From a neutral perspective one could presume that the church would be a key supporter of SSM. What could be more natural than for two people in love to stand before their friends and their maker to declare that they are together and committed to live life in union - or marriage as we call it. It would seem odd to be able to take a moral stance against the more easy and wild lifestyles of some gay men and yet not offer any monogamous or committed alternative unless of course, what you really think is that this is all a bit of a nuisance and people should not be gay at all. Until now this has, of course, been somewhat hidden by the existence of Civil Partnerships, an attempt by the secular world to provide an expression of love and commitment where the church has failed.
I realise that I will, no doubt be challenged that this is not because we don’t like gays (some of my best friends are gay). It’s just that marriage is more than just a declaration of love, it’s for families. Well, that argument sucks and has already been answered. It is particularly poisonous to those heterosexual couples who enter into marriage knowing they cannot, by choice or condition, have children. The other classic is of course that biblical marriage is for a man and a woman, Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Well as far as I can see, the Bible doesn’t have direct answers to many of our modern questions, what of corporate banking, legal tax management (as opposed to evasion), modern medicine, saving money for a rainy day, the LHC firing neutrons at the speed of light. What a great age we live in when we are having to ask new questions of God. In terms of homosexuality we are asking new questions because previously the culture the scriptures were written in would demand the death, drugging or banishment of a homosexual, the love that dare not speak its name, does anyone really want to go back there? Oh, and before the ‘love the sinner hate the sin’ brigade begin to circle, if you have genuinely found a way of separating someone from their inherent sexual desires, then let me know, I know a couple of randy straight teenagers that desperately need your help.
If we have truly managed to come to accept that some people are just gay (deal with it) and that they can be gay and Christian, still with me? and that many, not all, people desire companionship and committed relationship… Then the offer of recognising a committed relationship is just right isn’t it? I realise some are still thinking:
‘What, now they want marriage? Is it not enough that we have stopped stoning them? Just slow down, we need to think’.
Well no. Being gay is not a lifestyle, no, they shouldn’t be grateful we no longer condemn them and it is no longer viable to ‘tolerate it’. You can no longer expect ‘Christian gays’ to stay single and celibate for the rest of their lives, to hide in the shadows feeling condemned by both their own feelings and those that should love them most. If God loves someone, you love them, that is our call. God loves people and God loves love and loves commitment. Marriage is the most Godly way I know to show someone you love them. Isn’t that enough?