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.
The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others; whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships
Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!
Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.
First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?
Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.
This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.
The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.
What is "Natural"?
Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.
I Corinthians 6:9
Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.
The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.
The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion …No Law Against Love
The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".
Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus; Corinthians; Romans, etc..) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.
Christians are increasingly divided over the issue of the acceptance and inclusion of gay persons into the church. The debate itself is usually framed as essentially pitting the Bible, on one hand, against compassion and social justice on the other. Our Christian hearts, runs the (usually impassioned) argument, compel us to grant full moral and legal equality to gay and lesbian people; our Christian faith, comes the (usually impassioned) rebuttal, compels us to cleave, above all, to the word of God.
Compassion for others is the fundamental cornerstone of Christian ethics; the Bible is the bedrock of the Christian faith. What Christian can possibly choose between the two?
The answer is that no Christian is called upon to make that choice. The text of the Bible on one hand, and full equality for gay and lesbian people on the other, is a false dichotomy. God would not ask or expect Christians to ever choose between their heart and their faith.
Reconciling the Bible with unqualified acceptance and equality for LGBT people does not necessitate discounting, recasting, deconstructing or reinterpreting the Bible. All it takes is reading those passages of the Bible wherein homosexuality is mentioned with the same care we would any other passage of the book.
We can trust God; we can trust that God is loving.
And we can trust that we can - and that we certainly should - take God, in this matter, as in all things, at his Word.
If there is no clearly stated directive in the Bible to marginalize and ostracize gay people, then Christians continuing to do so is morally indefensible, and must cease.
What cannot be denied is that Christians have caused a great deal of pain and suffering to gay persons, by:
Banning their participation in the church, thus depriving them of the comforts and spiritual fruits of the church;
Banning their participation in the sacrament of marriage, thus depriving them of the comforts and spiritual fruits of marriage;
Damaging the bonds between gays and their straight family members, thus weakening the comforts and spiritual fruits of family life for both gays and their families; and
Using their position within society as spokespersons for God to proclaim that all homosexual relations are disdained by God, thus knowingly contributing to the cruel persecution of a minority population.
Christians do not deny that they have done these things. However, they contend that they have no choice but to do these things, based on what they say is a clear directive about homosexuals delivered to them by God through the Holy Bible. They say that the Bible defines all homosexual acts as sinful, instructs them to exclude from full participation in the church all non-repentant sinners (including gay people), and morally calls upon them to publicly (or at least resolutely) denounce homosexual acts.
Without an explicit directive from God to exclude and condemn homosexuals, the Christian community's treatment of gay persons is in clear violation of what Jesus and the New Testament writers pointedly identified as the most important commandment from God: to love one's neighbor as one's self.
The gay community has cried out for justice to Christians, who have a biblically mandated obligation to be just. Because the mistreatment of gay persons by Christians is so severe, the directive from God to marginalize and ostracize gay people must be clear and explicit in the Bible. If there is no such clearly stated directive, then the continued Christian mistreatment of gay and lesbian people is morally indefensible, and must cease.
The Bible is not a contract, or a set of instructions, with each passage spelling out something clear and specific. It is not a rulebook for being Christian. It is instead a widely varying collection of poetry, history, proverbs, moral directives, parables, letters and wondrous visions. We would be foolish to fail to understand that not everything in the Bible is a commandment, and that Christians cannot take any small section of the Bible out of its own context, and still hope to gain a clear understanding of its meaning.
We can be confident that Paul was not writing to, or about, gay people, because he simply could not have been, any more than he could have written about smart phones or iPads. We do not know what Paul might write or say today about gay people. All we know is that in the New Testament he wrote about promiscuous, predatory, non-consensual same-sex acts between heterosexuals.
If we are to rely on the Bible, then we must take its text as it is. It does condemn homosexual (and heterosexual) sex that is excessive, exploitive and outside of marriage. It does not, however, address the state of homosexuality itself - much less the subject of homosexual acts between a married gay couple. Christians therefore have no Bible-based moral justification for themselves condemning such acts.
Because there was no concept of gay marriage when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts done within the context of gay marriage.
The Bible routinely, clearly and strongly classifies all sex acts outside of the bonds of marriage as sinful. But, because there was no concept of gay people when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts done within the context of marriage. Christians therefore have no biblical basis for themselves condemning such acts.
In fact, by denying marriage equality to gay people, Christians are compelling gay couples to sin, because their intimacy must happen outside of marriage, and is therefore, by biblical definition, sinful.
Being personally repelled by homosexual sex doesn't make homosexual sex a sin.
