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02/27/2004: "marriage?"

I've been pondering the same-sex marriage debate for a long time. Despite this, and my usual capacity for opinion and reason, I have yet to really decide either way. I've waffled back and forth, in tune with whatever prevailing wind has blown me (popular opinion, religion, and so forth) but haven't settled one way or the other. Now my bum hurts from sitting on the fence.

The big issue seems to be that Religion wants to keep the traditional definition of marriage; between a man and a woman. The obvious solution is to allow gays to have civil unions, but that hasn't been accepted at all. So, what's to happen?

The one idea I've had was to take a step backwards, of sorts. Effectively, what I'd see done is that weddings that happen in a church, blessed by said church/religion, are Marriage. So what is everything else? Civil union. Regardless of the sex of the two people getting married, if it's a religious ceremony it's a marriage, if it's done in a drive-through in Las Vegas or by a Justice of the Peace at Town Hall, it's a civil union. That should be acceptable, right? It allows everyone to proclaim their love for each other, but distinguishes between a religious ceremony and a legal one.

Sadly, it breaks down fairly quickly. All one has to do is go church shopping, and you'll find a church that will allow any two people to get married. Heck, just look at the Anglican church - even within its own boundaries it can't agree whether gays should be ordained, let alone whether or not to marry them. So suddenly you have civil unions for secular people, and a whole smattering of differing religious marriages. "Are you married?" would quickly be followed up with, "By what church?" Marriage would cease to have one definition, but a definition based on whichever church married you. So my wife and I would have a United marriage. My stepbrother is in a Catholic marriage. Then there'd be Anglican, Jewish, Orthodox, Mormon... plus civil unions for those that don't care a lick about religion. So it really accomplishes nothing but further division.

Why is this a big deal to me? My church's denomination has come out opposed to gays being allowed to marry. Call me wacky, but I'm trying to abide by the church's teachings. This one, however, just has be plain stumped. I just can't reconcile it... yet. Perhaps I'll eventually come down on one side or the other, but right now... well, I'm leaning towards allowing gay marriage.

Sigh. Being religious is so much easier if you only do it on Sundays.

Replies: 6 Comments

on Friday, February 27th, Hat Daddy said

Maybe what you should do is ask your denomination the hard questions you have here. Enlist their aid in helping you abide by the church's teachings. They will, I know, be happy to help.

on Friday, February 27th, mr.ska said

Even if I ask their help (which I probably will), who's to say they're right, and the United Church down the road is wrong? Why should I agree with certain stances that other churches disagree with, and not others?

The problem comes down to "Which is the One True God?" kind of question. Who's really right? Someone might be... but who? If there are so many differing opinions, all likely backed up by equally valid, biblical arguments, perhaps the answer simply is, "It doesn't matter in the Grand Scheme of Things."

Perhaps that's it. We've taken care of so much of Maslow's Heirarchy that we're now bickering about really, really petty stuff, cosmically speaking. Best go fire off a question to the church staff.

on Monday, March 1st, Mark said

Greetings. This is my first and possibly only attempt at this type of correspondence. However, I like what I see. The thing I would suggest is that this is obviously an ethics question, and if one attempts to go to church, to follow Christ, and so forth, then one ought to allow the Scriptures to speak to the issue. Yes, there are many interpretations for one issue, as per the Anglican debate on the west coast, but one must dig deep to find out what one really believes is true.

on Monday, March 1st, mr.ska said

My one fear of this entire situation is finding that the Scriptures definitively say that gay marriage is wrong. Then it's not an issue of ethics, but of compassion. Gays are humans too... how on earth do I tell a gay person, "I think that you're OK personally, but God tells me that your lifestyle choice is morally corrupt and I should not support your desire to get married." How on earth am I supposed to do that??

on Tuesday, March 2nd, mr.ska said

Found an interesting article, and it gets marks for making, thus far, the best logical argument against gay marraige. Read it for yourself:

I'm putting it here for others to read, and as a bookmark for myself.

on Wednesday, March 3rd, Adam Scriven said

Hey mr.ska, looking good!

Gay marriage, to me, is an equality issue. I'm a straight, happily married man who finds it intollerable that other straight people feel that allowing gays to marry will somehow affect them...

What other people do in their marriage has nothing to do with MY marriage, and that includes the gender and sexual preference of other couples.

We should stop trying to micromanage every aspect of other peoples' lives, and start to focus more on our own. Let homosexual couples marry, really, WHO CARES. Aren't there more important things to worry about?

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