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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. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural:" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, homosexuality is obviously not a sin; unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14; where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    October 25, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  2. 2Cents

    "President Obama recently added a page to his re-election website bragging about his administration’s radical gay agenda"

    The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.

    "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

    Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

    The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.

    "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

    Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.

    Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.

    The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.

    "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

    October 25, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  3. YeahRight

    "Next, If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie"

    The proven liar on this tread has been Bob, everything he posts comes from a place of deep seeded hatred and bigotry toward the gay community and none of it is actually based on facts. The experts have proven that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness and it can't be voluntarily changed.

    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."

    Bob also posts under the handle pervert alert so that really demonstrates his unfounded prejudice and bigotry.

    October 25, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  4. Bob

    So weight care to rethink this??Gays are 2 to 3 percent of the population that's it, Atheists make up more and other associated groups like socialists make up even more. They really don't care about gays but do want less God in the country and this is perfect for that goal so why not work together. When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community Adolph Hitler Quotes. Also the same ideology the gays use to get fisting and gay acceptance taught in schools. Also why gays consider schools so important. Something was said by many who replied here. Next, If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels Yeah and Goebbels have alot in common. Thats all he does is repost the same stuff, just exactly what Goebbels said. So I guess there is no truth in this statement either, and who is the liar. Lets go over this no agenda the pres says there is. Reposting serves no purpose Goebbels says different. Not me just history and other voices telling the truth. Not to mention gays makeing the courts and leaders legislate acceptance when no people has voted for it.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • YeahRight

      The proven liar is you Bob you should really seek professional help for your deep seeded prejudice and bigotry. What an idiot.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  5. Bob

    So the President of the US says that there is a agenda and moron yeah says there isn't ok who am I going to listen to?? Obama brags about radical gay agenda on re-election website: lists 40 gay rights ‘accomplishments In an apparent effort to appease the gay lobby after receiving criticism for refusing to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against h0m0 and transgenders, President Obama recently added a page to his re-election website bragging about his administration’s radical gay agenda.H0m0 groups had accused the President last month of backing out on campaign promises for political reasons by not signing the order, prompting a statement from Press Secretary Jay Carney.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • YeahRight

      "So the President of the US says that there is a agenda and moron yeah says there isn't ok who am I going to listen to?? "

      Bob doesn't want to listen to the experts around the world and in this country about this issue. 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."

      October 25, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  6. Bob

    A pioneering h0m0 activist Frank Kameny celebrated by fellow h0m0 the world over and honored by big O and his adm-in says the God of the Bible is a sinful h0m0pho bigot who needs to repent of his sinful h0m0pho.He was integral in pressuring the APA to reclassify gay activities as normal,has written to a pro-family organization that he believes bestiality is fine,as long as the animal doesn't mind."

    October 25, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • YeahRight

      This is what a prejudice bigot looks like because it's not based on the real facts. 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."

      October 25, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  7. Bob

    David Thorstad, a spokesman for the h0m0s rights movement , clearly states the objectives: 'The ultimate goal of the gay liberation movement is the achievement of s freedom for all – not just equal rights for 'lesbians and gay men, but also freedom of s expression for young people and children." This goal has not changed since it was articulated in 1972.Kay Lahusen and Barbara Gittings know what really happened to the A.P.A. In the book Making History they are quite open about the reality.Kay: This was always more of a political decision than a medical decision Barbara: It never was a medical decision and thats why I think the action came so fast. After all, it was only three years from the time that femi and gays first zapped the APA at a behavior therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973 to approve removing homi from the list of mental disorders. It was a political move.The APA was thoroughly intimidated. In 1974, after the APAs vote, Gittings was interviewed by pro-sod movement historian Jonathan Ned Katz. Gittings brags, Thats how far weve come in ten years. Now we even have the American Psy Association running scared

    October 25, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Erik

      "Now we even have the American Psy Association running scared"

      Actually they are not. Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      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.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      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!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      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).

      Furthermore, 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.

      Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  8. YeahRight

    "You must be drinking coolaid to think that there is no agenda,GLAD, GLAAD, GLMA,GLF,GLSEN,GLIFAA,NCTE,SLDN Just to name a few groups pushing the gay agenda"

    You also forgot the hundred of thousands of experts that disagree with your unfounded hate and bigotry toward the gay community. 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.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  9. YeahRight

    "You must be drinking coolaid to think that there is no agenda,GLAD, GLAAD, GLMA,GLF,GLSEN,GLIFAA,NCTE,SLDN Just to name a few groups pushing the gay agenda. This is only a few there are literally 300 in the US alone that are pushing the issue"

    Bob you are such an idiot, this is about civil rights. You forgot the NAACP. LOL! Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. 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.

