A rare piece from the New York Times, The Marriage Ideal, by Ross Douthat, was uncharacteristically reasonable and balanced on the subject of gay marriage. While I don’t agree with all of Douthat’s analysis, I appreciated his exposure of “postmodern polygamy” and his reasoned suggestion that “lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations—that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support.” Finally, he acknowledges, “I don’t think that a society that declares gay marriage a fundamental right will be capable of even entertaining this idea.”
This is an honest opinion that unfortunately will be labeled by some as hateful and homophobic. According to the radical agenda of the gay community, people are not free to have opinions that differ from full endorsement and even celebration of gay marriage. Do you see a problem with this?
On a more personal note, I have not enjoyed being a voice of opposition to gay marriage. I have only written and spoken in a reasonable and compassionate manner, and yet I’ve been wrongfully labeled as hateful and homophobic. I am neither. I am also not interested in winning arguments —although I realize that such dialogue must occur in a democratic process that seeks the moral vision for a nation.
My greater concern is based on the fact that I believe that marriage of the heterosexual, monogamous type is best for human flourishing —even if such marriages have fallen on hard times. I work tirelessly to promote good marriages through extensive premarital and marital counseling. I have also counseled those struggling with homosexual orientation.
I believe that humans were created for heterosexual not homosexual unions. Gratefully, I am free to hold this belief and to talk and write about it despite the hateful anger directed against me for having such beliefs. I also know that the statistical data clearly reveals the destructive nature of homosexual relationships. In a study from 2004, “the dissolution rate of homosexual couples was more than three times that of heterosexual married couples, and the dissolution rate of lesbian couples was more than four-fold that of heterosexual married couples” (JMF). According to the National Institute of Justice: “Same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants–39% of lesbian cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a cohabitating partner at some time in their lifetimes, compared to 21% of heterosexual women. Among men, the comparable figures are 23.1% and 7.4%” (July, 2000).
These facts are largely hidden from public view when gay marriage is debated. But those who live in the gay community know full well the painful truth of these statistics. And this goes to the heart of my pastoral concern about the gay marriage debate. Opposing gay marriage is not about hating people who desperately want to love. This is a manipulative diversion. It’s about helping people be free from lifestyles that are harmful. Sadly, it must be acknowledged that many in the homosexual lifestyle came from horrible heterosexual homes where hate not love was dominate. I grieve to see all of this but must choose to look beyond the masks that cover the pain. This is my duty as a human and even more so as a pastor.