I don’t have any strong opinions on gay marriage, per se, mostly because I’m not gay and I figure gay people have long decided whether they will be making lifelong commitments to their partners for years. The issue at hand is really one of public acknowledgement and more importantly legal financial issues that would allow people to have family medical insurance, the rights of a spouse in inheritance and other matters.
Many people are still fearful of what I call “homosexual contagiousness.” That if I hang around with a bunch of gay people I will suddenly be attracted to other people of my same sex.
As a straight man who works in the church, I’m obviously proof that that little theory is wrong.
Of course nobody will admit that this is the real issue. Instead they’ll focus on things like the collapse of the family and pro-creative issues.
Well…if that’s the case…
I wonder if the same group of people would be willing to stand in front of the courthouse and protest against divorce.
I mean let’s face facts, divorce causes much more “violence” to the family system than probably anything else. No more pro-creative activity will happen between the couple (except for perhaps a desperate late night drunken booty call). And most of all, there are those broken wedding vows that were made not only to each other but to God.
There seems like there’s a good thing to protest, based on the set of assumptions that Prop 8 protesters have been yammering about for the past few days.
Now before the divorced folk start getting on me…
Here’s the real marriage issue that we in the church should pay attention to:
People who get married that shouldn’t. People who settle for one another because they fear being alone. Abusive relationships and marriages that have been coerced in some way. And the most common one, people who marry and have no idea what commitment really means. They think from the start that there are deal breakers. “Well, if she can’t hold a job or if she doesn’t agree with me on x and y, then I can just look for a better deal.”
Perhaps if we straight people didn’t have such a poor marriage record (50% of marriage fail we might be able to make a better case about how marriage should look.
And in the catholic world, if we ministers of the church actually took marriage preparation very seriously as a means of helping people discern early (before the engagement) if they were right for each other, then maybe we’d be able to say “You know, we’re really good at this marriage thing. Let’s start holding up the proper standard for marriage.”
Maybe it’s time that a lot of those protesters started looking at that and putting down the picket signs for a bit. I wonder, how many of the marriages that people on the picket lines have are indeed really healthy commitments?
We in the religion business create a lot of false dichotomies, like this one:
Ok, maybe it’s time for me to shut up. But you get my drift.