My opinions on same-sex marriage have been sculpted over many years of studying biology, philosophy and my faith.
While I am a lifelong Christian, I must reject the argument submitted by Mr. Westover in his April 11 letter against same-sex marriage. The thrust of this argument is that marriage is about procreation, not love, and same-sex couples should not marry because they cannot procreate.
This position is simply untenable, as it leads to implications that are rather bizarre. If marriage is for the sake of procreation, should we deny it to individuals who are, for whatever reason, unable to have children? It seems very odd to me to think that we should deny marriage rights to someone with genetic sterility, or to elderly couples who are incapable of conceiving. But such is the mandate if we are to subscribe to Mr. Westover’s logic.
This problem of consistency is manifest in just about every line of attack against same-sex marriage. We can’t say that marriage is an exclusively religious institution and thus inaccessible to homosexuals when we have no problem with atheists getting married in a secular format. We can’t use an inerrantist interpretation of the Bible to write marriage laws when we ignore inconvenient biblical prohibitions on infidelity, divorce and remarriage. Indeed, I think it is a ludicrous, paranoid fiction to say that homosexuals threaten the integrity of marriage when heterosexual couples have already managed a 50 percent divorce rate.
Regarding children, a Supreme Court brief filed by the American Sociological Association highlights a clear consensus: Children of same-sex parents “fare just as well” as those of heterosexual parents.
Marriage may have at one point been exclusively religious. But given how we treat it in modern society, I don’t think we can maintain such a stance, especially when there are concrete civil benefits at stake.
As a Christian, I must ask two questions: Why should my religious beliefs dictate how others can or can’t live, and why is the Bible more often used not as a guide for one’s own life, but as a gavel to bludgeon those we find detestable?