It’s not going to surprise any regular readers of this site that I think homosexual relationships are sinful. It might surprise you that I don’t think they should be illegal.
I think the government should stay out of our lives as much as possible and those sins that only do serious harm to those who are willing participants – e.g., bedroom behavior – shouldn’t be legislated against.
I agreed with Justice Thomas on Lawrence v. Texas that Texas’ sodomy law was “uncommonly silly” (but constitutional).
But I think same-sex marriage (SSM) should be illegal. Is that a glaring contradiction? I don’t think so.
A Religious Case
The Bible is pretty darn clear that homosexual behavior is wrong. It takes some pretty amazing feats of eisegesis to determine anything else. But not everything that is wrong needs to be illegal. I don’t think lying should be illegal, nor should adultery, and neither should homosexual behavior.
But there is a difference between not making something illegal and smiling on it. Same-sex marriage would be our society blessing this behavior. It’s not saying, “what you do is between you and your maker;” it’s saying, “what you do is perfectly fine.”
The Bible says, “Woe to those who call evil good” (Is 5:20), and I can’t see how SSM could be anything but that. God does not say “woe” lightly; we do not want to become a society who blesses what God calls evil.
A Case of Questionable Data
Of course, we can’t just make a religious case against SSM. We don’t live in a strictly Christian society, so merely appealing to the Bible in not sufficient. We need to argue based on reason and those values we all hold in common.
The most common such case against SSM says making marriage mean anything makes marriage mean nothing – that when just about anything qualifies as marriage, then marriage loses its value as an institution. The result is said to be that heterosexual, child-producing marriages become less common.
A decline in marriage results in a declining birthrate and/or increase in out-of-wedlock births – neither is good for a society.
People point to Europe as an example of this phenomenon, and various European nations do appear to be in various states of this situation.
But I’m not at all sure whether we have an example of causation or merely correlation: Are the declining birth and marriage rates a result of SSM or are all of these products of something else? I’m not sure we can say with much confidence, so I don’t think we’re going to get far with that argument.
A New Case
I recently came across a novel argument against polygamy that is obviously applicable to same-sex marriage too.
There is one important question to ask: What if everyone did it?
If everyone married a person of the same sex, our nation would die. We need reproducing couples for our society to continue. We must have traditional families.
If government cannot allow everyone to do it, it cannot allow anyone to do it. It can’t tell these people they can marry whomever they please, but those people have to marry a member of the opposite sex. Why not? Why because we’ve already declared (if we have SSM) that everyone has a right to marry whomever they please.
“But we limit things all the time.” Yes, but that is given limited resources – e.g., there can only be so many radio stations on the dial – which doesn’t apply here. And, again, we’ve already established that everyone has the right to marry whomever they please.
“But everyone doesn’t want to marry a member of the same sex.” True but irrelevant. The question isn’t whether everyone wants to but what if everyone did. That such a thing would be catastrophic shows that this is a bad thing.
It would be different if we were talking about something that had always existed, but we’re not; we’re talking about something government is essentially creating. It should not create something that is obviously not good for our society.
Everyone can’t marry their own sex. Everyone can’t marry a dolphin. Everyone can’t marry their brother.
Everyone can marry a member of the opposite sex. That is the union government can rightfully, safely put its stamp of approval on.
Your turn: Tell me where you think I’ve made an error in logic.