I have been a Christian all my adult life. I came to faith by the love and encouragement of my grandfather, a Baptist minister and seminary professor, and grandmother, a woman who loved the Bible so much that she taught conferences on “Hiding God’s Word in your Heart” and memorized chapters of scripture. Since then, I have faithfully attended and participated in church, and not just Sunday morning, but weekly Wednesday night groups, early morning and late night prayer meetings, worship nights, bible studies. I have served meals to the needy, laid hands on and prayed for the sick, shared the gospel with teenagers, friends, strangers. I have read through the Bible several times and spent countless hours in study, devotion and prayer.
And I am for gay marriage. On the Day of Judgment, perhaps I will learn I am wrong, and for that and my countless other mistakes and sins, I will cling to the cross of Christ as my only hope. But in the wake of witnessing on Facebook so many of my friends and loved ones stand up for the intolerance recently promoted by Chick-fil-a, I cannot remain silent.
The movement to legalize gay marriage is the civil rights movement of our time. My grandchildren will learn about this time in their history classes and be shocked and appalled by those who stood in the way of such a basic, fundamental human right being arbitrarily denied to a segment of the population, as I was shocked and appalled to learn of the Jim Crow laws and “separate but equal.” In America, homosexuals can hold jobs, vote, even serve our nation in the military, but not get married. This is a sickening injustice.
Giving same-sex couples the right to get married does not diminish marriage’s sanctity in the least. It is instead an undeniable tribute to the power of marriage. As two consenting adults who love each other, same-sex couples are asking for the right to prove and celebrate their love for each other, and there is no other greater statement of that commitment than marriage. There are things that are legal now that do greatly diminish the sanctity of marriage, namely, divorce and living together before or instead of getting married. These do diminish the sanctity of marriage. But there is no Facebook campaign to ban either one of those things. That would be absurd. Therein lies the true absurdity of the “Sanctity of Marriage” movement. It is not about protecting marriage. It is about intolerance of a lifestyle that Christians find aberrant.
Gay marriage was legalized in California, and then made illegal by Proposition 8, which was later struck down by California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is from their decision: “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.” If you can deny the truth of that and still claim that there is any justice in denying same-sex couples the right to marry, I am ashamed of you. Your grandchildren will be ashamed of you.
I have nothing to gain by writing this. I am already married and have no openly gay friends or relatives, and I regret to offend those that I respect and love. But I cannot remain silent. This is not an issue of political left or right, or anyone’s religious belief, but an issue of right and wrong. Of the equal protection under the law provided by our constitution. Our nation was founded by those seeking freedom and equality. I am for gay marriage because I love America and the justice, freedom and equality for which she stands.