Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The latest battle in the Culture War

One has hardly been able to watch the news over the past few months without the broaching of a very controversial subject: gay marriage.

In March, the Vermont legislature legalized gay marriage by overriding the veto of Gov. Jim Douglas. A month later, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a 10-year ban on same-sex marriage. Shortly after that, Miss USA pageant contestant Carrie Prejean drew national headlines by proclaiming her opposition to such unions.

Despite the vilification of Ms. Prejean, many national polls concur with her sentiment: marriage should be between one woman and one man. In 2004, 11 of 11 states (including “blue” states Michigan and Oregon) voted to amend their state constitutions by defining marriage as such. Even ultra-liberal California voted the same way in 2008.

Since many on the left can do little more than launch ad hominem attacks on gay marriage opponents, they fail to realize a key issue: judicial activism. While I personally oppose gay marriage, I can respect the fact that the Vermont law was generated through the proper branch of government, which is legislative branch. Thus the people in Vermont can respond by voting out legislators if they don’t agree with the law their representatives made. However, legalizing anything through judicial fiat (a la the 2004 gay marriage ruling in Massachusetts) sets an incredibly dangerous precedent. And that is why many citizens in my state of Minnesota have made pleas to our local legislators to allow us to vote on the issue.

Let’s clear up something else once and for all: The vast majority of Christians do not oppose gay marriage because of bigotry, xenophobia, etc. It’s because traditional marriage in and of itself is a religious exercise. As such, there is no theological justification for marriage being anything other than one man and one woman. And that’s why I don’t have a problem with “domestic partnerships” or “civil unions” because those are merely contracts with the state. No religious purview whatsoever. Sure, civil unions may be more common amongst the gay community. So what? As long as no laws are being broken in the implementation and execution of such arrangements, then there’s no problem.

My hope and prayer is that future discussions surrounding the marriage issue can be undertaken with a little more decorum and a lot less vitriol.


No comments: