well said, Cheri! And - well written!

Have a good evening - Kellan

Beth said...

Excellent post!
(Forced me to come out of hibernation & leave a comment.)

ms-teacher said...

Wonderful post. As a teacher, I'm highly offended that people are trying to pull this debate into the classroom. Anyone who thinks I have time to teach about gay marriage hasn't been in my classroom or that of any of my colleagues. Simply put, we don't have the time!

However, what I do teach is acceptance of those we perceive to be different from us. It doesn't mean you have to like that person or be their friend. It does mean that you need to be respectful.

apathy lounge said...

Those folks believe--unfortunately--that you can't condemn something or someone unless you can also make it illegal. To legalize it seems one step closer to taking away their right to judge others whom they deem to be sinners for any number of reasons. Legalize marijuana? Well...now you can't feel better than the people who smoke it if you make it legal. Zealots NEED to believe that certain things are wrong and making that thing illegal secures their prejudice. This whole thing makes me so sad.

Steph said...

Brava! I really have nothing of substance to say, but this post moved me enough that I felt I had to say *something.

Beautiful, Cheri.

just jamie said...

A truly EPIC post. :)

Your words echo my heart.

Our Pastor often talks about the haters standing on the corners, holding their signs, with "veins popping out of their necks," "preaching" the Bible in a manner of hate. That's not Jesus. But I tell you what -- THIS is. This LOVE, THIS humanity, THIS ACCEPTANCE.

Thank you Cheri. This grabs me, shakes me up, and leaves me more content knowing that the world is filled with lovers of ALL people.

MJ said...

Intriguing. I'll soon be coming to the "cultural" element of international human rights law. Reading your post reminds me how different culturally our two States are despite so many other similarities. Catherine Powell has written an excellent article on US culture and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women entitled "Lifting our Veil of Ignorance: Culture, Constitutionalism & Women's Human Rights in Post Sept 11 America" located at (2006) 57:33 Hastings Law Jnl 331 that you might find interesting to read as well.

Our Parliament skirted the issue and addressed a reference to the Canadian Supreme Court in 2004 "Reference re: Same Sex Marriage" that you can locate at http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/ As a result,Parliament passed the Civil Marriage Act (2005) making same-sex marriage the law across Canada. There are other appellate gay rights decisions regarding marriage.

We've already gone through this and the sky hasn't fallen yet!

Kristin said...

I find Prop 8 shocking... especially as most of it's financial backing is coming from religious groups & it seems so clear a religious agenda is being pushed... I often wonder how this nonsense even gets off the ground.

It boggles the mind.

This election year has brought out a whole lotta ugly.

Perfect post. Perfectly said.

Jason said...

Cheri, this is everything I've been trying to say but haven't had the eloquence to do it like you have. You and nearly all of your commenters give me hope that maybe this whole ridiculous thing WILL be voted down and we can put it behind us.

It is interesting to be on the receiving end of such prejudice. It angers me, annoys me, and hurts me. It bewilders me. The infestation of yellow signs on the corners just dredges up so many old feelings that I thought I had dealt with and put to rest. And the fact that this is all coming from organizations and ideals that I once held so dear to me--Mormonism and Christianity--compounds it all even more.

I just hate how divisive this issue is. I have never felt so at odds with so many fellow Californians.

And the thing that REALLY gets me? The fact that this may very well TAKE AWAY my legal, civil rights. As an American I have never had any rights TAKEN AWAY. In the history of our country have any substantial group of Americans ever had their rights TAKEN AWAY? I can't think of any such event.

Thank you, Cheri. And thanks for linking this important and memorable post to my blog.

My Full Hands said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Thoughtskoto said...

I stand for my faith regarding this. Its not that we hate lesbians or gays, we love them.
The articles of our faith states that we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. If ever same sex marriage will be legalized then we have to sustain it. If anybody comes to the church and asks to be married to same sex, whats gonna happen? Our faith regarding marriage is that it is sanctioned of God to be between man and woman. In this situation how can we sustain the law regarding same sex marriage? Should the church say we can't sanction marriage of same sex (then same sex couples will question the church because it is legal in the state), or should the church sanction the marriage and put aside its faith regarding the sanctity of marriage between man and woman.

g said...

I agree with katydidnot, this would make an incredible op-ed piece.

I, too am baffled to name a single way that my marriage, or your marriage, or anyone's marriage, will be negatively affected by two other people getting married.

although - maybe I should take that back. My marriage HAS been affected by gay marriage, in that I have seen so many diverse examples of two people in a loving, successful relationship, that it enriches my relationship with my husband. Seeing my friends' good marriages - both gay and straight - teach me, and teach my child, that there are so many ways to make a relationship work.

g said...