    These rights include:
    Tax Benefits
    -–Filing joint income tax returns with the I R S 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 assistance 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.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Bob

    Obama brags about radical gay agenda on re-election website: lists 40 gay rights ‘accomplishments

    October 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  11. Bob

    You must be drinking coolaid to think that there is no agenda,GLAD, GLAAD, GLMA,GLF,GLSEN,GLIFAA,NCTE,SLDN Just to name a few groups pushing the gay agenda. This is only a few there are literally 300 in the US alone that are pushing the issue

    October 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • YeahRight

      So here's the list of African American groups that are working to ensure their civil rights are kept protected.

      100 Black Men of America
      1967 Philadelphia Student Demonstrations
      A. Philip Randolph Institute
      AALBC.com
      ACAE
      African-American book publishers
      Alliance of Black Jews
      Association of Black Women Historians
      Bethel Literary and Historical Society
      Black American Racers Association
      Black Coaches & Administrators
      Black Cultural Association
      Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association
      Black Radical Congress
      Black Rock Coalition
      Bud Billiken Club
      Cave Canem Foundation
      C cont.
      Coalition For Change
      Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
      Delta Ministry
      Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement
      Federal Council of Negro Affairs
      Federation of Black Cowboys
      Georgia Alliance of African American Attorneys
      Institute for Responsible Citizenship
      League of Revolutionary Black Workers
      National African American Leadership Summit
      National Afro-American Council
      National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
      National Black Antiwar Antidraft Union
      National Black Child Developmental Institute
      National Black Republican Association
      National Black United Front
      National Black United Fund
      National Center of Afro-American Artists
      National Coalition of 100 Black Women
      The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America
      The Network for Better Futures
      Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC)
      Project 21
      Project Brotherhood
      The Rocks, Inc.
      Sons of Haiti
      State of the Black Union
      TransAfrica Forum
      United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God, Incorporated
      Women of Color Policy Network

      So gays and lesbians need more groups supporting their civil rights. Duh!

      October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  12. John

    "The Bible does not support same-s3x unions. God never joined a male + male or a woman + woman in a marriage setting."

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  13. John

    "Drive out fear...end the hate!"

    In days gone by, it was reasonable for Christians not to question conventional wisdom about the Bible. Because everyone used the Bible to justify slavery, for instance, Christians were OK with believing that some of their fellow human beings were just another species of farm animal they rightfully owned. Later, we Christians were entirely comfortable using the Bible to justify the atrocious idea that women are second-class citizens too simple-minded to be trusted with the vote.

    And up until the Internet made readily available all kinds of previously inaccessible knowledge and information, we could be excused for believing that the Bible indisputably states that God considers homosexual love a moral abomination.

    Today, however, anyone who can read, or simply watch YouTube videos, is forced to acknowledge the absolute credibility of the universe of scholarship, and the reasoning based upon it which unequivocally proves that the Bible does not, in fact, oblige Christians to believe that homosexual love, in and of itself, is necessarily any less moral than is heterosexual love.

    That closet door is now swung wide open. The truth of the matter is now there for anyone to behold.

    Christians today who take seriously the search for truth must admit that the old axiom that homosexuality is a sin has been forever reduced in status from objective truth to subjective opinion. From fact to belief. From beyond question to unquestionably dubious.

    Believing that homosexual love is a condemnable sin, in other words, is now a choice one must make.

    And what Christian - what person at all? - would choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love?

    October 24, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  14. Melvin

    "LGBTQ Christian couples are trending toward celibacy as they mature in their lives as born again Christians."

    Douglas is not a real Christian with this lie. The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  15. Douglas

    LGBTQ Christian couples are trending toward celibacy as they mature in their lives as born again Christians.

    As LGBTQ couples come out of fornication they leave behind the fear that grips a soul, tortured by living a lie
    that has now been exposed and forever jettisoned as excess baggage.

    LGBTQ celibate couples take a bow!

    STDs...be gone!

    You are leading the way!

    Drive out fear...end the hate!

