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Obama's gay marriage support riles religious conservatives, but political effects not yet clear
President Barack Obama addressing a gay rights group in 2011.
May 9th, 2012
04:55 PM ET

Obama's gay marriage support riles religious conservatives, but political effects not yet clear

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage on Wednesday outraged conservative Christian leaders, who vowed to use it as an organizing tool in the 2012 elections, but the move is also activating the liberal base, raising big questions about who gains and loses politically.

“It cuts both ways - it activates both Democratic and Republican base voters,” said John Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron. “The most likely effect is that it makes an already close election even closer.”

In an interview with ABC News, Obama said, "At a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

The announcement puts Obama at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who opposes same-sex marriage and who voiced that opposition in an interview on Wednesday.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

"Considering that 10 of the 16 battleground states have marriage amendments that could be overturned by the president's new policy position on marriage, today's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election,” said Tony Perkins, president of the the conservative Family Research Council.

“The president has provided a clear contrast between him and his challenger, Mitt Romney," Perkins continued. "Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, may have been handed the key to social conservative support by President Obama."

Obama stressed in the interview that his support was personal and that he would leave the issue of marriage to the states. But many conservatives chafed at the idea that the president's personal views would not affect public policy.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement saying the president's comments were "deeply saddening." Dolan's statement continued, "I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

Bishop Harry Jackson, the senior pastor of Hope Christian Church outside of Washington, DC, said that "I think the president has been in this place for awhile and that he chose this time because he thought that it might shift the balance of power." Jackson has long campaigned against same-sex marriage.

Ralph Reed, a top organizer among religious conservatives, said Obama’s announcement was a “gift to the Romney campaign.”

Romney, a Mormon who has evolved to a more conservative position on hot button social issues, has struggled with his party's largely evangelical conservative base in the primaries. But Reed said Obama’s gay marriage support would help Romney in many battleground states.

“The Obama campaign doesn’t have to worry about New York and California,” Reed said. “They have to worry about Ohio, Florida and Virginia and I don’t’ see evidence that it’s a winning issue in those states.”

Green said that public opinion about gay marriage has been shifting dramatically in recent years, with some polls showing more support than opposition. Green said that in many battlegrounds, including Ohio, it's impossible to nail down current public opinion on same-sex marriage. A Gallup Poll conducted this month found that 50% of American adults support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, while 48% oppose it.

Reed noted that same-sex marriage bans have passed in virtually every state they have appeared on the ballot, including in North Carolina on Tuesday. That’s a typically red state that Obama won in 2008 and that is the site of the Democrat's 2012 convention.

Many liberal groups were ecstatic over Obama’s support for gay marriage. “Congratulations, Mr. President, for making history today by becoming the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

In his interview with ABC, Obama talked about squaring his decision with his personal religious faith.

“We are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others,” Obama said, referencing his wife, Michelle.

“But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule,” he said. “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

One key Obama constituency that may be angered by his Wednesday announcement is African-Americans, who tend to be more religious than whites. Though they hew heavily Democratic, African-Americans are generally conservative on social issues like gay marriage.

- CNN's Eric Marrapodi, Shannon Travis, and Mary Snow contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Gay marriage

soundoff (2,108 Responses)
  1. office professional 2010

    I've learn a few just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you put to create this kind of excellent informative web site.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  2. AverageJoe76

    In this political climate, I see that as either a 1) very brave thing, 2) a smart political move, or 3) the end of it all. Can't wait to see what impacts this has downstream.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  3. spockmonster

    I was raised christian, and i know for a fact that christians are hypocritical haters, and that christianity is a front for evil, hate-filled violent war-mongers. LET FREEDOM RING.!!! The meaning of "conservative" is restrain freedom, to be conservative about allowing Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Conservatives seek to reduce America to "land of the free" in name only. Out Founding Fathers stood against religion as a tyranny, and warned future generations – us – that we would need to defend America from those who seek to destroy it, as the G.O.P. and it's christian base is trying to do.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Nick Swardson

      I hate haters.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Cq

      Yes, there is a definite conflict between being a conservative Christian and being a freedom-loving American.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  4. 4 More Years!!!

    Obama will benefit greatly. There are very few conservatives in the electorate that would go from a possible Obama vote to a no vote based on this issue. Conservatives and right leaning independents have already decided to vote against him before the gay marriage issue. On the other hand, there are many more liberals and left leaning Independents that will be swayed to a yes vote for 4 More Years!!! This is a very good thing for Obama!!!

