I’ve been married for 24 years to a woman. Wow. Congratulations to me. It’s pretty surprising to think that someone married me. More surprising is that I don’t recall anyone asking me about my views of marriage until recently. Oddly, though, it’s never about my marriage or how I could convince someone to marry me or stay married to me for so long. No, people want to know what I think about gay people marrying. I’m not gay, so I’m not really an expert on that. So be it.
Several folks have asked me about my views of gay marriage. Now, I’m a fairly conservative sort, and I expect that my response is supposed to be some form of outrage. Instead, I say: “I don’t care. People can marry whomever they want. It doesn’t affect me.” Then, I’m likely to be lectured on the Bible, societal collapse and sundry other topics of limited interest to me. The gist of the response is “HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT??”
Here’s how: It’s not that big a deal to me personally, but it is to the folks who would like their relationships legally recognized. When I say I’ve been married 24 years, no one really cares all that much. Oh, they’ll congratulate me and say “that’s great” or some other lukewarm response. But, the truth is it’s really only important to me–and my wife (I hope).
If your hands are now poised over the keyboard to explain the Bible to me, stop. I’ve read the Bible, and I know that it doesn’t speak highly of homosexual relationships. Speaks poorly of tattoos, too. And women. It also says that I should stone my kids to death if they are disrespectful. Maybe I’ll do that one day. In the meantime, I’m not one who thinks we should build our laws around the Bible. Just like the more radical Muslim countries adopt Sharia law, some would have us do the same. Not me. By the way, traditional Islam condemns homosexuality, too, so there may be some common ground there with our Muslim brothers.
If you want to belong to a church that won’t ordain a gay marriage, go ahead. Again, I don’t care. That’s your business. Now, if YOU are gay and want to get married in a church, I’d suggest changing churches, but again that’s not my business. Just don’t expect an entire denomination to change its ways to suit you.
That’s church, not the government. Those are two separate entities, as they are constitutionally required to be. Our government, which is supposed to provide equal protection under the law, isn’t a church. The government can–and should in some instances–recognize rights where a church may not. Some churches don’t approve of dancing. Yes, that’s right–dancing. That doesn’t mean we outlaw dancing. Same goes for drinking and gambling. Serious vices when taken to extremes, to be sure, but down right Hell fire sinful even in moderation to some folks. Hey, don’t do it if it’s sinful to you. If you think a man marrying a man is sinful, then don’t marry a man, unless of course you’re a woman.
What about the collapse of society? Here’s a secret I’ll share with you: There have always been homosexuals. Always. Society has not yet been crushed under the weight of this fact. I grew up in just about as conservative an area as one could. We had gay people. We knew who they were. Some were prominent people in our county. It didn’t seem to affect anyone.
What about destroying marriage and the family? PUH-LEASE! I know a guy who’s been married three times who told me that gay marriage would destroy marriage. Maybe a dude married and divorced that many times is destroying it. He sure helped destroy three marriages. I’m not sure how this is supposed to happen. Will hoards of gay couples come to our house and convince us that we shouldn’t be married? In my case, I figure if two DUDES can be married surely my beautiful wife and I can handle it. Maybe we’re supposed to be tempted to marry someone of the same sex if it’s legal. I pretty comfortable that I won’t do that.
But, what of the Gay Agenda, you say? I used to know a guy who often spoke of the Gay Agenda. He never really explained it to me, but from what I could gather it was some type of conspiracy to turn us all gay. I think I can resist, especially since I’ve known a lot of gay people who people tried to make straight. That didn’t work either. Plus, I’ve always been attracted to women. That’s not because someone made a persuasive argument to me about it or because I weighed the pros and cons of it. It’s just kinda the way it is.
There are some things the law will allow that churches frown upon and vice versa. In some states, you can marry your first cousin. Some churches allow polygamy. (Polygamy, of course, is a sign of madness since it’s always the men taking more than one wife, but that’s for another post).
One thing that seems to be lost on everyone is that just because the President or Vice-President or former Vice-President say they think gay marriage is okay doesn’t make it legal. As matters now stand, each state can make its own laws and many have banned it. Perhaps they’ll ban divorce one day, too. Some churches do.
If you are genuinely tormented by the prospect of gay people marrying each other, relax. It’s likely that half of them will get divorced if they’re anything like their hetero counterparts. Hell, they may be no better at it than we are. If you really don’t like gay folks, think about this: Half of them will end up divorced, fighting in court over alimony and child support. That’ll teach them.
I’m not suggesting that you turn gay or that you attend a gay wedding. I’m not even suggesting that you like gay people. Personally, the vast majority of crap I’ve taken in my life has been from straight people. Gay people can’t be any worse. The gay people I know are like the rest of us. Some are alright. Some aren’t.
We’re Americans. We’re free to disapprove of everyone. You’re entitled to think what you think and believe what you believe. Just think about giving everyone else a break.