Mrs. thoughtskoto asks: "If anybody comes to the church and asks to be married to same sex, whats gonna happen?"

Let me respectfully ask you - if a non-believer came to your church today and asked to be married there, what would happen? If a person of another faith came to your church today and asked to be married there, what would happen?

Can't your pastor turn them away without negative legal consequences?

I think it is far-fetched to think that, once given the right to go to the County Courthouse to get married, gay couples will choose to mark the happiest day of their lives in front of a hostile and unwilling congregation.

This argument is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cheri, beautifully written. My partner Bill and our two children, who are joys sent to us straihgt from Heaven, also thank you. Gay people have the same loves, hates, fears, goals as everyone else. And one of them sometimes is to have a family. Gay people are not only members of their families of origin, but are making families for themselves, whether its just with their partner or with their partner and children. It is happenning. The hate filled attempts to prevent this natural desire to love, be loved and to have and be apart of a family will not stop people from creating their own families. Gay or straight. What is clear is that some people will pervert the life of Jesus and the true teachings of Christianity and hide behind some twisted 'religious" view to further their own devisive and hate filled agenda. It is sad. And I cannot tell you how hurtful and scary it is to drive around and see all the "Yes on Hate", I mean, "Yes on 8 signs". Thankfully, there are many who say no to hate, but the small minded who think that by allowing others freedom or acces to resources somehow diminishes what they have are loud and visible and they remind us to be vigilient for freedom and vigilient to stand up for what is right. Isn't that what being a good Christian and a good American is about?
I love you.
Chris Smith and Family

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I appreciate your explaining this from a Christian perspective to those who might be reached by hearing it this way.

My perspective is that the Christian perspective should not be part of this equation. Religion has no place in government. I am so frustrated by the need of some religious people to foist their beliefs upon this society.

Lori Brookes, BFA Interior Design Photographer said...

Cheri, you don't know me, but a good friend of yours sent this my way. I am the mother of a gay son, and even if I wasn't - equality has always been an important issue in my life and I imagine everyday in many circumstances, really what would Jesus do? I think we know. Thank you for your post, well done. If you get a chance check out my book in the making at
www.everythingwaschanged.com

She said...

You are NOW OFFICIALLY my FAVORITE BLOGGER!


I love that you articulated this so eloquently.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

and AMEN!

Sam said...

Cheri!

My birthday cup runneth over. :) Thank you, dear. Smooch!

Tricia said...

Wonderfully written, smart post. I agree with you whole heartedly, and I wish I lived in CA just so I could vote on this.

JCK said...

Op-Ed piece. LA Times submission, please.

Beautifully written. Articulate and well thought out.

Thank you!

dkuroiwa said...

Cheri...your way with words is amazing.
What many Americans don't realize is that the Japanese, along with many other people, are very interested in the whole American election process.
One of my classes was talking about some of the issues (this one and the "when is a person a person" ammendment on the Colorado ballot in particular). The whole idea of State and Religion being two different entities altogether gets sort of hazy when something like this comes up.
May I please have permission from you to print this out and use in my class? I think that my students would benefit from what you had to say.

My mom mentioned a news article about a teacher taking students out of class for a "field trip" to the court house to watch that teacher get married...teaching the students about the whole same sex marriage process....I think that, like my mom, a lot of people would be okay with same-sex marriages but when something like that happens, it just sends the whole situation back four or five steps.
It's sad that one situation/person can affect a cause like that.

We'll be watching the results very carefully over here next week.

Rich said...

Haven't stopped by here in a while - and what do you do? This is a heavy topic, too heavy for me right now.

CYA

thematically fickle said...

As an atheist who is beyond frustrated with the extreme Christian agenda that has taken over this country during the course of---though not limited to---the past 8 years, I find this post reassuring and refreshing. You remind me that there are true and good Christians out there; it's just that your reasoned voices are being drowned out by the screaming masses.

This issue is about civil rights and equality (check this video if you need to understand it more clearly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H3kxDFgmu8).

There is no place for religion in this decision, be it Christian, Mormon or otherwise. However tenuous it may seem, we do still have a separation of church and state in this country. If gay couples wish to marry and raise families, they should have that right. No church or temple or synagogue or mosque will be required by law to officiate at these ceremonies.

