Florida Baptist Witness Newspaper

Editorial: Ten reasons to oppose gay marriage

By JAMES A. SMITH SR.

In a remarkably short period of time, the homosexual lobby has so successfully pressed its claims that America is now on the verge of a massive redefinition of the most fundamental institution of society – marriage. Catapulted by a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling and the highly celebrated actions of a few politicians across the nation, the prospect of a marriage revolution has now become a central issue in American life – and will undoubtedly be a key factor in the 2004 presidential contest.

With the State of Massachusetts on the brink of recognizing same-sex “marriage” in a few weeks, Christians who understand their biblical obligation to be good citizens (Rom. 13:1-7) must not stand on the sidelines during this critical debate. As we talk with relatives, neighbors, friends, co-workers and others, Christians need to be able to give sound arguments for why “gay marriage” is both bad for our society, as well as for those who wish to engage in such a lifestyle.

Ranking in order of least to greatest importance, here are ten reasons to oppose same-sex “marriage”:


For Christians to compromise on “gay marriage” is to obscure an important illustration of the Gospel message. Same-sex “marriage” is wrong because God designed marriage to be the lifetime union between one man and one woman. Societies that reject God’s plan reap the consequences of that rebellion.

10. Many homosexuals are on our side. While the homosexual lobby has pushed for the “right” to “marry” as part of its broader public policy strategy to gain acceptance and endorsement, it’s clear that many homosexuals really don’t want to marry. Indeed, homosexuals see marriage as a key feature of the heterosexual culture which they wish to demolish in their attempt to radically change sexual morality in our society.

9. America is on our side. Especially after last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which overturned Texas’ law against sodomy, American public opinion has been galvanized against “gay marriage” with significant majorities opposed.

8. History is on our side. Never in human history has marriage meant anything other than the union of a man and a woman. Further, no society – at least until very recently – has recognized the legitimacy of same-sex “marriage.”

7. Language is on our side. The words “homosexual” and “marriage” cannot be combined logically to mean anything; they are oxymoronic: two words that are contradictory. It is literally a redefinion of language to suggest marriage can mean anything other than the union of a man and a woman.

6. Religious liberty is on our side. America’s First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion. Nevertheless, homosexuals who now lobby for same-sex “marriage” will not stop at mere governmental endorsement of their immoral activity; they will one day insist that all society – including evangelical churches – condone, protect and even bless these “marriages.” Far-fetched? Look at the numerous examples of the deterioration of religious freedom of those with politically incorrect, biblical convictions.

5. The “slippery slope” argument is on our side. Those who demand that same-sex “marriage” must be legalized have an obligation to explain why marriage is not appropriate for any other deviant sexual pattern adults and/or minors would wish to enter into. If homosexual “marriage” must be permitted, why shouldn’t polygamy, incest, pedophilia and other sexual immorality? Indeed, how will these practices be denied if “gay marriage” is granted?

4. Nature is on our side. One need not hold to any particular religious convictions to understand from common sense that men and women are different. Same-sex relationships are contrary to the natural order. “Gender distinctions are not simply an artificial social construct. Men and women are uniquely designed to complement each other physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton has written.

3. Children are on our side. A primary reason for marriage is procreation – bringing children into the world. Children need both mothers and fathers. “Deliberately depriving a child of a mother or a father is not in the child’s best interest,” Stanton notes. Research demonstrates the critical value of both fathers and mothers in the formation of children.

2. The restoration of the family is on our side. Even before the current campaign for “gay marriage,” it’s clear that America is in the midst of a massively dangerous, destructive experiment with marriage at severe cost to families and our society. Between 1960 and 2000, U.S. households with married couples declined from 78 to 52 percent, with the total number of households with unmarried partners increasing by 72 percent just between 1990 and 2000. The explosion of no-fault divorce and serial marriages is further undermining the biblical ideal for marriage. Same-sex “marriage” will accelerate these damaging trends.

1. America must be on God’s side. All truth is God’s truth, which is why all the foregoing reasons against homosexual “marriage” are valid. God’s Word explains why they are true. Every reason to oppose “gay marriage” is secondary to the fact that God has spoken. Starting in the Bible’s first book with the creation of man and woman, which as the pinnacle of creation He calls “very good” (Gen. 1:31), and continuing through the last book, God’s plan for marriage is abundantly clear.

The fact that Scripture points to marriage as the union of husband and wife as a picture of Christ’s union with His church (Eph. 5:22-33) demonstrates the critical nature of the “gay marriage” debate. For Christians to compromise on “gay marriage” is to obscure an important illustration of the Gospel message. Same-sex “marriage” is wrong because God designed marriage to be the lifetime union between one man and one woman. Societies that reject God’s plan reap the consequences of that rebellion.