    It is time to stand out, proud, and celibate!

    October 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Would you urge straight couples to be celibate, Do*-che? Why not? You do know that straight couples do the same sorts of things that gay couples do, don't you? Why are you such a hypocrite?

      October 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      Straight couples do not have to be celibate. Even more so, straight couples do not all engage in the same sort of things that gay people do. Speak for yourself.

      The Bible does not support same-s3x unions. God never joined a male + male or a woman + woman in a marriage setting.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Lorraine" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian

      October 24, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • LinCA

      @ImLook'nUp

      You said, "The Bible does not support same-s3x unions. God never joined a male + male or a woman + woman in a marriage setting."
      Were Adam and Eve not in a "marriage setting"?

      Eve was formed from one of Adam's ribs. That makes her a biological male and transgender. According to christian lore, the entire human race was started with a same-sex union.

      October 24, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Primewonk

      " Even more so, straight couples do not all engage in the same sort of things that gay people do. Speak for yourself."

      50% of us straights have or have had anal sèx. 80% of us straights have oral sèx.

      We are all sodomites. YEA!

      October 24, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Douglas: So in other words...it is okay to be in a same gender relationship but having any form of consensual sexual contact is out of the question?? They should be requesting the same of you...we wouldn't want you breeding and hsaring that delusion with a new generation.

      ImLook'nUp: Your buybull can't be used to make any laws in the modern world and thus has no pertinence. We know from what science has stated and proven that being gay/lesbian is purely natural, so please take your bigotry and let these people live their lives. They do not directly affect you, so you honestly have no say.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  16. YeahRight

    “There was never any talking only insults when the truth was presented it was not accepted and these are not people who want to hear the truth they want to push a point.”

    No, you’re the one who doesn’t know the real truth and you quote from well known hate groups while ignoring all the experts in this country. 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."

    Why haven't you figured out that yet

    “I have presented the beginning to the present day of the gay agenda and it was never accepted”

    This has not been about the “gay agenda” you’re the one trying to make it that case based on lies from your hate groups. This has been about civil rights. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. 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

    “Most here are atheists with a hate toward God and with no knowledge of the Bible or God”

    This is a lie especially since it’s been proven that the experts even in the bible don’t agree with your hate stance.

    “They do not believe nor have any experiences with God so what could they themselves have to offer as a argument of what the Bible says”

    Another lie from Bob who is making crap up to try and justify their unfounded hate and bigotry toward the gay community.

    “So they cannot talk from there own lives but like a parrot recite the wrong teachings of everyone else or insult God, The Bible, people.”

    You’re the one spreading lies and using well known hate groups to premote your prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community that is not based on any real facts. Well known Christians have pointed out that the sites you are using are HATE groups.

    “Because the agenda is not to listen agree and move on”

    You’re the one not wanting to listen to the hundreds of thousands of experts in this country that have proven that being gay is not a choice, it’s not a mental illness and it can’t be voluntarily changed. You also don’t want to listen to well known Christians that have shown that what was written in the bible was about rape, male prostitution and idolatry.

    “We see here yeah or maybe now Tom reposting cut up excerpts of the crap they posted before with nothing new”

    Bob, you’re the one that keeps posting your hate posts over and over again, you’re a hypocrite.

    “There is nothing in them that can support their own wishes except insults the false premise of caring for gays when they could care less about them”

    Another lie from Bob since this is a fight about civil rights and even the NAACP is now in this fight as well, showing you care is fighting for equal civil rights.

    “They are atheists that is what they do masquerade under the guise of caring with no substance just id driven creatures”

    Another lie from Bob. LOL!

    “With only knowledge as their god but with, no grace,no understanding, no wisdom some not even US citizens so they cant even understand what this country was founded on”

    More lies from Bob proving this troll doesn’t even understand the basic ten commandments of the Bible. LOL!

    “They have a grand idea of equality with no understanding of how it was obtained and just like so many spray their crap everywhere and then when the stuff hits the fan say I didn't know that was going to happen and leave others to clean up the mess.”

    More lies from Bob since gay marriage has been legal in several states and not crap has hit the fans.

    “What possible justification could there be for atheists telling us what the Bible says how it should be interpreted or how we should be except to drive God out of the US”

    This is coming from a well-known lying troll on this site that has proven they don’t even understand the basics of the bible. They are only here to spread lies about the gay community while trying to justify their hate and bigotry that isn’t based on any real facts.

