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My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
The author backs same-sex marriage because of his faith, not in spite of it.
May 19th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

Editor's Note: Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.

What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others.

A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.

During their time together, Peter is often naïve and clueless – he is a follower, constantly learning.

After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter we see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.

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Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of homosexuality).

His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.

Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.

The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods’ love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!

I worship at St. Stephens, an Episcopal church in Edina, Minnesota. There is a river that flows around the back and side of that church with a delightful name: Minnehaha Creek. That is where we do baptisms.

The Rector stands in the creek in his robes, the cool water coursing by his feet, and takes an infant into his arms and baptizes her with that same cool water. The congregation sits on the grassy bank and watches, a gentle army.

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At the bottom of the creek, in exactly that spot, is a floor of smooth pebbles. The water rushing by has rubbed off the rough edges, bit by bit, day by day. The pebbles have been transformed by that water into something new.

I suppose that, as Peter put it, someone could try to withhold the waters of baptism there. They could try to stop the river, to keep the water from some of the stones, like a child in the gutter building a barrier against the stream.

It won’t last, though. I would say this to those who would withhold the water of baptism, the joy of worship, or the bonds of marriage: You are less strong than the water, which will flow around you, find its path, and gently erode each wall you try to erect.

The redeeming power of that creek, and of the Holy Spirit, is relentless, making us all into something better and new.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Osler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Why did they take gays off the dsm without any of these studies that you quoted being done at the time they were removed in 1973? Or is it they took a stance that if your ok with being gay and having gay copulation then everything is ok. You do know that the did ruffle quite a few feathers already taking the ped off the DSM right?

    June 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Troll, troll, troll.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  2. James

    "However it is the will of the American people that marriage stay defined for a man and a woman, and for very good reasons"

    It is not the will of the people to define it that way. Homosexuals deserve equal civil rights. The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Bob

      Tom stop the cut and paste

      June 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You paranoid azz.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Interesting in Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation. Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness. Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. This is the meaning in the Bible where it talks about a man laying with a man. John does not mention this in his research and actually glosses over it. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thy house and thus become a thing set apart like unto it, thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a thing set apart To¯?e¯bha¯h is even used as synonymous with “idol” or heathen deity,

      June 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. "

      Actually, If you read where Bob got his post from it doesn't state this at all! Bob is a liar and he is the abomination now before his god for breaking one of the basic ten commandments and he will burn in hell for all eternity for the lies he is spreading on this thread!

      http://topicalbible.org/a/abomination.htm

      LMAO! But of course Bob is also leaving out that hundreds of thousands of experts have proven his prejudice and bigotry is unfounded and not based on REAL Facts as this lie he wrote proves. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      June 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  3. YeahRight

    "The reasons are obvious from a religious and non religious standpoint – for not allowing gay marriage."

    No it's not and that is a complete LIE! That's why it's already legal in many states and the courts keep finding the defense of marriage act unconstitutional, it's about civil rights. Duh! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured." Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • lightning

      Do you have any other points, this is so boring

      June 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then go elsewhere, troll. Scram. No one will miss you.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  4. Janet

    "The reasons are obvious from a religious and non religious standpoint – for not allowing gay marriage."

    The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  5. Whitney

    The reasons are obvious from a religious and non religious standpoint – for not allowing gay marriage. Even if you don't agree – the reasons are obvious of why other groups would not want

    June 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • TC

      No, they are not. Why should any group who is not affected by another person's marriage "not want it"?

      Not want others to feel love and commitment?
      Not want others to form families?
      Not want other famlies to have the same protections you demand for your family?
      Not want children to have married parents?
      Not want the elderly to be more secure?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they're not, Whitless. If you can't post them, you're nothing but a sock puppet of Bob.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Whitney

      Ok here goes, this all should be obvious.....but Tom Tom won't shut his big trap. The re -ligious reasons are so obvious: this lifestyle is total lawlessness and it is against our beliefs according to the word of God. It is an assault on family and marriage that leads to the breakdown of society over time. Non religious argument – again fairly obvious whether one agrees or not: the definition of marriage being broken down for the gay community will – end up leading to a breakdown of society as we know it.....if other groups such as poly-gamists, in-cest and other bizarre pairs demand also to have these rights – then over time this will lead to a breakdown of society as we know it. The bigger picture also includes a loss for freedom of speech in certain areas. as some are challenging as we speak. Then there is the overall concern with the gay community and children, sorry to say this – but the stats are not great in this area. Not sure why Tom Tom keeps demanding to know why this will affect everyone?? This whole arena is just being established – no one can say how this will affect us a society for many years to come. I am sharing the thoughts of many people I have heard talking about this – since Obama gave his blessing......whether one agrees or disagrees – these are just some of the obvious concerns