During the Civil War a visitor to the White House confidently asserted to the president that God was on the side of the North. Abraham Lincoln famously answered, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God’s side.”

Christians must stand-up for authentic marriage because America must be on God’s side.


 

 

New York Times

Why I Now Support Gay Marriage

By TOM SUOZZI

WHEN I ran in the Democratic primary for governor against Eliot Spitzer in 2006, I vocally supported civil unions for same-sex couples but did not endorse equal marriage. I understood the need to provide equal rights for gays and lesbians, but as a practicing Catholic, I also felt that the state should not infringe on religious institutions’ right to view marriage in accordance with their own traditions. I thought civil unions for same-sex couples would address my concerns regarding both equality and religious liberty.

I was wrong.

I have listened to many well-reasoned and well-intentioned arguments both for and against same-sex marriage. And as I talked to gays and lesbians and heard their stories of pain, discrimination and love, my platitudes about civil unions began to ring hollow. I have struggled to find the solution that best serves the common good.

I now support same-sex marriage. This is a subject of great debate before the New York State Legislature (although the legislators there are a little distracted right now), and I hope that same-sex civil marriage will be approved within the month.

Under current New York State law, same-sex couples are deprived of access to the employment benefits, life and health insurance and inheritance laws that heterosexual couples have. If the state were to institute civil unions for same-sex couples, that discrimination would end, but we’d still be creating a separate and unequal system.

Civil unions for both heterosexual and same-sex couples would be an equal system, but this compromise appears unlikely at the current time. Few heterosexual couples would give up their current civil marriage for a civil union. While some states would recognize civil unions for all, others would not, causing legal problems for New York couples. Advocates of same-sex marriage don’t seem in favor of such a compromise either.

According to the last census, there are an estimated 50,000 households headed by same-sex couples in New York, many who were married in other states. Those marriages are recognized by New York courts as valid. As a result, we have same-sex marriage for some in New York (albeit performed out of state) and no marriage at all for other same-sex couples.

Any change in the New York law can, and must, balance equality while making sure that religious institutions remain free to choose whether to marry same-sex couples. By following the example of Connecticut and Vermont, which included protections for religious institutions when they recently legalized same-sex marriage, we can ensure that churches are not forced to consecrate marriages they do not endorse. This will require a strong liberty clause allowing religious institutions to opt out of solemnizing same-sex marriage, which also applies to the provision of services and programs at religiously affiliated institutions.

Many civil marriages are not considered “holy matrimony” by religious institutions because they do not conform to the rules of the religious institution. Those marriages have not challenged religious liberty. We must see that civil marriage, which has always been separate from religious marriage, will remain so.

But most important, gays and lesbians have suffered too long from legal discrimination, social marginalization and even violence. They are entitled to clear recognition of their equal status as citizens of a country that is founded on the principle that we are all inherently worthy. By delivering a clear message that same-sex couples can no longer be treated as separate and unequal in New York, we will also reduce discrimination in everyday life. We will all be better for that.

Equal civil marriage should, and likely will, pass because of the public’s growing unwillingness to sustain inequality. Society will also be strengthened as more people take responsibility for one another in marriage. I now encourage others who oppose gay marriage to re-examine the reasons they do so, and to consider changing their minds too.

Tom Suozzi is the Nassau County executive.


 

 

Court Cases on Same Sex Marriage

 

12.5 The US Judicial System in Action Today (Honors)

 

 

 

Richard John Baker v. Gerald R. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971) is a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a state law limiting marriage to persons of the opposite sex did not violate the U.S. Constitution.

 

Baehr v. Miike (originally Baehr v. Lewin) was a lawsuit in which three same-sex couples argued that Hawaii's prohibition of same-sex marriage violated the state constitution.

 

Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003), was a landmark state appellate court case dealing with same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

 

Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown and Perry v. Schwarzenegger), 570 U.S. ___ (2013) (Docket No. 12-144), is a United States Supreme Court decision that held that in line with prior precedent, the official sponsors of a ballot initiative measure did not have Article III standing to appeal an adverse federal court ruling when the state refused to do so

 

Varnum v. Brien, 763 N.W.2d 862 (Iowa 2009), was a unanimous decision of the Iowa Supreme Court dated April 3, 2009, that held the state's limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.

Bishop v. United States On November 3, 2004, the day after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, two lesbian couples, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, and Susan Barton and Gay Phillips,[13] filed a challenge in federal court in Tulsa.

