Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Marry, marry, quite contrary: Must we change the law to welcome bride-bride / groom-groom nuptials?

Just let them marry whomever they wish.

This line -- and other statements expressing a similar sentiment -- makes its way into conversations more often these days, whether such conversations are face-to-face or virtual. You'd think it's a plea or a piece of advice directed at a concerned parent hesitant to let go of offspring who are of proper age to make up their own minds about life decisions. Dad believes grownup daughter isn't ready for wedded life and is jumping into it with the wrong guy (imagined scenario). But no, the statement in this case is being directed -- on one level -- at citizens who recognize marriage as something meant to be entered into by one man and one woman. On a higher level, Just let them marry whomever they want  is being directed at the State, to persuade decision-makers to legally recognize marriage between members of the same sex.

It's simply a civil union, some say, and everyone has the right to be in a partnership that is recognized by society.

It seems quite simple, and adjusting the law to accommodate the request of some individuals insisting on their preference may be regarded as a step toward justice for all. Is it simple? And would it be just to make such adjustments on the law? Most importantly, would it be the right thing to do?

Give them what they want, seems the easiest route to take. But think about what my friend Mark pointed out here, about whether believers that marriage should be between one man and one woman, should seek to stop the legislation of same-sex "marriage". I quote his written remarks:

It has been said that state-sanctioned marriage is civil, not religious in nature. Christians will not be forced to solemnize same-sex "marriages". We will not be forced to attend those. In short, we will not be affected. Hence, we have no reason to oppose same-sex "marriage". Worse, they say, the only reason we oppose [it] is our homophobia, our fear and hatred of same-sex couples.
But is this the case? No.

The motivation for us to take a stand in the political and legal arena is that we recognize the Law as one of the highest expressions of our collective beliefs. Modern liberals believe that the Law is simply the rules of the game. We do not believe so. We believe that the Law embodies what our people believe in. It forms the collective teaching we impart to the generation after us.

If we legislate same-sex "marriage", we in effect as a people say that same-sex relations, in the context of marriage which is inherently a sexual relationship, are OK. But that is precisely what we do not want to say. We do not think such relationships are OK. We do not think people will find complete fulfillment in those relationships. Hence, we are committed by our conscience to fight such a legislation. And we have a right and a duty to do so as citizens of this nation, to participate in the debate as we chart our nation's direction.
This is not yet an argument against same-sex "marriage". Rather, this is an argument against those who seek the passage of a law allowing same-sex "marriage" on the mere basis that we believers in "traditional marriage" will not be affected anyway. The basic answer to those people is that that is not true. We will be affected, as our children and children's children will be affected.

Apparently, it takes a broader perspective to see the entire picture, and a more other-centered mindset to learn to consider the repercussions of one's actions on the rest of society.

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