      June 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Jane

      Yah Whitney!!! These are the concerns, and it doesn't mean anyone can answer them yet either. I know that I am horrified if polygamist could marry legally, how come no one cares about this? These women live in wretched conditions of abuse. These poor children end up with 30 brothers and sisters, and there is tons of abuse. I really think Obama has made a tragic error here

      June 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "know that I am horrified if polygamist could marry legally, how come no one cares about this? These women live in wretched conditions of abuse. These poor children end up with 30 brothers and sisters, and there is tons of abuse. I really think Obama has made a tragic error here"

      Actually your bible supports polygamy so the Christian community should be just fine with it. LOL! Oh...that's right you only pick and choose the scripture that support your prejudice and bigotry towards the gay community.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Then there is the overall concern with the gay community and children, sorry to say this – but the stats are not great in this area. "

      Lying is a sin, Duh! The experts have proven you WRONG.

      Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

      This is the main reasons the courts are ruling the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional because Christians like Whitney are spreading unfounded lies about the gay community. Shame on you!

      June 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Whitney and Jane

      There is no demonstrable parralel between same-se.x marriage and polygamy or incest. Your religious concerns don't matter, since it would not force the churches to marry them, and church recognition doesn't mean squat in terms of the rights and privelages granted to married couples anyway. Your "secular concerns" are nothing but parroted conjecture from your religious concerns, not to mention throwing out a huge straw man with the polygamy and incest cr.ap.
      Cite your sources of how same-se.x marriage will lead to legalization of polygamy, incest, and how it would be a harm to children (here's a hint, Paul Cameron arguments have been debunked and disavowed even from religious organizations), not to mention you need to demonstrate how this reduces freedom of speech.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Duh!!

      The New Testament clearly defines marriage between one man and one woman....words of Jesus himself in red – duh!!! In ancient society all around the world many had several wives.....study for once

      June 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Whitless, you are without the slightest bit of evidence that gay marriage will lead to any such "break down" at all. Gay marriage is already legal in 5 states and DC and no such "break down" is imminent. Where is your evidence that it's going to occur? You don't HAVE any, you boneheaded dolt. You are using the "slippery slope" fallacy to pretend that gay marriage will open some Pandora's box ( look it up, stupid), when gay marriage has been legal in Iowa for how long? And no such terrible consequences have occurred. How in the world will the marriage of less than 3% of the entire population of the country affect straight marriage, when straight marriage already has a huge rate of divorce?

      Really, you're unbelievably dumb.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Being gay is a disgusting habit and not of the Lord.

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Whitney

      Yeah Right – Why don't you stop quoting people you don't know and talk to the families, children, social workers and child care workers and teachers of these children who have been in the care of gay parents? After working for fifteen years in child care myself with children with special needs....what I have to say isn't good. Not saying it won't change.....but the stats are not good. You don't listen to anyone anyway.......you are too busy celebrating that it is not a mental illness

      June 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Whitney

      TOM TOM – YOU HAVE BEEN HARASSING EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG TO ANSWER YOU AND I DID. LISTEN FOR A CHANGE AND STOP ASKING PEOPLE TO GIVE YOU THE REASON FOR CONCERN – HERE ARE THE REASONS IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.....NOT YOU OR ANYONE CAN SAY WHAT THE LONG TERM AFFECTS WILL BE ON SOCIETY!!!!!! DUH

      June 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Whitney

      First off, I'm willing to doubt that you've ever worked in child care, and would like the organization and the statistics that would support your claim.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Whitney

      You say no one can know the long term effects, yet earlier you make a claim that certain effects WILL happen, contradicting your own statements.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Whitney

      You want me to name where I have worked and the list of abuses that we saw over fifteen years with gay parents? I can tell you that in our years of experience we did not encounter any children from gay situations where there had not been abuse....maybe its not that way everywhere in the world, but this was exactly my experience – sorry

      June 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      " I can tell you that in our years of experience we did not encounter any children from gay situations where there had not been abuse...." Then it's obvious you have never dealt with children of a gay couple. You are a moron and humanity is less likely to survive with you in it, you bigoted liar.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Whitney

