August 8th, 2010
03:22 PM ET

Opinion: Same-sex marriage will hurt families, society

Editor's note: Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. is senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, and founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC). He shares his thoughts on traditional marriage in "The Black Pulpit," a weekly series of opinion pieces that explores faith in the black community. CNN's "Black in America: Churched" premieres October 14.

By Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., Special to CNN

The institution of marriage is unique. It is the one institution that binds women and men together to form a family, and this serves broad societal purposes.

In California, a U.S. District Court Judge last week overturned Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act. It was passed in November 2008 by California voters to recognize "only marriage between a man and a woman."

The majority of Californians, including two-thirds of the state's black voters, have just had their core civil right - the right to vote - stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his views on the state's people.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christian Science • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Timothy P. Ross

    This guy needs to consult an attorney...California voters do not have the right to vote on the basic civil rights of anyone. That's the difference between a republic, where the rights of minorities are protected, and a democracy, where the tyrrany of the majority rules, as in when the majority of white men voted that slavery was ok. Get it ?

    February 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  2. food for thought

    It seems after reading some of the comments on this blog that many of the people defending Homosexuality tend also to be making fun of Christians ( no I am not one) for believing in the Bible's sense of how marriage is defined. If we are to accept the premise that the ultimate goal of our existence is not to obey God, but the survival and betterment of the Human Species. Shouldn't all these staunch anti-creationists also be against Homosexuality on the basis that it's promotion inhibits the survival of our species due to inability to reproduce new Human beings ?

    I'm speaking from a purely scientific sense so a reply that goes to the affect of "Homosexuals just want to pursue love just like you" would not address my points

    August 18, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  3. Selfish Gene

    bigot bishop

    August 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  4. Selfish Gene

    Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr bigot
    for the wikipedia and google search

    August 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  5. lety

    Im a single lesbian parent and I can tell you my daughter loves me no matter what. She is a wonderful child does great in school and at home. I see kids that have both parents and its funny how even having both they cant handle their kids. My daughter is ok with me being who I am shes proud of her mom she walks next to me with her head held high because she knows I love her to death..... I dont think being gay or straight makes a difference its the love and disipline you show your kids.

    August 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  6. Jeff Chiacchieri

    First off, I cant wait to put this behind us?….so we can be up in arms regarding something that’s more relevant to the mess this country is in! Perhaps many gays and heteros find gay marriage the most important thing in there life and do not understand why any president is not fully on board with there side? Well, I hope from Obamas point of view there are many other more important issues arising out of this.

    Like many Americans, I am completely disinterested in other "adults" sexual behavior. If two people of the same sex want to love each other I DON'T CARE! I would venture to say its not the average Joe blow homosexual that is obsessed with redefining marriage…it’s the activist extremists! Homosexuality cannot be merged with the traditionally recognized institution of marriage between one man and one woman. Same sex relationships could be called whatever they want. Then let both have equal benefits. Minimal discrimination to either side!

    To communicate or debate, one has to decide what their issue is with prop 8, gay marriage or judicial activism?. My issue has nothing to do whether or not I am in favor or against gay marriage.

    According to judge walker the current "credible" motivation for banning gays and lesbians from marrying is a desire to mark them as second-class citizens. Well I say, then why be married? Why try to change the ancient traditional foundation that exists? Do they really think a piece of paper will change anything? Well from experience I found that kind of ownership of another person just makes life more complicated. Well as a divorced agnostic, its easy for me to feel that way emotionally! Also, you never herd me complain with my choice to become a minority as a single dad back in the 1990s with custody of my kids. I was discriminated across the board compared to single moms, so I have some personal experience with discrimination. And don’t tell me this is equal to abolition of slavery, or women overcoming patriarchy!

    Shouldn’t we all be up in arms working together over something sooooo much more important? Like decades of sloppy capitalism, and all its trickle down effects that has our country in such a terrible economic mess? We need to wake up collectively and look what’s happening to our country?...look where we are at? Shouldn’t there be hundreds of other more relevant issues to get this country up in arms? Yeah, I know I am changing the subject……Hello!

    Now if the issue for you is solely gay marriage, weather for or against it, then you are talking about your own life/emotions, and regardless if this decision is in your favor or not, that blinds you. That’s what the populous does! Again, wake up and look what’s happening to our country….look where we are!

    I disagree with the power abuse used to implement amendment of prop 8, because of the extort tactics employed, not because of gay marriage in itself. If they want to be as miserable as hetero couples its fine with me! Just as Obama, I do not endorse gay marriage, but have no problem with benefits. There is an issue here bigger than, beliefs, religion, homophobia, sin, or gay marriage, all of that is just the stage!! My interest here is what is going on behind this gay smokescreen? Perhaps it’s the constitution being manipulated to fit a judicial agenda? for people in the populous like themselves? Well, constitutional interpretation or reconstructing the constitution certainly can not be left to an activist judge, and should not be left to the judiciary alone. They should require input from the citizens.

    Why is Obama against gay marriage? How can a president sit back and concur with Judicial inability to recognize its limitations as a political entity undermining democratic favor?.