Christians cite as additional evidence of the inherent sinfulness of homosexual acts their raw emotional response to such acts. It is understandable that many straight people find homosexual sex repugnant (just as many gay people find heterosexual sex repugnant). It is normal for any one of us to be viscerally repelled by the idea of sex between, or with, people for whom we personally have no sexual attraction. It may feel to a straight Christian that their instinctive negative reaction to homosexual sex arises out of the Bible. But all of us necessarily view the Bible through the lens of our own experiences and prejudices, and we must be very careful to ensure that lens does not distort our vision or understanding of God's sacrosanct word.
"The greatest of these is love – love."
The overriding message of Jesus was love. Jesus modeled love; Jesus preached love; Jesus was love. Christians desiring to do and live the will of Jesus are morally obliged to always err on the side of love.
"This was a direct response to presi personal affirmation of gay marriage and recent lawsuits against the Defense of Marriage Act."
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
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 prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.
"the largest Protestant denomination in US, went on record Wednesday to oppose any attempt by gay rights activists to frame same marriage as a civil rights issue."
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.
"Christian case for gay marriage?
No such thing exists."
As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.
In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:
-to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;
–to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;
–to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;
–to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;
Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.
While all the flack has died down can you imaging what it was like in Jesus time? The religious and non religious calling on your death if you dare to let the truth of God be known. It is this way in some countries today that Christians are persecuted for their belief in Jesus. In China they have to either register with the gov or go underground just to worship. Why would this be so important to suffer persecution just to praise God? Because the treasure they have found who call on Jesus as Lord is worth every thing to true believers. The fellowship of the Lord in our lives and the reward when we die is beyond any distasteful thing the world could dish out. Is this not a testimony to the name of Jesus, do you know Him today, Find out who He is for yourself, a prayer could be as simple as help, yet God never lets a sincere heart go without a witness of who He is. In fact unless you were called by God you would never know Him, but if you are and have a will to know Him then call out to the one who fortold the way the world would be from ovver 2 thousand years ago in the Bible. Time marches on but so do the words of God and not one of them willl fall useless they will perform as God has said they would. For 2000 years men have been trying to remove the name of Jesus from everything. Religion is mans way to worship God, but a true relationship with God is not only possible but needed and attainable. Since the Bible was written it has said a way things would go and we see changes more and more. This and the fact that the Bible and Jesus cannot be taken out of society is testimony to God. He is making sure His word is fulfilled. He can do that for your life also. If Church isn't your thing if things have seemed to hit a dead end then call out to Him who loves you. But LISTEN in your heart expect a reply and in the turmoil it may be hard to hear but He will answer. God has not let me down, ever!! We are supposed to model Jesus, this also applies to His miracles, can you imaging what awaits for those who press in to the calling of God? This awaits for you!! Along with peace, joy help in trouble, a friend that is always there. His testimony is already in our hearts hidden away. It is not till we call on Him that we begin to understand the true loving, powerful, caring nature that is God. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins so we could not only go to heaven but have a relationship NOW with Him. The separation from us to God has been removed if we just ask for help.
"Along with peace, joy help in trouble, a friend that is always there. His testimony is already in our hearts hidden away"
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?
"Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
"Salvatore" degenerates to:
"Douglas" degenerates to:
"truth be told" 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:
"Chad" degenerates to
"Bob" degenerates to
"nope" degenerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"fred" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
This troll is not a christian.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in US, went on record Wednesday to oppose any attempt by gay rights activists to frame same marriage as a civil rights issue.They overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that denounces "the effort to legalize 'same marriage' as a civil rights issue since h0m0 does not qualify as a class meriting special protections, like race and gender. This was a direct response to presi personal affirmation of gay marriage and recent lawsuits against the Defense of Marriage Act. This was a specific statement regarding the use of rhetoric that we find to be a misappropriation.
You are on a roll...run with it!
You truly live trying to fulfill the words of the Lord
1Pe 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
1Pe 4:2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
I admire your conviction and relationship and pray that the Spirit of God will always guide and strengthen and protect you. Because there is no other way except with the Lord could you be a testimony and speak what you do. I will look for you in heaven, hopefully we will both make it and rejoice in the stories we will have.
"They overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that denounces "the effort to legalize 'same marriage' as a civil rights issue since h0m0 does not qualify as a class meriting special protections, like race and gender. "
This is why you can't believe anything this prejudice bigot posts on this subject. They are simply a troll who is not a christian but a homophobic who can't deal with the fact they are actually gay themselves.