      And you worked in what kind of office? If it was a form of child protective services, social workers, or child care workers, then wouldn't all cases, heterose.xual parents and hom.ose.xual parents, have some form of abuse or allegations thereof? And even if it were the case that you have seen nothing but abuse from gay parents (which I highly, highly doubt), then that wouldn't apply to the entire country anyway. You also seem to have backed off from your slippery slope argument. I wonder why that is.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Whitney

      Hawaii guest – I very clearly stated the concerns that people are expressing and said no one will know the affects on society for many years......can you read

      June 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Whitney

      Well the overall tone of the post seemed to point to an assertion of effects, and I apologize for getting that wrong. I would ask for you to respond to my other points as well though.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Whitless, you are not only a lying sack, you are the same lying sack that posted this crap under the screen name "Hot Pepper" and you have no more credibility than a rat. You have NO proof you've ever worked with any children in any setting, much less in one where you would have encountered a broad spectrum of families, you little POS. You keep pretending that your nonexistent "experience" is some sort of "proof" when there is NO evidence you are anything but another hom0phobic troll like Boob, and none of the studies done on thousands of children of gay couples bears out your bogus claims. You're nothing but a cast-iron troll, and a laughable example of one to boot.

      Go read the history books, if you can, Whitless Po0per, and see the same fear-mongering from racist pigs who opposed interracial marriage. You're on the losing side, moron.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Whitless says: "You want me to name where I worked"?

      Yes, I do. Pull the trigger, you gormless fvckwit.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      You know, I do remember a screen name Hot Pepper posting an exact copy of the whole "I've worked in child care" claim word for word. Then again, it could just be that the person wanted to use a different screen name (for what reason I don't know).

      June 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The bully Tommy at it again. You brainless sinner.

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Whitney

      Hawaii guest – I ran a daycare and after school care for nine years in the one position. My college training was specifically for special needs, behavior/learning disability. The other two positions I had were at other places. I would like to answer your other question....could you rephrase, I am sorry I wasn't quite grasping what you wanted to know?

      June 19, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't quite grasp how shoelaces work, you moron. Knock it off. You've been exposed as a liar.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Whitney

      What has been happening to many is – Tom Tom is being very abusive. If he does not like what you are saying – he will impersonate you – using your name and saying very nasty things. So some of us are changing our names. He has been reported for abuse, but nothing was done. I thought he might be happy because someone finally answered his question – but no just more abuse

      June 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you don't know why this lying snake is using yet another moniker, HG, you have less imagination that I gave you credit for. Hot pepper claimed EXACTLY the same chit previously. This is nothing more than another troll who is attempting to pretend it has some sort of 'data' about gay marriage, when all it has it spurious anecdotal tales that amount to nothing but dreck, piled higher and deeper.

      Furthermore, it's not an American citizen.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do tell, Whitless! What other name have I been 'using'? Can you prove it? Go right ahead. LOVE to see your 'evidence'. I'll bet it's about as compelling as every other piece of crap you've posted.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Jen

      I love how Whitney acts like she has worked with a ton of gay parents while working at a daycare, when gays make up less than 3 percent of the population. You are only allowed to have a total of 7 kids under your care at a daycare (less if they are small children). I, on the other hand, worked in 4 different companies where I have had hundreds of people in my department, and after 12 years of working I have worked with a total of two gay people. But Whitney apparently lives in Gayville, USA.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No kidding, Jen. The incredible balls it must require to lie like Whitless does are only outdistanced by the incredible sins she's committing in doing so.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Whitney

      Well my whole point was, even if yor did have many abusive gay parents, they weren't abusive because they were gay, they were abusive because they were jackas.ses. You are characterizing them based on your perceived experience (giving the benefit of the doubt on your experience) and that would in no way apply to anyone that you have not worked with.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's going to make a lovely breeze over Whitless's empty little skull. But it's quite a good point for anyone with the brains to understand it.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jen said:But Whitney apparently lives in Gayville, USA

      -–

      That twit lives in Outer Bumfvck, Jen.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Jen

      Tom Tom, I don't usually accuse people of writing under several usernames (because you and I are constantly being accused of being the same person), but Salt wrote me at 4:36 pm back on page 124, telling me she has worked in childcare for 15 years, and insinuating that gays are more likely to commit child abuse (with no evidence of course because that evidence does not exist). And then poof! Whitney appears hear at 4:55 and says the exact same thing! Seems a little coincidental....