    Society cannot separate due to physical traits. It does separate based on things that society deems immoral or dangerous. If this is discrimination, which side or who defines morality? Each side has a different definition? To communicate or debate our words need to have the same meaning or were not speaking the same language and we get nowhere, for example look at the abortion debate.

    How far can the supreme court break down the majority of citizens conventional ideas of morality? Where and how could they find an acceptable limit that does not discriminate against anyone’s morals? Will the Supreme court decide for society the definition of correct and moral behavior for all mindsets? If so, are we still a constitutional representative democracy? If not, and we are to "evolve" into something more modern, meaning we are beyond those old age parameters, should that be up to the Supreme court to decide?

    I would say every time judicial supremacy replaces constitutional supremacy It goes against our best ideals constitutionally, that is regarding the intended understanding of the values outlined in our founding documents.

    Judge Walker says: "the ruling struck down Proposition 8 as a violation of federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process"

    So if it’s unconstitutional to prohibit same sex marriage…. Using that same ideology is it even more unconstitutional to force this on all of society? Now, if “moral disapproval” violates constitutional rights as Judge walker stated, then is he contradicting himself? Constitutional politics is known to, and accepted to use, persuasion to initiate change. This Judge has just used political coercion. He has personally, through the court, used the morality of rights from a minority, to displace the morality of consent with all of California. Will the supreme court follow suit?

    Every time we allow judicial review to impose judicial supremacy, to replace constitutional supremacy, It goes against our best ideals constitutionally, and
    we alter the constitution without public acceptance and or awareness. This supremacy is a slippery slope, presently the subject matter is insignificant compared to what it will become down the line, leading to more problems that are significant, to the point where someday we may end up a dictatorship. California has already voted twice that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and approved Prop 8. 30 states have voted the same, over 60 million Americans. Are we a constitutional representative democracy? If we no longer accept the current benchmark of our citizens individual voting preferences, it goes against our best ideals constitutionally. If I remember correctly the Constitution belongs to the people!

    I project that if the supreme court (through what would have to be a narrow victory) forces this down society's throat, with all the societal changes that would follow, for example, all children being taught that homosexuality is a healthy life choice……the complete disgust for homosexuality by the heterosexual majority in this country will not only persist, but increase, as it is a natural response for them. That could end up worse for the same-sex marriage movement , which could lead to a constitutional amendment that would eliminate same-sex marriage in all states. I wonder if the Supreme Court will avoid making a decision and leave it to states?

    Lets see what happens!

    Jeff Chiacchieri

    August 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  7. His Own

    By the way, ciivil laws do protect the rights of others. Separation of church and state is necessary, for all people do not believe the same things due to thier religous or non religous belief. It would be hard if not impossible to govern a body of people without that.
    So, before anyone gets bent out of shape over what I am about to say, understand again that people have freedoms under the constitution, and the right to choose is one of them.
    I don't see why people who decide to live together in a union that is different from what I believe, should be denied. If they are law abiding citizens, work and pay taxes, and want to be with someone of thier choice, that is thier right. It has nothing to do with religion, as it falls under the laws of the land, and under seperatin of church and state.
    The Lord said, Train up a child in the way that he should go, and he will not depart from it. We, as Christians, need to follow that instruction, and stop worrying about what the other lifestyle is going to reflect on our beliefs. If you do what you believe in,there should be no fear, for God is with you always. and his perfect love cast out all fear.
    This is just my opinion on that. Let God be the judge of everything else. Just love your neighbor..he said that was the greatest command. Peace!

    August 11, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  8. His Own

    CatholicMom: Your very welcome.

    I certainly understand where you are coming from. I am a saved Christian, and I too feel there are other Christians who do poorly represent what they preach. The Lord did tell us not to judge, and to love our fellowman. If you are trying to win people to come to God, it should be done in LOVE, not like a Bull in a China shop. All that does is turn people off. I left a church once because I saw exactly what you said happening.
    I stayed as long as I could, and tried to set an example. After much prayer, I decided it was time to move on. See, not all Christian churches follow the word of God, but they get thier own little self in the way. Being a Christian is dying to self, and living for the Lord. I think thats why some Christians or professing Christians turn people away. I think thats wrong.
    I have a cousin who is Gay. I love her, and have as lovingly as I could, told her that Jesus loves her and wants he to have everlasting life with him in heaven. I also told her that in order to do that, she had to ask forgiveness for her sins, and invite him into her life. I would no more think of treating her different for her Gay lifestyle, then I would a Christian sister or brother who is not Gay. Judging is not what God called me to do, thats his business. Besides, sin is sin....Jesus said if you broke one Commandment, you broke them all! Thats why we all need forgiveness from him. If there had been no commandments, then we would not be guilty of sinning, plain and simple. Can't break laws if there are none to break,lol!
    Peace and Love

    August 11, 2010 at 7:40 am |
  9. dalis

    I have a solution that ought to be mutually-satisfying to all sides in this debate (even though it won't be): the government needs to get out of the marriage business out of adherence to separation of church and state. Civil unions for all couples – heteros3xual and homos3xual – and let marriage be religiously or personally determined.

    August 11, 2010 at 4:26 am |
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About this blog

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