    May 10, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Thats right. The haters will always hate, but this one act will bring him many more votes.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  5. Scott Wallace

    Sounds like the religious wrong need to re-read their bibles. Anyone who discriminates against any group is wrong. Remember the bible toters in the 60s and 70s that had white sheets and cone shaped hats in their closets.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Cq

      Yup, Jesus didn't say a thing against gays, but spoke out against divorce several times. As with many things, the religious right ignore what Jesus said and turn to the Old Testament, which outlaws being gay, but permits divorce. Cherry picking, pure and simple.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  6. Weels

    Stop!!! been confused by religion but embrace truth spirituality and let the Golden Rule lead you aright! “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” Spread The Word and Save humanity. Visit : truthmovement.blog.com

    May 10, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Cq

      So, everyone who wants their children to grow up with the same right that everyone else has to marry the person they love ought to be supporting the president's stand, right?

      May 10, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  7. Another Cnn Debate, Just what we needed to get the morning juices going.

    Okay I am a President Obama supporter, but I have to call the kettle black on this one. He is just saying this to get some votes, it is pretty obvious. He has already stated his beliefs earlier and he made them very clear. So now he needs some more votes to defeat Romney in November. Pretty sad for him to change positions just to get a vote , but at the same time Pretty damn smart move I would say.

    So now some MORE gay or lesbians folks may vote for him, thinking he may do something to make their lives better. But if President Obama gets re-elected i am 99.9% sure he couldn't get anything passed through Congress NOW to help the LBGT community. I could be wrong, but the Republicans have been fighting him tooth and nail on everything else, So why would they lay down on this HOT BUTTON issue. Just food for thought. In reality nothing is going to change.

    Saying you support something and doing something about it is two totally different things. President Obama is not perfect, nor did I expect him to be. At the end of the day, he is just a Man with flaws like anybody else. I would have a little more respect for him if he would just be more honest about his position.

    I am still going to vote for Obama in November because I dont have any other choices. Only 2 choices suck !!!!!!! So I will be voting for President Obama the "Flip Flopper" instead of Romney the "Flip Flopper" LOL !!!!!!!!!

    May 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • OOO

      I'm sure you already knew this, but EVERYTHING is political.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • svann

      He was asked the question and he answered it.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Notice that yes he was asked a question and he answered but monthes ago when the GOP primaries were a trainwreck he was against Gay marriage. A week after Romney comes out the last man standing and is tied in a few polls he chooses now to change his view on Gay marriage.

      Will the Gay and Lesbian community accept this change of heart from the president?

      May 10, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • 4 More Years!!!

      There is nothing wrong with Obama defining an even more clear difference between him and Mittens!!!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Cq

      And the GOP candidates who speak out against gay marriage are out for votes too. They're out for votes with their stands on the Keystone pipeline, health care, the economy, and every other issue. They're politicians, what else would you expect?

      May 10, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  8. SAS6907

    For all believers and non-believers in GOD: remember this was written 2000 years ago... 2 Timothy 3 (NASB)
    “Difficult Times Will Come”
    But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

    10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is [h]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [i]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Cq

      There have been "difficult times" ever since Jesus died, as there were difficult time all the time up until his death.

      But, looking at your scripture quote, aren't a lot of the folks who oppose gay marriage showing their "unloving" side? Considering how many kids end up killing themselves because of bullying aren't the inflammatory words of preachers and Christian celebrities "reckless", and their stand "arrogant"?

      May 10, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Primewonk

      Cool. Apparently we've reached that point in the show when fundiots post meaninless random verses from their bible. In the interest of fairness, here are some random verses from the Primewonk bible. I happen to think mine make more sense than yours –

      ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Post May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. God Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

      PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Post, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Believer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

      Einstein 16:24 Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

      Gould 1:15-16 Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

      Bohr 2:11 Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.

      Szilard 88:16 I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

      Sagan 22:1 For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

      Feynman 110:55 …it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are - if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

      Hawking 41:61 A machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System-and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.

      Hippocrates 14:5 Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.

      Galileo 12:16 It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved

      Carlyle 2:2 It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

      Fermi 1:1 The weak nuclear force does not change over time.

      Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

      C. P. Snow 5:3 Innocence about Science is the worst crime today.

      Paul Valéry 3:6 One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall.

      A.C. Doyle 14:8 It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

      Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Atheism is illogical

      "Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?"