Kitchen v. Herbert, 961 F.Supp.2d 1181 (D. Utah 2013), affirmed, 13-4178 (10th Cir. Jun. 25, 2014); stay granted, 134 S.Ct. 893 (2014) is the federal case that successfully challenged Utah's constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples and similar statutes

 

Bostic v. Schaefer is a lawsuit filed in federal court in July 2013 that challenges Virginia's refusal to sanction same-sex marriages.

De Leon v. Perry In November 2013, a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts and an unmarried gay couple challenged the state's same-sex marriage ban. The case, De Leon v. Perry, was assigned to Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia


 

 

Choose one of the above court cases for your project.

Use the internet for your research.

Write an explanation of the court case. Follow the outline below.

Each section must be fully explained, and each paragraph must contain at least 6 sentences.

You must write the questions as well as the answers.

 

a) What was the case about? (Complete explanation, at least 2 paragraphs)

b) What were the major arguments, on both sides, during this case? (At least 2 paragraphs, presenting arguments clearly)

c) What is your opinion of the arguments? (Give reasons: 1-2 paragraphs)

d) Look up the court case Loving v. Virginia (388 U.S. 1 (1967),[1]  (a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.)

e) Which similarities and differences exist between interracial couples wanting to marry and same-sex couples wanting to marry? Make a Venn diagram. Explain at least 2 similarities and differences (1-2 paragraphs)

f) What rights does a married couple (or spouse) have that an unmarried couple (or partner) does not have? Look up the law and explain at least 3 rights, giving examples. (1-2 paragraphs)

g) What can we learn from both court cases? (1-2 paragraphs)

h) Include bibliography: use at least 3 web sites. Do not plagiarize. For the bibliography you must use my outline on my website, called “Bibliography Format”.


 

 

Court Cases on Same Sex Marriage

 

12.5 The US Judicial System in Action Today: Regular Government

 

 

 

Richard John Baker v. Gerald R. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971) is a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a state law limiting marriage to persons of the opposite sex did not violate the U.S. Constitution.

 

Baehr v. Miike (originally Baehr v. Lewin) was a lawsuit in which three same-sex couples argued that Hawaii's prohibition of same-sex marriage violated the state constitution.

 

Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003), was a landmark state appellate court case dealing with same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

 

Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown and Perry v. Schwarzenegger), 570 U.S. ___ (2013) (Docket No. 12-144), is a United States Supreme Court decision that held that in line with prior precedent, the official sponsors of a ballot initiative measure did not have Article III standing to appeal an adverse federal court ruling when the state refused to do so

 

Varnum v. Brien, 763 N.W.2d 862 (Iowa 2009), was a unanimous decision of the Iowa Supreme Court dated April 3, 2009, that held the state's limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.

Bishop v. United States On November 3, 2004, the day after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, two lesbian couples, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, and Susan Barton and Gay Phillips,[13] filed a challenge in federal court in Tulsa.

Kitchen v. Herbert, 961 F.Supp.2d 1181 (D. Utah 2013), affirmed, 13-4178 (10th Cir. Jun. 25, 2014); stay granted, 134 S.Ct. 893 (2014) is the federal case that successfully challenged Utah's constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples and similar statutes

 

Bostic v. Schaefer is a lawsuit filed in federal court in July 2013 that challenges Virginia's refusal to sanction same-sex marriages.

De Leon v. Perry In November 2013, a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts and an unmarried gay couple challenged the state's same-sex marriage ban. The case, De Leon v. Perry, was assigned to Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia

 

 

 

 

 

Choose one of the above court cases for your project.

Use the internet for your research.

Write an explanation of the court case. Follow the outline below.

Each section must be fully explained, and each paragraph must contain at least 6 sentences.

You must write the questions as well as the answers.

 

a) What was the case about? (Complete explanation, at least 1 paragraph)

b) What were the major arguments, on both sides, during this case? (At least 1 paragraph, presenting arguments clearly)

c)  Look up the court case with Loving v. Virginia (388 U.S. 1 (1967),[1] (a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.)

d) Which similarities and differences exist between interracial couples wanting to marry and same-sex couples wanting to marry? Make a Venn diagram. Explain at least 2 similarities and differences ( 1 paragraph)

e) What rights does a married couple (or spouse) have that an unmarried couple (or partner) does not have? Look up the law and explain at least 3 rights, giving examples. (1 paragraph)

f) What can we learn from both court cases? (1 paragraph)

g) Include bibliography: use at least 3 web sites. Do not plagiarize. For the bibliography you must use my outline on my website, called “Bibliography Format”.