    “I like what Salvatore said they are like feces on your shoe that you wipe off, except here you find that you cant wipe enough”

    This is coming from someone who doesn’t grasp the basic teaching of the bible of “love thy neighbor like yourself,” so basically this comment applies to Bob.

    “If they want gay equality don't use the Bible or slander God to do it”

    That’s why there are now thousands of churches who have gone on record stating that being gay as we know and understand it today it is not a sin. Bob, will go to the well know hate groups to twist the bible to try and justify their prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community.

    “Use your shrinks that cant live a good life for themselves but tell you how you should live to proclaim their justification”

    Bob doesn’t want the truth that the hundreds of thousands of experts have proven him wrong so he comes up with lies like this one.

    “It shows just how low, self driven, uncaring they are to lie about the Bible to get their way”

    No one is lying about the bible it is being put it into historical context to get the true meaning, that is part of reading comprehension 101.

    “Let the courts and corrupt rulers legislate what most people do not want”

    This is probably the same excuse that racists used when they didn’t want to give civil rights to African Americans.

    “This was originally a post about this author that is deceived about what the Bible says about gays”

    Part of the argument is sexual orientation wasn’t studied till the 19th century so when putting the scriptures into historical context to get the real meaning it has to be considered the writers didn’t understand it the way we do today so it is relevant.

    “Some weak Christians may be swayed some will be turned away some will not understand and these dry wells will be held responsible”

    More lies, this is about truth not weakness. Unfounded prejudice and bigotry that is used to block the civil rights of others is weakness and stupidity.

    “Their bravado is also multiplied by the anonymity of the internet”

    That’s why you use so many handles to spread your lies and hate on the internet about the gay community.

    October 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  17. myweightinwords

    This article has been garnering responses for months and months now and yet the "conversation", such as it ever was, has boiled down to a handful of people talking AT one another, endlessly repeating themselves in a deafening cacophony that no one is even reading any more and insults.

    Can I ask why any of you continue to post without ever really engaging in conversation?

    October 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bob

      There was never any talking only insults when the truth was presented it was not accepted and these are not people who want to hear the truth they want to push a point. Why haven't you figured out that yet. I have presented the beginning to the present day of the gay agenda and it was never accepted. Most here are atheists with a hate toward God and with no knowledge of the Bible or God. They do not believe nor have any experiences with God so what could they themselves have to offer as a argument of what the Bible says. So they cannot talk from there own lives but like a parrot recite the wrong teachings of everyone else or insult God, The Bible, people. Because the agenda is not to listen agree and move on. We see here yeah or maybe now Tom reposting cut up excerpts of the crap they posted before with nothing new. There is nothing in them that can support their own wishes except insults the false premise of caring for gays when they could care less about them. They are atheists that is what they do masquerade under the guise of caring with no substance just id driven creatures. With only knowledge as their god but with, no grace,no understanding, no wisdom some not even US citizens so they cant even understand what this country was founded on. They have a grand idea of equality with no understanding of how it was obtained and just like so many spray their crap everywhere and then when the stuff hits the fan say I didn't know that was going to happen and leave others to clean up the mess. What possible justification could there be for atheists telling us what the Bible says how it should be interpreted or how we should be except to drive God out of the US. I like what Salvatore said they are like feces on your shoe that you wipe off, except here you find that you cant wipe enough. If they want gay equality don't use the Bible or slander God to do it. Use your shrinks that cant live a good life for themselves but tell you how you should live to proclaim their justification. It shows just how low, self driven, uncaring they are to lie about the Bible to get their way. Let the courts and corrupt rulers legislate what most people do not want. This was originally a post about this author that is deceived about what the Bible says about gays. So there should be no atheists except maybe the ones that turned their back on God and went their own way offering support for this author. Some weak Christians may be swayed some will be turned away some will not understand and these dry wells will be held responsible. Their bravado is also multiplied by the anonymity of the internet.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I have presented the gay agenda...and it was never accepted."

      That's because there is no 'agenda', Boob, and you've done nothing but babble lies.

      What I really wonder is why you are SO consumed with this topic, SO fascinated by the mechanics of gay s3x, SO concerned with what others do in their private lives when such activities would hold no interest for a person who is truly "straight." I believe you are gay yourself and are either a troll or in denial of your own s3xual preferences.

