Another Perspective On Gay Marriage in a Secular Society

Featured imageThere 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.


5 thoughts on “Another Perspective On Gay Marriage in a Secular Society

  1. Very well said! I’ve been saying the same thing this week. Thanks. I love your writings.

    Cindi Miller 919-961-4377


    • Wonderfully said, Dr. Schiffman! I couldn’t agree with you more and ask your permission to post on my timeline. Have you considered sending this off to the public press? Thanks for taking a stand!

  2. “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.”

    My thoughts exactly!

  3. The problem arises when the courts decided that the civil rights of others out weigh your civil rights. In such cases you are no longer a person you have become a service provider and under equal rights you must provided a service equally. Or the service provider not the person becomes subject to a law suite, here lies the problem.

  4. First of all, I think if a wedding is not gay it should not be performed by you or anybody. All weddings should be gay affairs, bringing joy to both the couple and to their invited guests. What they should NOT be is HOMOSEXUAL. Whenever the word, “gay” is used to describe homosexuality, it is a copout. The correct word for this is HOMOSEXUAL. What is there about an abomination that is gay?

    As I have said many times, Leviticus 18:22 gives God’s clear and unequivocal CURSE upon homosexuality. This is not open to opinion or interpretation. One either obeys the Torah on this point, or his conduct comes before God as condoning an ABOMINATION.

    Having a friend or friends who choose to fly in the face of God’s command is just fine. Who knows, maybe, at some point you might have a chance of changing the person’s behavior. Neither you nor anyone who believes God’s word is serious and is Truth, should have anything to do with performing a homosexual “wedding.” As far as I can see, the refusal to perform such an affair is simply the “…free exercise of the same….” under the Constitution.

    Rabbi, you are a decent and God-fearing man, and I think you ought not to be the slightest bit concerned about the government trying to put you in the can for refusing to perform a homosexual “wedding.” If you should ever be confronted with the issue, you should refuse to do it. I, for one, will stand proudly at the head of the line of citizens in your defense.


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