      June 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Jen

      'here' not hear

      June 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Whitney –

      Please keep in mind that the preponderance of evidence indicates no comorbidity, outside norms, of hom'ose'xuality and child abuse of any kind. You have more information at your fingertips than anyone in history – use it.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, well, well, lookee here! Whitless has disappeared into the nether regions from whence she came as a figment of Boob's ball-juggling, otherwise known as master-bay-shun! Funny how the liar just completely melted into thin air when her claims were challenged, huh?

      You idiots are so predictable. And so friggin' lame.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Whitney

      Jen proves her stupidity once again. Jen here are two words for you – "Group Daycare" – with – here's big stretch for you......lots of staff!! After school care – 20 kids a day as well. We had 28 – 32 little children a day for nine years at the once center. Its a small world after all eh Jen

      June 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • relish

      Don't worry Whitney Tom Tom and Jen are married. They live in the Ozarks, up in the mountains. You know what I mean, people gotta be tough out there. They have ten kids they cannot afford to feed, and Tom drinks too much. They don't have any manners and didn't graduate from middle school. Just ignore

      June 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow.

      It isn't rocket science, you bozo. That's the only reason you are able to get a job doing it.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jealousy really is a green-eyed monster. Trouble is, it looks pretty much like Pepper-Poop and her pal, Retardaurus.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Bob continues to dodge and weave. He can't defend his opposition to gay marriage using anything but his religious beliefs. He tries so hard, too, it's really rather sad that someone would be so completely obsessed with hom0s3xuality. He has attempted to claim his opposition is based on the effects of gay marriage on children. That didn't work. Then he tried to make the issue one of "choice", as if that would somehow legitimize his opposition to gay marriage. Now he's pretending that gays aren't being denied any right to marry at all. And before that, the excuse was that gays didn't 'need' to have legal marriages because their relationships don't last long anyway and they aren't interested in civil unions. He was busted on that, too.

    Why is it you are doing so much work on this, Boob? Why do you find it so threatening? How will the marriage of less than 3% of the entire population affect you in any way?

    Gonna keep stalling, coward?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  7. YeahRight

    "Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny gays the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. "

    Oh by the way a federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws bigots like you have been trying to pass. Duh!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Unfortunately you may be right which is why we all need to rise up throw out some of the elected officials and make Congress do the will of the majority of people so we probably have a longer up hill battle than you especially with your financial special interest backing

      June 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Unfortunately you may be right which is why we all need to rise up throw out some of the elected officials and make Congress do the will of the majority of people"

      Wow seriously go take a history course will ya, it's no wonder you are so clueless about this issue and civil rights. Duh!

      June 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No one could be that stupid, Bob.

      You're a troll.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  8. YeahRight

    "Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny gays the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. "

    Keep proving your a homophobic prejudice bigot. Marriage was declared a civil right by the US Supreme Court. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

    The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Courts frequently appeal to the authority of social science and are “finding of fact” that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  9. Bob

    Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny gays the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are gays excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens including the right to marry. However, no citizen has the right to marry whomever they want. A person cannot marry a child, a close blood relative, two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still can't answer the question, can you, Bob?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • TC

      No, only SOME citizens feel that way, and since when are the basic civil and human rights that aare guanteed to all depend upon the approval of even a majority?

      Equal protection under the law can't be stripped from people because you don't like or understand them. And when that happens, expect a fight in court.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • salt

      Yah Bob!!! Just keep speaking the truth, someone will hear it

      June 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Lame, Boob, that you have to use sock puppets to make yourself look better. Doesn't work. You still look like a coward and a hypocrite.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  10. YeahRight

    "Hey thanks for the studies but I dont know if I would have posted some of them have you read them? Dont really help your cause"

    We do know one thing about this poster is they suffer from homophobia. Homophobia is fear or hatred of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Homophobia comes from fear. Some people are fearful because they have the wrong information — family, friends, and religious authorities often encourage negative feelings about homosexuality.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  11. YeahRight

    "Ok so how do we know really? Insults name calling general fake repulsion will not work either. If psychs dont know for sure why gays are gays what do they really know?"

    They know enough through the decades of research to state that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  12. PhoenixBrown

    I like the blog above, the comments from yall some are confusing, and being someone thats a Lesbian let me tell you was not my choice, and its not a lifestyle it's just my life. Let me ask this who chooses to be bullied, beaten, cursed at, denied human rights, and sometimes broken down to kill themselves because they feel that would make everyone happy, it doesn't though. This topic is sad, because everyone tries to play GOD, well newsflash the only one that knows the truth is OUR CREATOR whether you believe in him or not, you were born from a mother helped formed by a father but you were created from something not human, because clearly we can see over the years Humans are not Prefect! Not even close. We all deserve to be happy, and NO ONE has the right to decide Someone Else's Life! NO ONE!