Each state has its own individual requirements concerning the people who may marry. Before a state will issue a marriage license, a man and a woman must meet certain criteria. Some states prohibit marriage for those judged to be mentally ill or mentally retarded. In other states, however, a judge may grant permission to mentally retarded persons to marry.Every state proscribes marriage between close relatives. The prohibited degree of relationship is fixed by state law. Every state forbids marriage to a child or grandchild, parent or grandparent, uncle or aunt, and niece or nephew, including illegitimate relatives and relatives of half blood, such as a half brother who has the same father but a different mother. A number of states also prohibit marriage to a first cousin, and some forbid marriage to a more distant relative, in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.Age is an additional requirement. Every jurisdiction mandates that a man and a woman must be old enough to wed. In the 1800s, the legal age was as low as 12 years old for females. Modern statutes ordinarily provide that females may marry at age 16 and males at age 18. Sometimes a lower age is permitted with the written consent of the parents. A number of states allow for marriage below the minimum age if the female is pregnant and a judge grants permission.Every couple who wishes to marry must comply with a state's formal requirements. Many states require a blood test or a blood test and physical examination before marriage, to show whether one party is infected with a venereal disease. In some states, for example, the clerk is forbidden to issue a marriage license until the parties present the results of the blood test.Most states impose a waiting period between the filing of an application for a license and its issuance. The period is usually three days, but in some states the period may reach five days. Other states mandate a waiting period between the time when the license is issued and the date when the marriage ceremony may take place. Many states provide that the marriage license is valid only for a certain period of time. If the ceremony does not take place during this period, a new license must be obtained. Not everyone has the right to marry.
"Many states require a blood test or a blood test and physical examination before marriage, to show whether one party is infected with a venereal disease. In some states, for example, the clerk is forbidden to issue a marriage license until the parties present the results of the blood test"
This is how stupid this poster is because none of these test are for STD or HIV. LMAO! This is only his prejudice bigoted response as they try to justify their uneducated hatred toward the gay community. LOL!
On the other hand, the Court ruled in 1878 that polygamous marriages (i.e., having more than one spouse simultaneously) are illegal. The requirement that marriage involve one man and one woman was held to be essential to Western civilization and the United States in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L. Ed. 244. Chief Justice morrison r. waite, writing for a unanimous court, concluded that a state (in that case, Utah) may outlaw Polygamy for everyone, regardless of whether it is a religious duty, as the Mormons claimed it was.All states limit people to one living husband or wife at a time and will not issue marriage licenses to anyone who has a living spouse. Once someone is married, the person must be legally released from his or her spouse by death, divorce, or annulment before he or she may legally remarry. Persons who enter into a second marriage without legally dissolving a first marriage may be charged with the crime of bigamy.
"The requirement that marriage involve one man and one woman"
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.
The idea that marriage is the union of one male and one female has been thought to be so basic that it is not ordinarily specifically expressed by statute. This traditional principle has been challenged by gays and lesbians who, until recently, have unsuccessfully sought to legalize their relationships. In Baker v. Nelson,, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971), the Supreme Co sustained the clerk's denial of a marriage license to a h0m0 couple.
"Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity
"The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity"
Just remember people that prejudice bigots toward African Americans used the same stupid argument to try and deny them their civil rights, and women too. This shows just how uneducated this poster is and they are only full of hate and bigotry toward the gay community. Duh!
Christian case for gay marriage?
No such thing exists.
Pastor Moore and Elder Duncan recently concluded a seminar on the current effort to redefine Christian
morality in terms of LGBTQ goals and objectives.
The audience was spell bound as Pastor Moore detailed the Biblical evidence that categorically refutes every
claim made by the LGBTQ apologists.
For starters, in Genesis God defines the human race as a man and a woman. From these two he builds the family unit.
Fast forward...Jesus defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman (Matthew 19).
Fast forward...Paul who preached the Gospel to the Gentiles...(the rest of us)...clearly warned believers of the pitfalls that await those who pursue the lust of fornication.
Today you have a choice. You can choose salvation according to God's plan or you can choose fornication.
For LGBTQ folk, celibacy is the path to salvation and righteousness.
Let's close out this discussion now. The Bible has rendered its verdict to the jury.
Fornication is guilty! Celibacy is innocent!
"Today you have a choice. You can choose salvation according to God's plan or you can choose fornication.
For LGBTQ folk, celibacy is the path to salvation and righteousness."
"But with that said I don't want to change marriage or the laws of society as a whole to accommodate a group of people based on gender preference. I also do not want to elevate their rights above the rest of society or make it easy for peds and every other preference to be recognized. What I have said is not bigotry but the truth."
Bob you've done nothing but spread lies about the gay community and posted things from well known hate groups. This is how stupid your argument is because having sex with a child is illegal or haven't you been watching the news lately about Penn State. What an idiot. Being gay and having a gay relationship is NOT illegal. The experts in this country have proven 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."