      YES! That's atheism EXACTLY all about. They don't understand the fullness of God and His Gospel, hence, their unbelief.

      d

      May 12, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  9. palintwit

    Repeated studies have shown that the highest incidence of incest and child molestation occur in those families living in the bible belt.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Ted in California

      Do you think that is because the Bible thumpers believe God's law doesn't apply to them?

      May 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • mandarax

      They also show that crime rates, teen pregnancy rates, hate crimes, and poverty are the highest there. And yet they're convinced they have the formula that the rest of the world should live by!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Trill

      BS
      There is no way that your statistics are fact. You are telling me there is more crime in the south than in all the big cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Seatlle, LA, and Holywood combined? You obviously lie and not very well. All you Obama lovers are just making the destruction of this country come faster, I cannot believe the level of stupdity you display in voting for him. How much worse do you want our economy? How much higher do you want unemployment, taxes, gasoline, food on and on and on. He wants to give Russia our missle defense secrets, a sentinel drone was lost intact to Iran on his watch! I have been reading the comments on this blog for several days now, one thing is for sure, all you libtard Atheists but packer fans are the stupidest bunch of retards I have ever seen. When you get what you THINK you want, it will be to late for ALL of us, good bye America.

      May 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • mandarax

      "good bye America"

      Goodbye, Trill. You won't be missed.

      May 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  10. ART

    What I would like to say to religious conservertives I cannot cause the moderators would not accept my post, so what I can say is that if there is a hell I hope they all burn for eternity for their bigotry

    May 10, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • YeahRight

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".
      • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.
      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
      “Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)
      1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
      ––
      bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
      Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
      – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
      s-ex
      c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
      sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
      ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
      t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
      an-al......ban-al
      sh-it
      fu-ck...
      who-re
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
      pr-ick
      sl-ut
      c-lit
      va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
      hor-ny
      ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
      nip-ple
      po-rn
      c-ock
      nig-ger
      cu-nt
      b-itch
      ra-pe
      jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
      p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
      o ficti-tious, repeti-tion, competi-tion.
      Sna-tch
      soft-ware
      Ja-panese
      Span-king
      hoo-ters
      There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  11. Dave

    This really boils down to the nature of democracy. I am fine if people want to do whatever they want (as long as they don't expect me to pay for it). However, this is being crammed down our throats. Everywhere it has been put up to elections, it has been voted down.

    May 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Yeah, you're not fine with it at all. It just takes you a bit to find teh right excuse. That is all.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  12. D$

    Finally Barockeee is admitting his gayness. That should score him atleast 100 more votes with this whining minority. And should lose him millions with the the lagitimate popullation. Sweet move politically. Go Mitt!!!

    May 10, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • YeahRight

      "That should score him atleast 100 more votes with this whining minority. "

      Duh! This about equal civil rights would you have said that to African Americans and women too back in the day? Wow the stupidity of people on this subject.

      Gay couples are being denied their civil rights so YES they have to complain about it just like others have in the past or did you sleep through history class... LOL!

      These rights include:

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public as-sistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.

      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.

      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Ah, the sound of bigotry unleashed! Let us celebrate the morning by pulling the wings off flies!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Primewonk

      Do you really think that only gay folks support equal rights for gays? Seriously?

      In the immortal words of Mr. B. Bunny – Whata Maroon!

      May 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • mandarax

      Whata embezzle...

      May 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  13. John

    Thank you Obama!

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex

    May 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      John, all your so-called scripture is fake. Get over it already.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Madtown

      Great post!

      May 10, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Satan

      I wrote the bible you fools!

      May 10, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • palintwit

      Your post is way too long and it doesn't make any sense.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      Satan, get thee behind me..... LOL...
      No really, I love you backing me up! Keep up the good work. Give these brainwashed christians a run for their money. Hell, they believe in you anyway!!! So funny!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Pheadrus

      Great post!

      I'm afraid it will be lost on those who need it most, however. It's not a FOX News soundbite, it requires more time to read than a political cartoon and is more verbose than a Jack Chick tract. But hey... you can always try.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • WASP

      @john: i applaud you for being religious and so well educated, religion could use a few million more like you. i enjoyed the read, it was rather enjoyible. thanks and have a good day. 🙂

      May 10, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  14. PM Ohio

    So, the religious right doesn't know that thier views are not in alignment with 85% of the country? It took the President saying that descriminating is not a good thing and is against the teachings of Christ to make them realize it?

