Posts belonging to Category Homosexuality



8 Things You Need to Know About Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court

One week from today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about gay marriage. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. There simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.
  2. The question before the Court is not whether government-recognized gay marriage is good, only whether it’s required by the Constitution.
  3. The Constitution is silent on which vision of marriage is correct, so We the People have authority to make policy.
  4. The Constitution does not require a new vision of marriage.
  5. Everyone is in favor of marriage equality. Disagreement is over what consenting adult relationship is a marriage.
  6. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children.
  7. Redefining marriage to make it a genderless institution fundamentally changes marriage.
  8. There is no need for the Court to “settle” the marriage issue like it “settled” abortion. Allow democracy to work on the best policy.

 
From Ryan T. Anderson at The Daily Signal. (Click here to read Ryan’s elaboration on each of these points.)

NH Gay Marriage Bill Stalls Due to Religious Protection Language

I found this news story out of New Hampshire disturbing. I do not believe the definition of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples, so I should be glad that the New Hampshire House of Representatives did not pass this bill. However, I am disturbed because of the reason why it did not pass.

Reuters:

A bill that would have made New Hampshire the sixth state in the United States to authorize gay marriage stalled unexpectedly Wednesday over concessions to religious groups opposed to such unions.

The state’s House of Representatives objected to language in the bill that would have allowed religious groups to decline to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies or to offer gay couples other services …

A version of the bill with more limited religious protections passed the state’s House of Representatives on March 26.

So as I understand it, the New Hampshire House of Representatives would have voted to pass the bill if it did not contain language protecting the right of conscience for religious groups. This would imply that they want to use the bill in the future to require religious groups to participate in same-sex ceremonies — even if such participation were to violate their conscience and religious beliefs. That would be a dangerous precedent as well as a violation of First Amendment rights. (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”)

HT: Stand to Reason

Newsweek Gay Marriage Roundup

Newsweek ran a controversial cover story last week on The Religious Case for Gay Marriage. In the article author Lisa Miller attempted to make the case that the Bible actually argues for gay marriage rather than against it. Here is a roundup of reasoned Christian responses from around the web.

Al MohlerTurning the Bible on its Head

Newsweek could have offered its readers a careful and balanced review of the crucial issues related to this question. It chose another path — and published this cover story. The magazine’s readers and this controversial issue deserved better.

Christianity TodayLooking for a ‘Serious’ Conversation

While we do not expect Newsweek to excel in theological or biblical argument, we do expect that respected magazine to practice good journalism—like presenting the actual arguments of one’s opponents, and being fair to the context of quoted sources. Neither of these things happened in Lisa Miller’s piece.

Darrel BockJournalistic Integrity, the Bible, and Marriage

It is disappointing when a cover article in a news magazine becomes an advocacy piece that really does not engage its opposition fairly. That is certainly the case with the Newsweek opening on gay marriage. Lisa Miller begins her “report” with … selective use of the Bible … What is missing here is precisely what reporters are taught to provide, context.

Robert GagnonMore than “Mutual Joy” (23 page response!)

Religious proponents of gay marriage routinely ignore or twist the major arguments in Scripture and philosophy against homosexual practice. The cover story by Religion Editor Lisa Miller in the Dec. 15, 2008 issue of Newsweek, wholeheartedly endorsed by Managing Editor Jon Meacham, is a perfect case in point.

John Mark ReynoldsObvious Truth: The Bible Supports Traditional Marriage

It is stunningly implausible that modern readers at places like Newsweek have discovered that the Bible teaches exactly the opposite of what almost all readers at all times have found in it. Those who have read the Bible seriously over long periods of time come to amazingly similar conclusions about what God wants in marriage. We have had centuries to try out many different ideas and test them against the text of the Bible and experience. Only traditional marriage has stood the test of time and reality.

On Faith (Bottum, Reynolds, Porter)No Case for Homosexuality in Bible

In the latest issue of Newsweek, editor Jon Meacham explains: “To argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt–it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.” Indeed, he continues, “this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism.” Curiously, he intends this as a defense of Lisa Miller’s cover story, which announces that we should approve homosexual marriage because the Bible tells that Jesus would want us to. On any plane of argument, the contradiction would appear stunning.

Carl TruemanNewsweek on Gay Marriage

Behold the future. The piece is prophetic because … challenges such as this are clearly going to be coming thick and fast. I grew up in some ways as the hidebound, unthinking traditionalist on sexual morality at which Ms Miller takes aim: everyone knew homosexuality was wrong (even if only from a basic anti-gay bigotry), and so there was no need to mount arguments against it either in the church or the wider society. That is not the world of my children. They need to be given reasons as to why their gay friends are following a lifestyle that is sinful. And those reasons need to be well-thought out, calm, and articulated with a Christian grace and love.

eHarmony Will Provide Same-Sex Matches

The online dating service eHarmony will provide same-sex matches as part of a settlement from a lawsuit complaining that the company discriminated against same-sex singles.

The settlement is the result of a complaint New Jersey resident Eric McKinley filed against the online matchmaker in 2005. McKinley, 46, said he was shocked when he tried to sign up for the dating site but couldn’t get past the first screen because there was no option for men seeking men …

Neither the company nor its founder, Neil Clark Warren, acknowledged any liability. Under the settlement, eHarmony will pay New Jersey state division $50,000 to cover administrative costs and will pay McKinley $5,000 … Pasadena, Calif.-based eHarmony said it plans to launch its new service, called Compatible Partners, on March 31 …

Theodore B. Olson, an attorney for eHarmony, said that even though the company believed McKinley’s complaint was “an unfair characterization of our business,” it chose to settle because of the unpredictable nature of litigation.

I don’t see why this is discrimination. If a person walks into McDonald’s, orders a hamburger and is denied service because he is gay, that is discrimination. But if the same person is turned away because he orders steak, that is not discrimination. It is simply not on the menu. The same conditions apply to every person who walks through the door.

eHarmony is a private company offering a specific service: the matching of compatible men and women for relationships based on years of research on male/female relationships. As long as they provide this service to all men and women equally, it is not discrimination. Mr. McKinley was not turned down because he was gay. He was turned down because he asked for a service that eHarmony did not provide. eHarmony also does not provide compatible matches for nannies, nurses and college roommates. Should their company be sued for that?

I don’t understand why a private company like eHarmony which provides a specific service of matching compatible men and women should be required to expand their service to match same-sex couples. Surely there are other online dating companies that provide this service. And of course it works the other way. A dating company that caters to same-sex couples should not be forced to expand their services to include male/female matches. I think this whole case sets a dangerous precedent.

So, what do you think of all this? Is this a case of discrimination? Should eHarmony be required to provide same-sex matches?

Related post: Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
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Massachusetts Marriage Amendment Defeated

This just in from The Christian Post on the defeat of the proposed marriage amendment in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban gay ”marriage” in the only state that allows it.

The proposal, which sought to change the state’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, needed 50 votes to advance to the 2008 statewide ballot. It got 45, with 151 lawmakers opposed.

The narrow vote was a blow to efforts to reverse the historic court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. More than 8,500 gay couples have ”married” there since it became legal in May 2004 …

The measure needed 50 votes in two consecutive legislative sessions to advance to the ballot, and it had passed with 62 votes at the end of the last session in January.

I live in Massachusetts, and this is a big disappointment to the many people in the state who feel they should have the right to vote on an issue of this magnitude. The Massachusetts Family Institute collected a record-breaking 170,000 signatures in support of the amendment, nearly three times the required signatures needed for certification by the Secretary of State and the greatest number ever in Massachusetts history.

In November 2003, it took only four Massachusetts judges to make gay marriage legal in the state (by a 4-3 vote). Now in June 2007 the proposed amendment misses the ballot by five legislative votes. Meanwhile, the entire voting populace of Massachusetts is left out of the decision making process, including the 170,000 who signed the petition. I feel the legislature has really let the people down on this one.