That is why this is 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.
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.
It's why the NAACP is now on the side of gay civil rights. Duh!
Professor Mark Regnerus, the author of the New Family Structures Survey project, has published a study that is not only the largest and most comprehensive, it is only the second study based on a probability sample. Scientifically this is huge. (I am told there is a study just published in the Journal of Marriage and Family on education that also uses a probability sample. I’ll track that down.)On 25 of 40 outcome measures, adult children who reported their mother had a same romantic relationship fared poorly compared to children raised by intact biological married parents. This should surprise no one. It doesn’t mean that gay parents are bad parents. Plenty of kids raised outside of intact married families do fine. Nonetheless, this new research tends to affirm that the ideal for a child is a married mom and dad.Major family scholars such as Paul Amato, while cautioning that this should not be conclusive for policy questions such as same marriage, affirm that this is an excellent study, indeed probably the best study we have to date on gay parenting.In the same journal, Professor Loren Marks critiques the APA’s proclamation that scientific data proves children do just as well raised by same-couples as by opposite- married ones. He is very critical of the scientific basis of these strong policy pronouncements.While I realize that the gay community disputes this strongly it is proof that the APA is not united in feelings about gays. It is a political organization now more than anything else it has long ceased from being the elite scientific authority it once was.
"Professor Mark Regnerus, the author of the New Family Structures Survey project, has published a study that is not only the largest and most comprehensive, it is only the second study based on a probability sample. Scientifically this is huge. "
LMAO that's why hundred of thousands of experts have stated that 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.
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."
Don't forget people Bob gets all this information from well known hate groups and the research they posts have been proven over and over again to be false full of prejudice and bigotry.
Robert thank you but I actually have nothing against gays. I believe that they have been unfairly treated in some situations and I don't like the cruelty that some have shown to them. But with that said I don't want to change marriage or the laws of society as a whole to accommodate a group of people based on gender preference. I also do not want to elevate their rights above the rest of society or make it easy for peds and every other preference to be recognized. What I have said is not bigotry but the truth. You are what you are and I wouldn't expect to bring something or someone down sugar coat the truth or just plain lie, just to feel good about myself or make who I am look better. If things are brought up that are unbecoming or make yourself or others squeamish then maybe those things shouldn't be done. The only weapon these pushing the gay agenda have is to say you are a bigot because facts are facts and I dont want the truth to get lost in the propaganda campaign.
"The only weapon these pushing the gay agenda have is to say you are a bigot because facts are facts and I dont want the truth to get lost in the propaganda campaign."
You're lying again here, you have NOT posted any facts about this issue. Everything you have posted has been proven bogus by the hundred of thousand of experts in this country. The sites you get your information from are well known hate groups who's information has been proven bogus over and over again. You are not posting facts for denying gay marriage. It's obvious you don't care about them or their families. 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.
The rights you are trying to deny them are:
-–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.
-–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.
-–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.
-–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.
-–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
-–Making burial or other final arrangements.
-–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.
-–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
-–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
-–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.
" On another topic God says to the population go multiply and occupy so how does this fit with gays without the ability to procreate? What kind of statement is this that naturally and Biblically they cannot carry on?"
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.
"On another topic God says to the population go multiply and occupy so how does this fit with gays without the ability to procreate?"
Don't forget the experts have stated 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.
"On another topic God says to the population go multiply and occupy so how does this fit with gays without the ability to procreate"
Another stupid and prejudice comment since gays and lesbians have children. LMAO!
"Gay and bi men remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the United States."
This is how stupid and prejudice this poster is they want to regulate civil rights by using HIV, meanwhile ignoring the fact that straights are far more infected throughout the world with this disease.Let's deny them their civil rights too. Duh!
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.
Gay and bi men remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the United States. CDC estimates Men with Men represent approximately 2% of the US population, but accounted for more than 50% of all new HIV infections annually from 2006 to 2009 –56% in 2006 58% in 2007 56% in 2008 and 61% in 2009. This would also mean that we are paying more money on health care for active gays another cost passed on to all of us. On another topic God says to the population go multiply and occupy so how does this fit with gays without the ability to procreate? What kind of statement is this that naturally and Biblically they cannot carry on?
Bob are you are aware that a series of studies recently published in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2012 found higher levels of homophobia in individuals with unacknowledged attractions to the same sex, particularly when they grew up with authoritarian parents who also held homophobic attitudes. In the university press release "Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves." In the same release "In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward." That really sounds like what is going on with you and why you are so obsessed with this article.
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.