New York passes same-sex marriage

Congratulations and credit where they are due: the state legislature has passed same-sex marriage without dictates of the court. All hail procedure and the legislative process. Hooray.

I can’t stand the gloating from the more activiste homosexualists. I’ve had to turn away from all the smug. There is, however, concern for the religious freedoms of those Churches—Islam, Orthodox Judaism, many sects of Christianity—who consider homosexuality a sin. Let’s not discuss whether it’s a sin or not, or if homosexuality is separate from gay sex and that merely the latter is the sinful act. Not tonight.

Let’s talk about this sinking feeling of dread. I dread that the Churches would be on the receiving end of State action in response to their continuing disapproval of homosexuality, First Amendment be damned. I dread that, if the First Amendment is upheld, that picketing and public shaming would do what the State is legally bound against doing.

Oh, the smug. They weren’t kidding about it in South Park. I hate, hate, hate seeing otherwise reasonable people call The Faithful bigots for finding homosexuality sinful. It’s Faith, and yes, while you might believe that all morality is the purview of reason, it really isn’t. Faith can seem so irrational at times, but it is what it is, and the best way to combat misconceptions is to have a respectful dialogue with those willing to listen.

Consider: some of these so-called bigots might not be so keen to speak sharply on the matter if they personally know a gay. Maybe this friendship becomes a reminder that we are all sinners. But is not within the limits of human dignity for a gay to humiliate a Faithful because of his moral stance. Tonight, I tweeted this series:

Friends: always remember that the moral objections of the faithful on this matter is NOT bigotry; you might disagree but their judgment has no bearing or sway on your rights, unless you are a member of their Church, which in that case u settle this inside, within that House. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT make the mistake of trying to shame the faithful out of their beliefs. It will backfire spectacularly. The main argument for SSM is the common dignity of gays & straights alike. Treat the faithful w/dignity. You say you believe in love. Show it.

To conclude: if you want to keep the Holy Books out of the Constitution, keep the Constitution from being used to rewrite the Holy Books.

I wish my kind words and concern could reassure my Faithful friends that what they worry about will not come to pass; that I will be alongside them should a legal assault on their religious freedom would happen. I wish I can accept the assurances of my Liberal friends without worry. I know they mean well, but among their allies is a cohort that would take things too far, just as in any movement.

I’m happy that same-sex marriage has passed in New York in the way that it did. I hope this settles the issue for homosexualist activists.

5 thoughts on “New York passes same-sex marriage”

  1. Jay, posts like this demonstrate why you’re awesome.

    Perhaps I’m wrong in my thinking, but lately I’ve found myself in favor of the position that marriage, being a religious institution, should not be a matter of State at all – let the State recognize civil unions, but leave marriage to religion.

    There is an argument to be made that the State does have a legitimate interest in promoting strong, traditional families – but that is not an argument I intend to explore here. I am far more interested in the live-and-let-live religious freedom upon which our nation was founded. If the state recognizing all manner of civil unions allows us to continue to exercise our religious beliefs without State interference, then, in today’s political climate, I would consider that to be a fair compromise.

    The issue I have with SSM, in the context of the “homosexualists” (an apropos moniker, I think), is that SSM isn’t about “common dignity”, but rather about forcing a State imprimatur (through legislative or judicial action) for the homosexual lifestyle/choice that the ethos of a predominantly Christian society would never otherwise sanction. To such agenda-driven people, it will never be enough to have the right to live their lives without interference (which should be the most that any of us want from the State); rather, such people will not be satisfied until society grants moral acceptance to their lifestyle.

    The problem is: no matter what laws are passed, no matter what dictates are handed down by fiat from black-robed judicial overlords, such actions will never change anyone’s religious beliefs or interpretation of religious doctrine. The world’s three major, Abrahamic religions all teach that homosexuality (or homosexual behavior – phrase it how you will) is a sin. Legislatures and courts will never change that doctrine.

    I wish that we all could do a better job of keeping our noses out of each other’s personal lives. I wish Christians better exemplified Christ in treating others with love and dignity, and that we would focus our efforts on addressing our own sin rather than involving ourselves in anyone else’s. I wish we all could emulate the humility and introspection of the apostle Paul, who said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

    But I also wish that we as a society could be left to live and let live. I wish that homosexuals could live their lives in peace, free from interference, happy in how and with whom they choose to live. I have no desire to tell homosexuals how to live, or to interfere with their lives; but I want the same consideration from the “homosexualists”. I weary of their attempts, through the courts, through the legislatures, through pop culture, etc., to force their lifestyle into my life.

    I would wager that most fundamentalist Christians hold the same views.

  2. This is an awesome post! I believe the exact same. Coming from the perspective of a former liberal gay guy, I was trained to hold organized religion (any of them) in disdain, while simultaneously demanding they respect and tolerate my choices, no matter how in-your-face they may or may not have been. Sort of an “All you God-believers are bigots. Why can’t you love me?”

    When I discovered my conservatism and was tagged by a no longer extant conservative blogging site to write about issues (that often ended up being gay issues), I found myself defending religion more often than gay people. Funny thing: the people I was told were the bigots turned out to be the ones who showed compassion and consideration of me, if not everything I do or all the choices I make. My so-called “community?” Not so much.

    Another funny thing: in defending faith from unjustified attacks by people using social issues as wedge issues to divorce people from an understanding of God, I started rediscovering my own faith.

  3. Jayvie,

    I am a traditional evangelical, and more recently I have come around to the idea that perhaps the best solution to marriage and its legal definition is no definition, whatsoever.

    Here is why: There are more than just gay people who get excluded from marriage when the government defines it. While there are plenty of things that go on in this world that people like me do not take a shining to, but that does not mean a consenting adult does not have the right to engage in that activity or lifestyle, whatever it might be.

    Deregulation provides an open door for any combination and any definition, and it keeps religious groups free from the fear of the government intervening in the practice of a private institution. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    PS It was nice meeting you at RightOnline 2011

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