There has been an awful lot written on both sides of the issue regarding Gay Marriage. I do no plan on adding to it, except to say that everyone has a right to their own views on the subject, and everyone’s religious beliefs should be respected as their beliefs, not just what is current or politically correct. I’m not a homophobe, and I’m not a bigot. I’ve seen scripture twisted in all directions to support or exclude the concept of Gay Marriage, and that’s not what I intend to address here.
What I have a problem with, as a religious professional who seeks to honor God in the performance of my religious duties, is the government forcing or penalizing me if I choose to not perform a marriage between two people of the same sex. Making that choice should not have the pressure of Government intervention. My dilemma is, how can I ask God to bless anything if I honestly don’t believe he blesses it? I do no perform weddings for many other reasons; if I don’t believe a couple is well suited to each other, if they are of mixed religious backgrounds and would result in family conflicts, if they have a violent relationship, etc.; why should performing a gay marriage be a mandatory situation for me? I also have to wonder why any couple would want me to perform their wedding if they understand its not something I believe in for them. Surely there are clergy or Justices of the Peace, who would gladly perform their wedding. It makes me wonder if they are coming to me to force me into a situation I might not wish to be in.
I have gay friends, and if they wish to get married, and if they thought I’d have issues performing their wedding ceremony, I’d assume they would not ask me to perform the ceremony. I might attend their wedding to be personally supportive of my friends, and I’m sure some people would object to that, but its my choice. It’s also my choice whether or not to perform a wedding ceremony; any wedding ceremony. When local and federal authorities make it a crime to not perform a wedding because it’s a same sex wedding, they are infringing on my beliefs and choices. That is just wrong.
The solution, as I see it, is that legally, everyone, gay or straight, should have a civil union, and go to civil authorities for those unions. Religious marriages should be something separate, in addition to a civil union. This is how its done in Eastern Europe, and it works fine. If the government wishes to sanction same sex unions, that is their prerogative. They should not be dictating to religion what they must do, with threats of taking away their tax exempt status, or fining their clergy for acting on their conscience. If couples of the same sex wish to be in a civil union, that’s their business, but the government should stay out of religion.
This is not about religion as much as it is about government telling religion what to do. The Bill of Rights prohibits the government from ESTABLISHING any religion, or restricting the religious practice of religion. The reason I do not want the government to dictate to religion, is that in my opinion, government has lost its moral compass, and religious people do not trust the government to ram its secular values down our throats. I don’t want to have to make a choice between my conscience and the government, but if I have to, I choose what I believe to be right in the eyes of God, and I expect others who want their views respected, to respect mine.