My view was, and is, that should anyone who wished to do so should enter a civil union, which would afford them the rights and benefits of marriage, even if that person wished to enter into such an union with a partner of the same sex. I also felt, and feel, that no church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious institution should be required to recognize such an union as a marriage, if they choose not to do so.
As a Catholic (though a poor one, so far) who is legally divorced, I recognize that my right to remarry in the view of the State is limited only essentially by my ability to find a suitable partner — which is a challenge enough, believe me.
However, to have another marriage recognized by the Church would be much more cumbersome. As I understand it, it would require a Decree of Nullity from a marriage tribunal to free myself from my first marriage, and depending upon how they analyze the circumstances of my divorce, such a Decree might not be forthcoming. The Church makes itself very clear that it does not have the power to separate any persons who were united by God.
Similarly, if I was a homosexual, or wished to be a polygamist, I would not expect Father Anthony to perform my wedding ceremony, as gay and polygamist marriages are against the Church’s teachings. Yet here in NJ I could currently get married in the eyes of the law to a same-sex partner; or eventually, no doubt, to multiple partners.
This is a distinction that made sense to me as a young man, and I find it interesting to recall that my associates at the time, all of whom were liberals, disagreed. Marriage was for straights, they argued, and civil unions were for gays. Separate, but equal.
“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage,” said Senator Obama in 2008. “I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or considered,” said President Clinton in 1993. “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman” said Senator Hillary Clinton in 2000. These are the three most prominent figures of the Democrat Party, a party that attracts about 75% of the gay vote.
Now, of course, most of the very same liberals who so doggedly support Obama and the Clintons would call anyone who holds their previously stated views on gay marriage ‘homophobic’, and deserving of bullying, ostracism, and vile conduct. Let us not forget the boycott against Chick-Fil-A after their COO said “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit” — a statement hardly different that what Obama or the Clintons once said. In fact, as I write this, there is a pizza shop in Indiana that is being boycotted and threatened with arson, because an owner said that “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding (?), we would have to say no.”
This calls to mind three quotations. One is Leviticus 20:13, which makes clear that although the Bible states that we should not become judges with evil thoughts, nonetheless “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” The second comes from the first amendment of the US Constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I would think that these two quotes, taken in combination, would protect the rights of the Church or of people of faith against legal repercussions for not recognizing the legitimacy of same-sex marriage.
But perhaps the key quote comes from bluesman and theologian Blind Willie Johnson, who sang “Yes God, God don’t never change. He’s God. Always will be God.”
Progressives place their faith in Big Government, and argue that from Big Government we should derive our values. Yet how can we anchor ourselves to the values of Big Government when those values ebb and flow like a wave on a windy day?
As the quotes from Obama and the Clintons above indicate, often the values expressed by the men and women who lead Big Government today are very different from the values they expressed ten years ago, and God only knows what values these men and women will hold ten years from today.
But as Mr. Johnson points out, God is both eternal and immutable. So is then His Word. It is not subject to change from political opinion polls, peer pressure, threats of violence; or because of the demands of the State. His Word is a firm foundation on which we can stand.