    June 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Whitney

      You are free in America to live how you choose...no one is stopping you. However it is the will of the American people that marriage stay defined for a man and a woman, and for very good reasons

      June 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What reasons? And as far as "the will" of the people, it was the "will" of the people to deny people of two different races the right to marry. Won't work now any better than it did then. Our system of laws prevents the tyranny of the majority, dearie. Too bad you didn't learn that in school. And in point of fact, public opinion is shifting; the majority of people now believe gays should have the right to marry.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "However it is the will of the American people that marriage stay defined for a man and a woman, and for very good reasons"

      Similar bigot remarks like this use to happen when blacks tried to marry whites and they were found to be unconstitutional. Duh! There is NO good reason to deny gays their equal civil rights. The experts have shown that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured." Plus, social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  13. YeahRight

    "Ok so we finally have out in the open that science is far from conclusive on gays so we have made new laws based on a imperfect science"

    Isn't it hysterical that this person is trying to condemn gays using the bible but yet can't even follow one of the basic ten commandments. It just shows this person is a liar with unfounded prejudice and bigotry towards the gay community.

    In 1993, the National Institute of Health’ Dean Hamer illustrated that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome (Xq28). Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome.

    – Hamer DH, Hu S, Magnuson VL, Hu N. and Pattatucci AML. A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science 1993; 261:320-326.

    A June 2006 Canadian study published in the journal, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” said that nature, instead of nurture, explains the origins of homosexuality. The study’ author, Prof. Anthony F. Bogaert, at Brock University in Ontario, explored the causes behind what is known as the fraternal birth order. The research showed a correlation between the number of biological older brothers a man has and his sexual orientation. Dividing his sample of more than 900 heterosexual and homosexual men into four groups, Bogaert examined the impact of all types of older brothers, including step and adopted siblings, and the amount of time brothers spent together while growing up.His research found that only the number of biological brothers had an impact on sexuality, regardless of whether the boys were raised together.

    – Bogaert, A.F. 2006. Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 July 11 2006.

    A study released in May 2006 by Swedish scientists demonstrates that biology plays a key role in determining a person’ sexuality. The research shows that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality — the hypothalamus – reacted the exact same way in straight women and gay men when exposed to male pheromones, which are chemicals designed to provoke a behavior, such as sexual arousal. The same area of the brain only became stimulated in heterosexual men when introduced to female pheromones.

    – by Ivanka Savic article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) “Brain Response To Putative Pheromones In Homosexual Men,” (Vol. 102 No. 19) May 10, 2005.

    In 2005, Dr. Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study in the esteemed biomedical journal Human Genetics, claiming he identified three chromosomal regions linked to sexual orientation in men: 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26.

    – “A Genomewide Scan of Male Sexual Orientation”, Human Genetics, Vol. 116, No. 4, pp. 272-278, 2005.

    In 2003, University of Texas psychoacoustics specialist Dennis McFadden found that when measuring the way the brain reacts to sound, lesbians fell in between heterosexual men and straight women, suggesting they are exposed to higher than normal levels of male hormone in utero.

    – Loehlin, John C.; McFadden, David. “Otoacoustic emissions, auditory evoked potentials, and traits related to sex and sexual orientation”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 1 April 2003.

    In 2003, University of Liverpool biologist John T. Manning found that the lesbians whom he studied have a hand pattern that resembles a man’ more than a straight female’. Manning concluded from his study that this “tells us that female homosexuals have had higher levels of exposure to testosterone before birth.”

    – Neave, N., Laing, S., Fink, B., Manning, J.T (2003) Second to fourth digit ratio, testosterone, and perceived male dominance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Lond), 270, 2167-2172.

    A 1991 study by Dr. Simon LeVay found that a specific region of the hypothalamus is twice as large in heterosexual men as it is in women or gay men. This points the role of biology in sexual orientation.

    – Levay, Simon “A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men” Science. 1991 Volume 253, Issue 5023, pp. 1034-1037.

    Another 1991 study by scientists Richard Pillard and John M. Baily studied homosexuality among brothers and found that 53 percent of identical twins were both gay. In adoptive brothers, 11 percent were both homosexual. Of non-twin biological siblings, 9 percent were gay. Again, this points to solid evidence that homosexuality is a matter of nature.

