The Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriages are legal in this country.

I’ve come a long way on this topic. As a Christian kid growing up in a overwhelmingly conservative environment, the idea of gay being okay, was not one that anyone voiced. Conservative Christian radio constantly reinforced the idea that being gay was simply a choice and these people were at best mentally or emotionally damaged and at worse sexual predators.

While working in a restaurant, I ran into the first openly gay person that I’d ever met. In conversation with him, I mentioned that I thought that being gay was a choice. He scoffed and demanded to know if I thought he’d chosen to be ostracized by his friends, family, and socially for this, and didn’t I think it’d just be easier for him to choose to be straight, because he sure did.

Interesting.

So, if God doesn’t want people to be gay, and he’s making people who are gay, then he’s setting them up for failure.

Then I found out that being Christian doesn’t mandate that a person is against homosexuality, gay people, their sexual behavior, or even their ability to marry. There are, and have been, many Christians who have zero problem with gay people at all. The foundation for the moral high ground wrapped in religious belief comes from the 613 laws given to the Hebrew people 3000 years ago by their leaders. With few exceptions, those were not given by God, but by their leaders. I won’t pretend to be a Biblical scholar and speculate on why these rules were laid out for the Hebrew people. So, they don’t apply to me. Paul’s writings in the New Testament further distance non-Jews from Jewish commandments. (Interestingly, he also speaks bad of marriage in general.)

The argument for “traditional” marriage is rife with logical issues, since what is being argued as “traditional” marriage hasn’t really ever existed. DecodeDC has a great interview with Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, A History, which does a much better job than I can do of summing up the changes marriage has had over the centuries.

Also the refusal of judges and county clerks to issue same sex marriage licenses is, in my opinion, a fireable offense. Their argument is on religious grounds. If you are a government employee, you must represent the government and her laws. And this country’s government has a long history of separation of church and state, which those refusals on religious grounds is running against. Time to get with the program or get a new job.

Finally, I’m a member of a Baptist church, which I rarely attend because of work obligations. The Baptist denomination isn’t very progressive, and I know that, and I know that I’m probably one of the most liberal members in the congregation and I barely count myself as “liberal”. So Baptists aren’t as on board with the whole gay thing like the Episcopalians. My wife tells me that this Sunday, the pastor addresses this legal change, announces that gays are welcome in the church, but he will not be preforming any same sex marriages. Immediately, someone stands up, and storms out.

The pastor and I disagree on quite a few topics, and we’ve discussed them over coffee on several occasions. However, I’ve got respect for him being up front about this and I certainly wouldn’t argue that he should officiate any marriages that he is not comfortable presiding over. The lady who stormed out is included in a puzzling group of Christians that think that just because SCOTUS made a legal ruling that all of Christendom should now fly rainbow flags from their steeples.

The funny bit about all of it is that Christian pastors cannot create marriages. Only the state can. The part in the church? That’s a needless ceremony for the legal aspect of the union. Pastors have always, and will continue to, have the right to decline anyone for any reasons.

Two final things:

First, the people who are using the “slipper slope” argument that if we’re letting gay people get married, what next? We’re bringing back polygamy or allowing people to get married to animals? The animals part- that’s ridiculous, animals are not legal persons and cannot enter into legally binding marriage contracts. And as far as polygamy and my opinion goes, I sure hope so. I hope everyone can get married in whatever configuration of marital contracts makes sense to them. This is America, land of the free, do whatever you guys want.

Secondly, as I mentioned before, the Christians who have some sort of moral disagreement with some aspect of or all of homosexuality, I understand and respect their opinions and the majority of their arguments despite disagreeing with them. There is a single on that whenever I hear, I am embarrassed for the person using it. The people who argue that social acceptance of homosexuality will lead to rampant pedophilia. The idea that gay people are child molesters is acid born of ignorance. Are there gay child molesters? Sure. Are there straight child molesters, certainly. Simple sexual orientation has nothing to do with someone acting out criminal, disgusting behaviors.