Is there a better way to resolve the gay marriage debate?

Gay rights advocates have used civil rights language to defend their desire for same-sex marriage for the past several decades.

Slowly (by constant repetition of the argument) a growing percentage of society has bought into the comparison between the kind of sex people desire and unchangeable realities like race and gender.

Beyond the logical problems with this comparison, the strategy has actually turned gay rights into a divisive and polarizing debate that is threatening the very acceptance desired by homosexuals.

Why can’t we find a better way to resolve this matter without portraying those who disagree as hateful bigots who discriminate against a minority? I realize that the assumption that gay is equal with race and gender is essential to the radical homosexual agenda, but I think it’s bad for the nation to buy into this agenda.

A few words of clarification

First, I realize that sexual desire is one of the most powerful passions of human beings. We would cease to exist without sexual desire. Yet both heterosexual and homosexual desires have been behind some of the most horrific crimes against humanity. Because we are corrupt beings, our sexuality, like every other part of our existence, requires laws to restrain it, and to punish abuses of our passions.

There is not a person on the earth who can claim innocence with regard to sexuality. Jesus exposed this truth to hypocritical religious leaders when he said, “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Secondly, Whether one claims heterosexual or homosexual orientation, the desires and actions associated with orientation must be treated as willful choices capable of restraint. Otherwise one cannot speak of sexual actions (like adultery, rape or incest) as culpable moral behaviors.

While we cannot tell a person of race to restrain or stop being Asian or African-American, we must require people of both heterosexual and homosexual orientation to restrain and control their sexual behavior — under threat of punishment for wrongful expressions of it. If a society makes laws regarding sexual actions, sexuality (whatever orientation one claims) must be treated as chosen behavior.

Finally, I firmly reject unlawful and evil treatment of those who identify themselves as oriented toward homosexuality. We have sadly witnessed far too much cruelty toward people based on differences. This is where there are some legitimate comparisons between the way homosexuals and people of certain races have been wrongly treated.

But why can’t these matters be addressed without making an area of behavior comparable with one’s unchangeable nature?

Overreaching on gay rights

When gay rights advocates attached their cause to civil rights language, they went too far with the comparisons and invited disagreement from those who simply observed the illogical inconsistencies. But when advocates went to the level of coercion and manipulation by demonizing anyone who disagrees, they’ve engaged in the very intolerance that has been wrongly aimed at them.

Supreme court confusion

Despite their gifted intellects, it appears that five Supreme Court justices carelessly accept the emotionally charged and counter productive false comparisons. The court stopped short of making gay marriage a constitutional right and chose to leave in place state laws banning same-sex marriage, the recent 5-4 decision used inflammatory civil rights language to pave the way to a constitutional civil right for gay marriage.

Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy slandered those who disagree by implying that they “disparage and injure” the “personhood and dignity” of gays and stand in “violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

On this way of reasoning, evidently one is not capable of treating homosexual couples with respect if he chooses to view marriage as an institution divinely intended for heterosexual unions.

Do we really want a society where people are not free to believe this way about marriage without facing accusations of being hateful, discriminating bigots?

Will coercion on gay marriage support tolerance and respect for those who choose a homosexual relationship?

Can we find a more rational and less divisive way to secure legally shared benefits and experiences for homosexual couples?

Stop and think about the unnecessary and polarizing ways radical homosexual activists are using to force society to conform to their lifestyles. Consider how it produces some of the very behaviors once opposed by gays and actually creates new victims of discrimination.

In his dissent, Justice Scalia wrote, “By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,”

Presidential deception

It appears that President Obama also bought into the false and inflammatory comparison. He called DOMA “discrimination enshrined in law.” Of the court’s decision, Obama said, “when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.” Implication? Anyone who sees things differently on gay marriage is guilty of discrimination. This is a manipulative and divisive way to frame a needed conversation.

Conclusion

Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the civil rights language and look for ways for the state to offer more equitable treatment? Is it possible to find a way to address core concerns without polarizing the public and denigrating those who have different views. Does it really help to characterize those who do not support gay marriage on religious or moral grounds as people of hatred, bigotry and irrational phobias?

Although I do not believe in gay marriage, I am neither hateful nor fearful of those who choose a gay lifestyle. In opposing a change to marriage to include homosexual unions, I have no intention or motivation to portray homosexuals as evil people or to support wrongful treatment of them. In my worldview, we are all sinners in desperate need of the grace of God. We are clearly going in the wrong direction with this debate by seeking freedoms for one group by denying freedoms for another.

The path currently sought by radical homosexual activists is to force all of society to see things their way or face severe legal consequences. They are already attacking the religious and moral freedoms of Americans with this agenda and we are only seeing the beginning. Anyone who tells you that this approach will never threaten religious liberty is lying to you. If this becomes a matter of civil rights with the full force of federal law behind it, churches throughout this nation will be attacked with the strong-arm of law if they fail to offer full endorsement of gay marriage.