      NOBODY would spend the time on this you do, unless it was the foremost topic in his mind, 24/7.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi Bob,

      There was never any talking only insults when the truth was presented it was not accepted and these are not people who want to hear the truth they want to push a point.

      This is a bold faced lie, Bob. I have attempted to engage you in conversation repeatedly. All you do is repeat yourself. Repeating yourself is not conversing. And, you have yet to present "truth" only your interpretation of what you believe to be true. There is a difference.

      Why haven't you figured out that yet.

      Figured out what, exactly? What I've figured out is that no one who posts here is actually interested in conversation, only in yelling their talking points at anyone who will listen.

      I have presented the beginning to the present day of the gay agenda and it was never accepted

      Because there is no "gay agenda" Bob. In order for there to be a gay agenda there would have to be a single, cohesive organization that represents all of gaydom. There isn't. I've tried to explain this to you before, but you refuse to engage in conversation.

      . Most here are atheists with a hate toward God and with no knowledge of the Bible or God.

      It is possible to have a conversation that is meaningful and respectful even with those who disagree with you.

      They do not believe nor have any experiences with God so what could they themselves have to offer as a argument of what the Bible says.

      Because they have studied it perhaps. I have studied it. I don't believe it, but I know it much better than many people I know who claim to believe it. Belief is not required to read.

      So they cannot talk from there own lives but like a parrot recite the wrong teachings of everyone else or insult God, The Bible, people.

      There are a lot of insults on all sides here, and I must once again point out that we do not live in a Christian theocracy, so while the bible may be important to you and you may wish to follow your interpretation of it, you can not enforce it as law upon the rest of us.

      Because the agenda is not to listen agree and move on.

      No one has to agree here. Agreement is not the necessary point of conversation. Exchange of ideas, learning new things, understanding someone that you disagree with are all far more rewarding than agreement.

      We see here yeah or maybe now Tom reposting cut up excerpts of the crap they posted before with nothing new.

      One could say the same of you. Sometimes you reword stuff, but essentially you keep saying the same things over and over again, even after others have pointed out errors or tried to converse about the source of your information.

      There is nothing in them that can support their own wishes except insults the false premise of caring for gays when they could care less about them.

      How do you know what they care about? Can you see into their hearts? Does not your own bible warn you about judging others?

      They are atheists that is what they do masquerade under the guise of caring with no substance just id driven creatures. With only knowledge as their god but with, no grace,no understanding, no wisdom some not even US citizens so they cant even understand what this country was founded on.

      So now you expect only US citizens to talk about US policy, when our policy often affects the entire world? When our policy is so far BEHIND the rest of the world when once we were the leaders in freedom and democracy?

      And you'd be surprised what people in various countries understand about our founding, about the way America came to be. Usually a whole lot more than US citizens do because we have dumbed down our education system and allowed people to form curriculum that actually distorts the truth and in some cases flat out lies.

      They have a grand idea of equality with no understanding of how it was obtained and just like so many spray their crap everywhere and then when the stuff hits the fan say I didn't know that was going to happen and leave others to clean up the mess.

      Equality if a human right. You do not need to be American or Christian to understand that.

      What possible justification could there be for atheists telling us what the Bible says how it should be interpreted or how we should be except to drive God out of the US.

      Most atheists I know that point out anything the bible says it is because the Christian they are talking to is behaving contrary to the bible that they claim to believe in. One need not believe the same thing as a Christian to point out hypocrisy.

      I like what Salvatore said they are like feces on your shoe that you wipe off, except here you find that you cant wipe enough.

      I have to wonder what Jesus would think of you calling someone else shit you have to wipe off your shoe?

      If they want gay equality don't use the Bible or slander God to do it.

      I have a surprise for you, Bob. The people using the bible to justify equality are Christians. Atheists don't need to use the bible to justify it. The constituiton of the US is all the justification required.

      Use your shrinks that cant live a good life for themselves but tell you how you should live to proclaim their justification.

      What do you mean that psychiatrists can't live a good life for themselves? Most of the ones I've ever known live pretty well. And clearly, you do not understand what it is that psychiatrists do.

      It shows just how low, self driven, uncaring they are to lie about the Bible to get their way.

      No atheist are lying about the bible to get their way. Various people of various beliefs (or lack of belief) are pointing out things written in the bible for people like you to consider. The text is clearly open to interpretation, or there wouldn't be so many sects of Christianity around.