    May 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • frespech

      I think you better check your stats. 85%, try about 53%. Way to exaggerate though.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • JGEE

      85% of the country? LOL. Are you the Gallup official polling the Upper West Side? What a myopic presumption. Spoken like enlightened, "self righteous" city folk.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  15. Adam

    Our moral intelligence will rise. Our circle of sentiments will expand. And, someday, it will be as egregious and damning of one's character to profess one's disapproval of LGBT marriage as it is now to profess one's disapproval of Black people being able to vote.

    You zealots, and fossil minded fools, you betray yourselves with your unreason and your fear. We have no place for you and the evil of your intolerance in this project we call civilization. Hide yourselves away until the light of goodness and truth cleanses your dogmas from the earth.

    May 10, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  16. James

    Might as well make adult/minor marriage legal while you are at it, along with incest, bestiality, and a few others. After all, "love is all that matters", right?

    May 10, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Adam

      And consent....

      May 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Might as well make adult/minor marriage legal while you are at it, along with incest, bestiality, and a few others."

      Hey your ignorance is showing and this is such a lame stupid argument. Children and animals can't consent. DUH! Brainwashed much? LOL!

      May 10, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • myweightinwords

      You're forgetting an integral part of marriage. Consent.

      If a child is not of legal age to consent, they can not be married. And an animal, being that they have no way to express consent, can likewise, not be married.

      Stop hiding behind silliness. If you don't support gay marriage, say so and don't have one. Don't try to obfuscate the issue with false arguments.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • mandarax

      Keep trying to understand, James. So far you're not even close.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • tallulah13

      James if you don't understand the concept of "consenting adults" perhaps you should stay away from children and animals. If the simple concept of "consent" is beyond you, perhaps you should stay away from people and animals all together.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Alternatively, you could listen to what the other side is actually saying and stop making stuff up.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • WASP

      @james: "James
      Might as well make adult/minor marriage legal while you are at it, along with incest, bestiality, and a few others. After all, "love is all that matters", right?"

      ok so allowing same gender marriage is like allowing other religious factions to have their way? lmfao
      here is a very simple way to write the marriage law so it allows same gender marriage and prevents all those crazy religious nuts from trying to marry their daughter or cow.
      " marriage is a binding contract between to of legal age (meaning 18 years of age or older) consenting adults"
      how complicated is that? easy and to the point.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  17. Qi

    Lets face it. Organized religion is a man made program designed to protect the fearful from having a direct experience with a higher power. They are not at fault....

    May 10, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      I agree, religion also is a way to control people....i.e. "thou shalt not"....
      Funny how it's all bull crap, and they all believe it.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • UK Socialist

      I can accept spiritual people and if there is definite proof of a God (or Gods) in my lifetime I'll become more spiritual but I'll never join an organized religion. Those things can go to Hell (yes icwutididthar)

      May 10, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  18. Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

    Tell obama to shut up when both his daughters getting married to women, and provide him with no grand children.

    May 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Satan

      Yea you tell em mike! The only way to spread gods message is to oppress other people!

      May 10, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • UK Socialist

      Never heard of adoption or sperm banks then?

      May 10, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      UK, that wasn't the point. Obama would have a different speech if both his daughters were gay.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Considering the way he spoke, I doubt he'd have an issue if his girls were to be gay.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Grow up!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Tell obama to shut up when both his daughters getting married to women, and provide him with no grand children."

      Gays and lesbians couples do have children which is why it's so important that they get equal civil rights.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What kind of pills do you take to make you this dumb? If Obama's girls were gay, do you REALLY THINK he'd cast them out into oblivion?

      Would you do that to YOUR kids?

      May 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  19. Wastrel

    "Religious conservatives" are the problem. Basing your political views on your religion is the sign of a small mind. Religion in politics is the mark of third-world countries, not the US.

    May 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • mike proctor

      You should also added to your comment this question "WHERE WERE THESE SO CALL CHRISTIAN LEADERS WHEN NATIVE AMERICANS MEN,WOMEN,CHILDRENS, AFRO-AMERICANS MEN.WOMEN.CHILDRENS WERE SAUGHTER BY THE WHITE MAN IN THE 1800'S/2012 RIGHT IN THE FRONT LINE WHERE KILLING TOOK PLACE. The Afro-Americans who turn against President Obama are what you call a uncle tom because if they stop and think very carefully about what is going on in the south in reference to voters laws on the books passed by the republicans to stop them from voting. So you see certain people are being controlied whether they are gay, black or brown by the same people(white) over the last 200 years.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  20. tammie

    I think people think to much,

    May 10, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • BRC

      I fear that I see very much the opposite.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • mandarax

      I think you might want to think a little more about how to spell.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:00 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.