The Supreme Court carelessly and recklessly sent an implied mandate to lawmakers to conform to gay marriage or be numbered among the hateful bigots. I hope that lawmakers will not cave to the manipulation and false comparisons, but will expose the agenda as a means to silence and coerce Americans against their moral and religious convictions.

I think we can find a better way to have this discussion so that States can offer equitable treatment without sharply dividing people against one another and threatening the freedoms of fellow citizens.

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in Bill O'Reilly, Brit Hume, Courts, Culture, Democracy, Democrats, Equal Rights, Equality, Ethics, First Amendment, Freedom, Gay, Gay Marriage?, Homosexual lifestyle, Homosexuality, Law, Marriage, Morality, Obama, Partisanship, Political Correctness, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Religion, Republican, Same-sex, Sexual orientation, Sexual Preference, Supreme Court, Tea Party, Tolerance, Washington Post, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Is there a better way to resolve the gay marriage debate?

  1. I had not thought about this ‘not’ being a civil-rights issue in the way that you portrayed it above. Thank you for writing about this topic without being hateful in any way.

  2. Being gay is an innate orientation, not a chosen lifestyle. Being Christian is a chosen lifestyle. I’m gay and you’re not, so I know and you don’t. Simple.

    • Your argument is irrelevant when it comes to sexual conduct.

      • hankering says:

        I’m confused about the relevance of orientation vs. conduct in this type of discussion. I don’t have a problem with the idea that society has to have laws regarding rape, for example, and that barring something like damage to decision-making portions of the brain, the role of choices is significant. But how is this even relevant in a gay marriage discussion? The vast majority of gay and straight people would agree that we need laws regarding sexual conduct. Is the suggestion that because you can choose whether or not to rape, you can then choose to be gay or straight?

      • I guess it depends on how far one wants to press sexual orientations as belonging to civil rights. What other “orientations” could be claimed? We must ask this question.

        I can neither rationally (nor pastorally) accept the idea that homosexuality is an unalterable condition of birth along the lines of race or gender. Not only is this argument without scientific evidence, it contradicts the testimony of many who have left the homosexual lifestyle.

        A better case can be made to treat sexuality of any kind in a context of choice. When resolving ethical and legal questions about expressions of sexuality, individual choice must be a primary consideration. A society that condemns some forms of sexual conduct as illegal must treat sexuality in general in a context of human choosing — not as a predetermined condition. Heterosexual orientation does not make all heterosexual conduct acceptable.

        Even if one is physiologically inclined toward certain behaviors, such impulses do not always justify all the behaviors associated with it. The same is true of painful circumstances that lead to moral choices. One might rightly feel compassion toward an adulterous woman who complained that her adultery (wrongful heterosexual behavior) was because of her distant and uncaring husband. Compassion for her difficult marriage doesn’t demand validation of her adultery.

        What should be said to those who (on principle) left a homosexual lifestyle? If these individuals have chosen to see their former way of life as wrong and immoral (as many have), how should they articulate their choice? Should society respect their decision? Are they free to oppose homosexual behavior? If being gay is an unalterable condition of birth equal with race or gender, opposition will not be permitted.

        Further, many citizens do not believe that anti-discrimination laws should be used to assign special status to homosexual conduct. The push on the part of activists to widen laws and ordinances to include their sexual orientation is perceived as an effort to force a lifestyle of a few on everyone.

        Consenting adults are free to live in homosexual relationships in this nation. Although I oppose homosexual relationships, it’s not my place to force that opinion on those who choose them. I have no interest in imposing a Christian worldview on the state. In a pluralistic nation, differences must be respected within lawful boundaries. As a citizen, however, I am committed to pursuing what is best for society as a whole, and engaging in robust discourse about it. Efforts to place gay lifestyles as a category of civil rights are aimed at banning disagreement and silencing debate.

  3. scagatha says:

    It’s so weird how you people are so obsessed with sex. Is that all you ever think about? Creepy. I will spell out in layman’s terms how gay marriage is a civil rights issue. It is quite simple. Two consenting adults want to enter a civil contract to be legally bound to one another. If a man and a woman apply, their request is granted. If a woman and a woman apply, their request is denied. That’s gender discrimination. Religious ceremonies have no legal powers and therefore churches are not legally obligated to perform their marriage rituals to anyone who wants one. They can deny anyone they want, see Catholics denying those who have never been confirmed or have been divorced. See, it has nothing to do with you! Don’t you feel better knowing that? Now you can devote your time preaching the love of Jesus Christ instead of trying to deny legal rights to people who you’ll never meet and have no effect on your life whatsoever!

    I think the most bothersome aspect of the actions of those against gay marriage is that one group of people is seeking to deny a separate group of people a legal right. If you’re straight and against gay marriage, and vote to deny same sex couples the right to marry, you are basically making a vote on something that could seriously affect other people, but could never affect you one way or the other. That’s messed up and stinks of bigotry to me

  4. Pingback: Rob Bell and Oprah Winfrey on Homosexuality « WisdomForLife

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