This is not about religion! This is not about God or sex. This is about being able to publicly declare your love for someone. This is about survivor benefits. This is about health benefits. This is about hospital visitation rights. This is about families and love and compassion and equality and respect and freedom and peace.

Cheri, I think this is your best post ever. Hands down. The winner.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Exactly Aaryn (and others). It is NOT about religion, and I hope I made it clear that I believe that wholeheartedly. And next Tuesday in California, this more than an issue of whether one group ought to have the same civil rights as another -- this is whether the civil rights of an entire group will be taken away. Think of the implications for everyone if one well-funded group can get a proposition based upon its particular religious beliefs on the ballot that seeks to take away the civil rights of another group. It boggles the mind.

Randall said...

Very well put. I read through this post and nodded my head in agreement all the way through. I had an aunt who lived with her partner in Oakland for 35 years and when my aunt became ill, her partner was terribly limitted legally. She was not able to claim support or have medical rights. It was so sad. My aunts had a wonderful love that I admire and respect. When this or any other issue comes up with those who are militant in their interpretation in Christianity (not loving as Christ intended), I always bring up Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and bring each other up..." Great post!

Randall said...

BTW, I was rolling with laughter when you mentioned the I-phone lightsaber! [I have that application, my son loves it]. I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the disclaimers. You crack me up!

steph young(the other steph) said...

Amen sister!

Trannyhead said...

Good for you, Cheri! I wish I were in Cali so I could joyfully and gleefully vote "HELL no" for Proposition 8.

daysgoby said...

I'm with MJ - I live in Canada, and this 'gay marrying gay' business? Hasn't caused any ripples in the strength of our families or our society.

It was a complete turnaround from where I came from (Michigan) and it was NICE to be able to tell my brother (living in Florida with his partner) that he could be married, recognized, and celebrated here.

The 'this is against the scriptures' argument bothers me on several levels - one being that I was brought up (like you) to believe in a loving God, and also because it irks me that so many people rely on that biblical passage word-for-word and feel fine about skating or changing others.

Great post!

rockle said...

You are SO MANY KINDS OF AWESOME. (And I am not just saying that because you are one of BOSSY's people.)

Stacey said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm a lesbian mom of twins, who's been with my partner for 18 years. And I SWEAR we've never ruined a straight marriage. (At least not that we know of) ;-) I still can't figure out why my marital status would upset anyone. We just go about our daily business: school, work, soccer...same as everybody else.

I've been blogging about this for weeks now, donating money, had shirts made, wear them all the time, emailed friends, donated money again, had my yard signs stolen, then replaced them...I feel like I'm doing all I can, and yet I'm so afraid this hateful proposition will pass.

Thank you for your support. It seems really overwhelming to me right now. My partner was spit on for wearing her No on 8 shirt. Keep up the communication and thank you for attending a rally! Thank you Cheri for your support, your well articulated message, and for the support of your readers!
STacey

smiddler said...

Great post. I hope you sent it to some newspapers for publishing, because I think a lot of people need to read this before Tuesday.

Rima said...

This was very well articulated, Cheri.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Cheri, for explaining this issue in such clear terms and for pointing out the slippery slope that exists between religious extremists and terrorist groups. To add to the discussion, I created a short film on same-sex marriage which is geared toward people who may not know any gay couples personally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml6hUfBASMY

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Great! Great! Great! Post!!

I can't say it enough!! You took my thoughts right out of my head. Living in the belt I am so tired of hearing 'what the bible says' from people who apparently only read certain parts of it!!

Here, I find that the people who seem to be so against same sex marriages have been married numerous times, and think that as long as you go to church on Wednesday's and Sunday's you're a good Christian!

Drives me bananas!!
Why is it that the diehards take a couple of things and run with it?!?! I even know of some people here who have changed one of the ten commandments from 'thou shall not kill' to 'thou shall not murder'. You know, just in case one of their guns goes off and accidentally kills someone.

Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

Very nice. Found you through motherscribe.

Anonymous said...

Cheri,

I realize that I am very late to your post. But I can tell you from experience that God speaks to people differently. I am gay, and I was blessed to have four children with the help of a surrogate. When the Catholic Priest of my church agreed to, and perform a Baptism on my children with God-parents for each child in attendance, Rev Fred Phelps from the Westborough Baptist Church in Kansas City traveled to Lexington Kentucky to protest me and the church and priest and indicating that all of us were going to hell.

The Church sets the laws for the believers and the State sets the laws for the citizens of the State.

Marriage is a right that carries with it over 1,000 benefits that are not available in civil unions.

Thank you.