Friday, January 15, 2016

So you don't like gay marriage?

So you don't like gay marriage.You have religious objections. You think marriage should only be between a man and a woman. You're not alone. The Anglicans recently got mad at the Episcopalians over this.

My question to you is this: If not gay marriage, then what?

Please consider this question. Please go deeply into it. Consider the ramifications. Consider what it is you say you want. If it's important enough to you to disown a family member who might be gay, or to vote for legislation to take away rights from millions of people, then please spend a few minutes considering what it is you are asking for - what it means, how it will affect real lives, the impact it will have on the society you live in.

If gay people are not to get married, then what are they to do?

Older gays and lesbians can tell you exactly what they will do because we've already done it.

Most will escape to the "gay ghetto," which revolves around gay bars, drugs, alcohol, casual sex, bath houses, addictions, pornography, prostitution. They will run off to larger cities where these gay ghettos exist. They will abandon your churches and communities. They will become distant, withdrawn, isolated.

On the other hand, gay marriage provides an alternative. It allows a young man or a young woman to find a partner of their own choosing, with whom they can be happy. They can be open about their commitment to their partner. They can make their wedding promises in full view of family, friends, the community (who will then help them to keep those promises). They can buy a house, settle down, live normal lives.

If my child was gay, I know which option I would prefer. Religion doesn't enter it. Whether I agreed with his choice or not, I would want him close at hand. I would want to meet his partner. I would want to be involved in their lives. I would want them to feel welcomed in my church. I would want society to give them the same chances and opportunities that all couples enjoy.

I would not want my child running off to the big city, slinking around in the shadows in the dead of night, wasting his life on drugs and alcohol. I would not want him marginalized. I would not want him to have relationship troubles and not feel he could ask me for advice.

Opponents of gay marriage need to consider the realities on the ground and the effect their religious beliefs have on others. If gay marriage is not an option, they need to provide an alternative because, like it or not, gay people are going to get together and have relationships.

The tide is turning. Even the First Baptist Church in Memphis has gotten on board. Gay marriage has become the law of the land, religious objections notwithstanding, precisely because it allow gays and lesbians to come out of the shadows and live more normal, fuller lives. In the grand scheme of things, this can only lead to stronger families and communities. 

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