Why the Homosexual Marriage Issue is Not about Civil Rights

Wes  —  June 26, 2013
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A New York Times headline from today reads, “Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage with Two Major Rulings.” In case you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage act is unconstitutional. In this heated debate, both sides seem to understand the issue of “gay marriage” is not just a political issue, it is a moral issue. The problem is, gay rights activists believe banning gay marriage is immoral. They believe it is a matter of people being denied their civil rights, but is it?

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From early on, this debate has intentionally been couched in such a way to make it seem that you are either “for” or “against” equality, fairness, and civil rights. Justice Scalia seems to make this same point in his dissent when he wrote, “In the majority’s telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us.” Before our very eyes, the world is being convinced that opposing “gay marriage” is hateful and bigoted. Our young people are starting to feel like laws against homosexuals marrying one another are the same as the infamous and immoral Jim Crow laws.

Do you suppose there is any coincidence in the fact that Jason Collins came out as the first openly homosexual athlete in professional sports right after the inspirational story of Jackie Robinson came out in theaters? President Obama, of course, called Collins to congratulate him on his courage. Obviously, the world would have you believe the homosexual struggle for “equality” is the same as the civil rights struggle of the 40s,50s, and 60s. That should be incredibly insulting to every person who fought for civil rights and struggled through that dark time of our country’s past.

Here is the biggest reason this is NOT a civil rights issue (and it may surprise you): homosexuals already have the right to enter into marriage.

If a man is a homosexual, either in the sense of having homosexual attractions or in the sense of having had practiced homosexuality, there are no laws against him getting married — to a woman. A homosexual man has the exact same rights as a heterosexual man; they both have the right to marry a woman. Likewise for women, there is total equality. All women have the right to marry a man. I am not being flippant about this issue. Like it or not, that is the definition of equality.

In the case of racial segregation, people were banned from exercising the same rights people of a different skin color exercised; those were immoral laws. But let us not confuse that with this issue. There is already total equality in marriage. Again, as far as I know, all adult human beings have the legal right to enter into marriage.

What people do NOT have the right to do is call any union they want, “marriage.” Here are a few unions that cannot be accurately called “marriage,” there are certainly many more:

  • A union between a person and an animal is not marriage. Just because a person has a sexual attraction to an animal does not give him a right to call a union with that animal a “marriage.”
  • A union between a person and an inanimate object is not marriage. Again, just because a person has an attraction to an inanimate object does not give him the right to legally join himself to that object and call it a “marriage.”
  • A union between two men or between two women is not marriage. The concept is the same; just because they have an attraction to one another does not give them the right to call their union with one another a “marriage.”

But why? Why can’t our government call the union of any two (or more) entities a “marriage”? Because the government didn’t create the institution of marriage; God did. God has simply given the government–for the good of society–the authority to regulate marriage (Romans 13:1-7). So, because the government did not create marriage, it has no right to define it; God has already defined it.

This is what Jesus said about marriage, “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'” (Matthew 19:4-5). Furthermore, Jesus says it is God who joins a man and a woman in marriage (Matthew 19:6). The government does not have the right–the authority–to redefine that which belongs to God.

The government may now begin recognizing the relationships between two people of the same gender as a marriage, but the One who created marriage has made it clear that it is IMPOSSIBLE for two people of the same gender to marry one another. Being opposed to “gay marriage” is not being discriminatory; it is simply wanting to be accurate about with the definition of marriage.

Christians desire this accuracy because we see our country, our neighbors, our friends, and our family members moving further and further away from God’s way of doing things. We see them adopting a contrary worldview. We see them destroying their own spiritual lives, as well as our society, and it is disheartening. But, remember what Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

No matter what the world decides, we still have victory in Jesus!

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams