Yesterday, a federal judge in Indiana struck down our state’s same-sex marriage ban. This is a good thing. Here are just some of the reasons why I think this is a positive step for our state and the nation as a whole.
- Marriage is an expression of commitment between two people to love each other and share their lives together.
- We should support marriage between loving couples capable of consent.
- Our society is strengthened by healthy marriages.
- Members of the LGBT community have every right to marry the person of their choosing.
- Children benefit by being part of stable, loving families.
- God loves and cares for all people fully, without qualification.
- God would prefer to see more love in the world rather than less.
- My gay friends who have been partnered for 48 years have a relationship that is more deserving of being called marriage than the relationship between Britney Spears and Jason Alexander, whose ‘marriage’ lasted 55 hours (for example).
- Denying basic rights to anyone based on immutable characteristics is wrong.
- If you were to sum up the ministry of Jesus in one word, I think it would be ‘love’.
These statements form the core of my beliefs about gay marriage and why I support it. I do not believe that gay people are disordered in any way. I believe that many of them struggle with acceptance of themselves and their sexual orientation, but that is because of society’s historic approach to them, not due to a fault in themselves.
What about the children?
I once had a conversation with a former teacher who obviously found it impossible to accept gay relationships. He told me a story about a student whose father left his family and entered into a gay relationship. The child was tormented relentlessly and bullied by others. He then asked how could I support a father doing that to his family?
The response I wish I had given is that I don’t know anything about that man’s life. Maybe he hated himself for living a lie; maybe he had tried to live a ‘normal’ life until it broke him. Regardless, that man is not responsible for the bullying and ridicule heaped upon his child. The people bullying that child are the ones responsible for their behavior. What if those around him had responded with love, helping him to see his father as a person with his own tough choices and struggles? Each person is responsible for his/her own actions. No one makes you ridicule or despise another person. That is your choice. It’s also your choice to choose love.
The reason we are seeing this overwhelming support of same-sex marriage is because more people are choosing love. Our LGBT neighbors are no longer hidden to us; no longer can we pretend that gay people are not in our lives or affected by our actions.
In my opinion, gay people are also choosing love. They are choosing this path by loving themselves and accepting themselves as people worthy of respect. [Note: I’m not trying to imply this is something new.] This has not always been encouraged or rewarded by our larger society. It is now.
I know that many disagree with these opinions. They feel strongly that God has spoken unequivocally in condemning gay relationships. They have the right to believe that and no one can force them to change their mind. However, while some may hold these personal beliefs, we can no longer legitimately sanction these beliefs as a society.
Our society benefits from stable, loving relationships. Indiana just helped our country benefit a little bit more.