      Let the courts and corrupt rulers legislate what most people do not want.
      The courts will decide and I have faith that they will continue to uphold the constituition, which means that true equality will happen.

      This was originally a post about this author that is deceived about what the Bible says about gays. So there should be no atheists except maybe the ones that turned their back on God and went their own way offering support for this author.

      The original author interprets the bible differently than you. That does not mean he is deceived. It means he studied and came to a different conclusion, as many, many others have. As I did. And, this is a public forum where anyone is welcome to post. If you are looking for a conversation about gay rights with only like minded folks allowed, I'm sure that there must be a place on the vast internet where that conversation can be found.

      Some weak Christians may be swayed some will be turned away some will not understand and these dry wells will be held responsible.

      So now you also feel qualified to judge your brothers & sisters and their spirituality? What was it Jesus said about that?

      Their bravado is also multiplied by the anonymity of the internet.

      As is yours.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  18. Jeannine

    "It is convenient for fornicators to try to reinterpret the good book to justify fornication
    but that was prophesied in the Bible, "they will exchange the truth for a lie"."

    The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today, now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

    Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding.

    It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  19. Janet

    "So Douglas is correct in what he speaks."

    No, Douglas is misguided by hate. 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.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  20. John

    "There is hope in couples coming out from fornication and leaving sins of the past behind in an exodus of hope."

    In days gone by, it was reasonable for Christians not to question conventional wisdom about the Bible. Because everyone used the Bible to justify slavery, for instance, Christians were OK with believing that some of their fellow human beings were just another species of farm animal they rightfully owned. Later, we Christians were entirely comfortable using the Bible to justify the atrocious idea that women are second-class citizens too simple-minded to be trusted with the vote.

    And up until the Internet made readily available all kinds of previously inaccessible knowledge and information, we could be excused for believing that the Bible indisputably states that God considers homosexual love a moral abomination.

    Today, however, anyone who can read, or simply watch YouTube videos, is forced to acknowledge the absolute credibility of the universe of scholarship, and the reasoning based upon it which unequivocally proves that the Bible does not, in fact, oblige Christians to believe that homosexual love, in and of itself, is necessarily any less moral than is heterosexual love.

    That closet door is now swung wide open. The truth of the matter is now there for anyone to behold.

    Christians today who take seriously the search for truth must admit that the old axiom that homosexuality is a sin has been forever reduced in status from objective truth to subjective opinion. From fact to belief. From beyond question to unquestionably dubious.

    Believing that homosexual love is a condemnable sin, in other words, is now a choice one must make.

    And what Christian - what person at all? - would choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love?

    October 19, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Douglas

      God's word is eternal.

      It is convenient for fornicators to try to reinterpret the good book to justify fornication
      but that was prophesied in the Bible, "they will exchange the truth for a lie".

      LGBTQ coitus is condemned repeatedly in the Holy Bible.

      Celibacy is the path foward for LGBTQ Christians.

      John, it is time for you to get on board and accept celibacy as you embrace the Christian faith.

      I'm standing with you in your journey to celibacy.

      You are not alone.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dougie?

      Fck you and your cheerleading for celibacy. S3x is a part of life and gays have every right to enjoy it as much as straights. Get over it, you dwarf.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Bob

      This I believe is John the gay ex clergy which already makes his statement bias and actually its much worse he is in error so as not to see the truth. The internet is not the authority on Gods word nor the interpretation of it. Those who are His children have the Spirit of Truth to reveal all truth not the internet. If God has Moses use smooth stones in the alter because nothing that man builds will honor God, do you think that anything that the internet has to offer is going to make it to heaven or explain God or His commandments?? The internet is mans creation with man putting his own misguided words on it. Gods word is not to be played with and John in judgement will get what the Lord has for him. While gays are to be respected like anyone else its the act of copulation that is the problem. So Douglas is correct in what he speaks. Nothing no law or people or anything man does will make that right although it may exist for a short time. Go on with your life and know that there is no acceptance of the gay lifestyle in the Bible. If you want religion just make your own its easy, John and the rest who don't follow the word are actually doing just that to their own harm.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Melvin

      "Go on with your life and know that there is no acceptance of the gay lifestyle in the Bible."

      Your wrong Bob.

      The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:07 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.