    – Bailey JM, Pillard RC (1991). A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 1089-1096.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Thanks yeah I was researching it on my own and I found them but you made it easier, some of the tests are more result oriented rather than a cause.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Thanks yeah I was researching it on my own and I found them but you made it easier, some of the tests are more result oriented rather than a cause."

      Oh please you're grasping at straws they state the results show it's biological. They don't know the real cause of how people become left handed but the know it's biological and part genetics. They are now saying the same thing about se</b.xual orientation and the fact that it is part biological means it's not a choice. Which is why they deserve the same equal civil rights as straights.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  14. Erik

    "Ok so we finally have out in the open that science is far from conclusive on gays so we have made new laws based on a imperfect science and how do we know for sure that a ped is not just a homi with a taste for kids or someone younger."

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Bob

      Tom you wanted conclusive proof definite Eric has it for you All major medical professional organizations concur that s orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and

      June 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where did I post that I wanted any such thing?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  15. Bob

    Ok so we finally have out in the open that science is far from conclusive on gays so we have made new laws based on a imperfect science and how do we know for sure that a ped is not just a homi with a taste for kids or someone younger.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Robert

      "how do we know for sure that a ped is not just a homi with a taste for kids or someone younger."

      You’re a prejudice bigot whose sole purpose is to troll this thread with your lies you uneducated fool.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Since when is the law based on what science has found concerning hom0s3xuality, Boob?

      June 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And yes to what Robert said, in spades.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Ok so how do we know really? Insults name calling general fake repulsion will not work either. If psychs dont know for sure why gays are gays what do they really know? I come to you guys as the gay pr club have any answers?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why does it matter?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • TC

      Most sane folks understand the difference between consenting adults and children. Why don't you?

      And since you believe that the "science is imperfect", why in the world would you want to strip away a basic civil and human right from gay folks based on a lack of ANY science at all? The marriage question isn't even about whether or not someone can choose their innate orientation.

      The ONLY questions are whether marriage is good for couples and kids, and whether gay folks marrying will harm others.

      And both of those questions have already been anwered.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Every phony question and challenge Bob has raised has been answered. The only questions that never get answered by Bob, or Salt, or Tarzan, or Whitney, or any of his other sock puppets is why they're opposed to gay marriage.

      Here it is again, Boob: how will gay marriage affect you?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • JWT

      I've never seen a reason yet why gay marriage would be bad for peole tc. Not a single one ever.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  16. Jane you ugly sl-t

    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/s3xual-orientation.aspx

    June 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  17. Bob

    Hey thanks for the studies but I dont know if I would have posted some of them have you read them? Dont really help your cause

    June 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Cheetah

      http://www.apa.org/research/action/gay.aspx

      June 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "http://www.apa.org/research/action/gay.aspx"

      Bob doesn't read the real truth about gays because then it would mean he's wrong about this issue and would have to face his unfounded prejudice and bigotry towards this group. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      June 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "cause" did you think they were supposed to "help", Boob? You asked for research that shows hom0s3xuality is most likely not a learned behavior but is based in biology.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm still wondering what the hold-up is on Boob's end. Didn't the moron promise to post cites that proved what he's claimed? That hom0s3xuality is a choice? And why hasn't he or his little sock-puppets been able to articulate what sort of threat gay marriage poses to anyone? How will gay marriage affect you, Boob? Jane? Cheetah? Tarzan?

      June 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  18. YeahRight

    "Come on!!! If there was solid proof – not one of us would be on this stupid blog and the world would be revolutionized by these astounding facts!!!!! Wake up"

    There are hundreds of thousands of experts that looked at decades of research and stated that being gay is NOT a mental illness, it's NOT a choice and it CAN'T be vountarily changed. Oh course prejudice bigots are the only one trying to make the claims you are without any proof. Duh! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    June 19, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  19. YeahRight

    "Like I also said it seems that the Psychs are the only ones endorsing gay marriage"

    That's a complete lie since 5 states have gay marriage now it was either voted in by the people, or through politicians or the courts. Duh! This is about civil rights and the Supreme court rule marriage is a civil right.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  20. YeahRight

    ""Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can copulate with them!""

    Yo moron, forcing someone to have sex without their consent is called RAPE! It has nothing to do with what we now know and understand about gays today. DUUHHHHH! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    June 19, 2012 at 10:57 am |
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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.