*The state of New York legalized same-sex marriage last week, the sixth state to do so. And public opinion polls indicate that a majority of Americans support recognition of homosexual unions.
Cultural conservatives opposing same-sex marriage, specifically evangelical Christians, argue that these unions are against God and that gay marriage means redefining what marriage has always been – a union between one man and one woman. But this argument is not valid for a few reasons.
To say that homosexual unions redefine marriage in a way that is not found in the Bible is a true statement. Nevertheless marriage is not alone as being redefined. Capital meant the top part of a column, an abacus was a block with a square base, a deacon was a person in a church to provide assistance to the congregation in non-spiritual matters, a harem were the women in a household, a fibula was a a wooden pin to hold foreskin, and marriage was between men and women. The list above shows that there are plenty of things that have been redefined with little to no fanfare away from strictly the meanings found in the Bible. In this regard gay marriages are no different.
Furthermore in the debate over gay marriage evangelical Christians have subtly rewritten history to suit their argument. They state that marriage has always been between one man and one woman. But there are multiple instances in the Bible of one man having multiple wives. In fact David and Solomon are celebrated by all three Abrahamian faiths while having multiple wives. In addition the guidelines for deacons and elders in the New Testament specifies that the men holding these offices should have only one wife implying that there were men who had multiple spouses. To say that gay marriage goes against the ideal of one man and one woman ignores the history that contradicts such a statement.
The long term view of this issue shows that although marriage may have started with one man and one woman never to part and who were charged with populating the earth, over time marriages have contained multiple women, born no children, and been cheapened (from a Biblical standpoint) by annulments and divorces.
The bottom line is that although the people who set up our government and who currently run our government were/are rooted in Judeo-Christian values, the government itself was never intended to be explicitly tied to those values. Our government is in the business of creating a stable society, one part of which are stable relationships – which marriage foments no matter the sex of the parties.
Not only should gay marriages be permissible, they should be promoted.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected]