On the news this morning, I heard a story about a judge who had ruled that the people of California were in error when they voted that same-sex marriage was unlawful. I know this may not be typical content for my blog, but I can’t help but write a few thoughts about it. As I see it, there are two issues at the heart of the matter. 1) Can the state define marriage. 2) Can the state provide privileges to those involved in marriage.
I say the answer to both questions is yes. The state must be allowed to define the terms used in the making of it’s laws, or those laws are meaningless. If the state cannot define “marriage,” “free speech,” “discrimination,” “obscenity,” “religion,” or “life” then how can it’s laws which use those very terms have any meaning? This is also at the heart of the abortion issue. But while many Americans may not agree what constitutes human life, most Americans DO believe “marriage” should be defined as the union of one man and one woman. For those of us who look to the Bible for ultimate truth, we can go along with that definition. (Although it might be a little more difficult to defend the “one” part based on biblical history.)
Secondly, once defined, can the state give special privileges to the institution of marriage? I say, certainly. The state does that kind of thing all the time. Government organizations, schools, religious organizations, scientific communities, professionals (such as doctors, lawyers, etc.) are all endowed with certain privileges because of their affiliation, license, or organization membership. A marriage may be a small organization, but it is one none the less. And, ANYONE of age can join that organization. Just because a gay person does not WANT to marry a person of the oposite sex does NOT mean he/she does not have the right to do so. I don’t want to go to medical school. I don’t even like the site of blood. But I can use a thermometer and I would like to be able to write my own perscription for antibiotics. Even so, it would be silly of me to cry that my rights are being denied just because I can’t make my own definition of “medical doctor” as “one who can use a thermometer” then write prescriptions and practice medicine with all the state-sanctioned rights of other doctors. If you want to join the club, you have to pay the dues and live by the club rules.
So, there’s my argument. It may not be the typical reading for my blog, but it is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe it is also a matter dear to God’s heart. He laid it out pretty clear in the first few pages of His Book. It’s obvious that He cares about the issue, as well as the people on both sides of it. So should we.