Let's get something straight about gay marriage...
With luck, most public officials either have, or soon will, wake up to the fact that the Supreme Court's decision is final, and (like it or not) marriage equality is the law of the land. However, there now seems to be no end of moaning and complaining and predictions of doom coming from the far right.
Speaking as a Christian, I find it profoundly embarrassing every time I hear the “slippery slope” argument. Virtually every anti-gay member of the religious right seems to be parroting this idea that now that “we've redefined marriage” it 'opens the door' to anything... Just the other week, I heard it phrased this way: “...the door is wide open now for marriage equality for anybody who wants to marry anything or anyone at anytime. Which means polygamy, bisexuality... There are no constraints.” The person who said this has a PhD. But, clearly, he's not as bright as those letters might make one think – he obviously doesn't even grasp the meaning of bisexuality, which has nothing to do with marriage, per se.
The utterly ridiculous suggestions – some made by the dissenting Justices themselves – are that marriage equality for gays could lead to polygamy, incestuous marriage, polyamorous group marriage, child marriage & bestiality marriage. These people say “what's to stop it?” Umm... Let me think... Oh, right, the law! Marriage to multiple people, regardless of gender, is still illegal. Incest is still illegal. Marrying children is still illegal. Marrying pets is still illegal.
“But, what's to stop the law being changed?” Pft! Give me a break...
Multiple marriage presents complicated legal problems. Suppose a man has two wives. He's in an accident and is put on life support. Normally(in the absence of a living will), the spouse gets to say whether or not to pull the plug. But there are two spouses. Who gets to decide? Does the senior wife get her way? Do they vote? If they vote differently, they're deadlocked. Suppose they agree and the husband is allowed to die. He dies intestate. Normally, the spouse gets everything. But there are two spouses. Who gets what? They could sell the estate and split the money...but, what if the car is a few years old, won't bring much as it is used, but will be perfectly serviceable for years to come. Which one of them gets it? The complexities of such a setup would make it very unlikely to ever become a social norm.
For people to marry their family members, underage children or pets, the laws against such sexual behaviors would have to change first. In the case of incest, there is no escaping the potential damage of inbreeding. As for children & pets, they are not capable of legally consenting to marriage. It feels silly to have to explain these things...but, if people with doctorates don't get it, one can only assume the same is true of many others.
The one thing that might be an issue going forward, is that people may want to marry corporations – since, according the Supreme Court, corporations are people. Now that gender specifics have been removed, there might be an argument to be made for marrying a corporate entity. LOL
As for those who wish to point to the bible as an absolute moral authority, please pause to consider what you're really saying. The bible says a lot of things that you might not actually agree with. Everyone loves to point to Leviticus as a means of saying homosexuality is wrong, but do you want the eating of lobster, crab, shrimp & crawfish outlawed? How about pork? Fortunately, modern day Christians are not subject to the ancient Holiness Code. So, enjoy your Christmas ham free of guilt! (Oh, and you can't get away with stoning your unruly children, either.)
Abraham had multiple wives, one of which was his sister. And yet, he was “the friend of God.” If you want scripture to be the one and only arbiter of what marriage should be, then clearly you should support both polygamy and incest...right? You see, scripture doesn't change, but our concept of what is socially acceptable is constantly changing.
Moreover, scripture might not be as anti-gay as you want it to be. David and Jonathan loved one another. A love that, for them, surpassed the love of women. What if God isn't against homosexuality? And, even if He is, you've still been commanded to love your neighbor. Consider the damage your words can do to your neighbor. Consider how many might mistake your words for His. Come judgment day, when you find yourself before God, what will you say? When He demands an explanation from you as to why you turned so many away from Him with your hate, your scorn and your disrespect, what will you tell Him?
The bottom line is this...same sex couples deserve equal protection and rights under the law. And now, they finally have it. No longer will hospitals be able to tell same sex partners “sorry, family only.” Because marriage, as a legal institution, provides rights to those who are married that they otherwise do not have. To deny gay couples marriage equality is to make them second class citizens. America is better than that. Even if it takes us a long time to get there, we do get there. And thank God for that.
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