Monday, May 19, 2008

More on Gay Marriage... Again

There’s a lot of people talking about gay marriage again. It goes in cycles, it seems, on the ‘net, and it appears that it’s cycling back into the bloggernacle. The question that many seem to be asking of late is, “Why would allowing gay marriages threaten or even diminish my hetero marriage?”

Most of those that deal with this issue (that claim to be opposed to gay marriage) try and justify their responses by saying that “Gay marriage isn’t going to hurt hetero marriages, but it’s just morally wrong.” or any number of flimsy rationale.

Here’s why I oppose gay marriage: I have to draw the line somewhere.

For me, it’s a matter of religious freedom. I, honestly, wouldn’t have any problem allowing gays or any other minority the right to do whatever they want to do, if they would leave me alone and allow me the same right. The problem with most movements is that once they start to carry momentum, they’re hard to stop. And as a result, often they end up crossing the line from oppressed to oppressors.

Anti-discrimination laws are very interesting. Often, they are the very tools that turn the tables. Take the case of the Boston Catholic Charities. This was a private social services agency, designed to provide services, particularly adoption, to catholic children. They didn’t receive federal or state money. But in order to retain their charter, they had to comply with the state’s anti-discrimination laws, and place children in gay homes. Rather than do so, they closed their doors. Thus, a private religious institution was forced to either accept principles contrary to the practice of their religion, or stop its practice. What of their religious freedom?

Let me paint a picture of the “slippery slope” that others seem to mock so much:

  1. One state in our great nation allows same-sex marriages.
  2. Other states are then forced to recognize those marriages as valid
  3. Those other states, now recognizing externally performed marriages, are then pressured to allow same-sex marriages to be performed within their borders.
  4. Religious groups who refuse to perform same-sex marriages are subsequently ruled as discriminatory.
  5. The state then refuses to recognize the hetero marriages performed by the "discriminatory" religions.

Suddenly, hetero religious marriages no longer carry the benefits of law. What happened to my freedom of religion?

Honestly, if I had any reasonable assurance that it would stop at point 2, maybe even point 3, I could be convinced that we could all live and let live. But the example of the Catholic Charities, and other trends I see make me believe that it’s not likely to stop. Like objects, power in motion tends to stay in motion, until some outside force acts upon it.

That’s why I want to draw the line before point 1.

Mark Hansen


  1. Spending my life as a performer among a largely homosexual crowd, I have a different take on the issue. However, my personal frustration with the whole "sanctity of marriage" argument is that, in the eyes of this country in particular, marriage is no longer sacred. You can get married on a game show. How many God-fearing, religious people sit and watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette, or Who Wants to Marry a Millionarie to watch a bunch of skeezy people make a mockery of marriage? I think your "slippery slope" argument is one of the best I've heard about why gay marriages shouldn't be legal. Most of the moral arguments don't personally hold a lot of sway with me. I'm for religious freedom...for everybody. Even if their religion disagrees with mine. Very thought provoking.

  2. I do agree that those who want to preserve the "sanctity of marriage" have a long road ahead of them, and that has little to do with gays. If you want to preserve the institution of marriage for its own sake, you'd have to start with helping straight couples take it more seriously.


  3. Good post, Mark
    I can accept civil unions as fair but gay marriage takes it too far

  4. Wow, that's a slippery slope I hadn't thought of, and it seems frighteningly plausible. Situations like that of the Catholic charity seem to be political correctness and "anti-discrimination" run amok...and where might they run next? Whose freedoms are they going to take away next, all in the name of "rights?" And when does this become the social equivalent of economic communism?

  5. Thanks for everyone's comments. Time will, obviously tell, and we're all notoriously bad at foretelling the future.

    Still, some things make me nervous.



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