Gay marriage: About time or no way?

Today, a same-sex marriage proponent calls gay marriage the new normal. An opponent  says such unions erode the country’s moral fabric.

Let us know what you think with comments below. Moderator Rick Badie leads the discussion.

Lift marriage barrier for same-sex couples

By Matt Hennie

There’s a “new normal” brewing across the country, yet it embraces values that have stood the test of time: equality and freedom.

That “new normal” is what Gallup calls the acceptance of same-sex couples that they find is growing. A recent Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans agree that gay and lesbian relationships are “morally acceptable.” Even more say same-sex couple relationships should be legal.

Package that with the endorsement delivered earlier this month by President Barack Obama and it’s clear the tide is shifting in favor of marriage equality.

Acceptance is coming to Georgia, too, though at a much slower pace. A recent Landmark Communications/Rosetta Stone poll for WSB-TV shows 59 percent of Georgians are opposed to gay marriage, a number that has shrunk since nearly three-quarters of voters in 2004 approved adding a same-sex marriage ban to the state Constitution. It’s still substantial and a sentiment that is shared across the South.

But what the current polls don’t show is that Atlanta is packed with same-sex couples and ranks among the top five in large cities across the U.S. for same-sex households. It’s the same across metro Atlanta and the rest of Georgia. Same-sex couples live in the mountains, along the coast and in the southwest corner of the state, too. And these couples, just like their heterosexual neighbors, are in loving and committed relationships, promising to care for one another for better and for worse.

Unlike their neighbors, though, they can’t share their marriage vows with one another and legally show they cherish their partner in the same way their straight neighbors do. Don’t be lured into embracing the fears manufactured by opponents of same-sex marriage. They want to distract you from the Golden Rule, twist its meaning and convince you that what poll after poll shows — more Americans support same-sex marriage than oppose it — is wrong. It’s not.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that same-sex marriage is about rights or that because I may want to marry my partner some day means your marriage needs to be redefined. Plain and simple, this is about respecting the tradition of marriage, its importance in society and allowing gay couples to join the institution, not change it.

I respect the honor and tradition that comes with marriage; it worked for my parents, and I want the chance to have it work for me.

Gay couples share the ideals that marriage is a heavy responsibility and comes with a lifetime commitment and we want to express that to our partner. Gay marriage is not a game. It’s not a political strategy and it shouldn’t be used as a weapon to beat down the love I have for my partner.

Matt Hennie is founder of Project Q Atlanta, an online media source that reports on gay and lesbian issues in metro Atlanta.

Marriage: One man, one woman

By Ray Newman

After President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, I was interviewed by several media outlets. Each interviewer wanted to know my first reaction. I said, “I was not surprised.”
The simple truth is anyone who had been paying attention to the culture and signals from this White House would have known the direction in which it was headed. Vice President Joe Biden had indicated his support for same-sex marriage, saying he had changed his opinion after having watched a sitcom on television. I further stated that I was saddened by the endorsement.
Following the president’s announcement, many people began to second-guess its timing. It would be interesting to know why the Wednesday before the national observance of Mother’s Day would be picked as the day of the president’s endorsement. It is also interesting that following the vote on Tuesday in North Carolina, in support of a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the next day would be set as the day of the president’s endorsement.
There are now more than 30 states that have passed amendments or initiatives defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Thirteen states, including Georgia, voted in 2004 to add the definition to their constitution.
We come to this issue from several perspectives. First, the historic social issue of marriage. Traditionally, each culture for centuries has accepted marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In fact, the first definition of marriage given in the dictionary is: “The social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.”
We see the Judeo-Christian moral foundation as a major building block of societies and cultures. The Judeo-Christian moral foundation of our nation has served as the major building block of our nation. The marriage ceremony indicates before witnesses that a man and woman are joined in a covenant intimate relationship.
Finally, we look at this issue from a political viewpoint. We are watching as morals are moving away in order to assure rights. We are being told that, politically, we must evolve into an amoral world view in order to assure rights that are granted to certain behaviors.
I am saddened we have come to the place in our nation where cultural changes are now impacting behavior more than the traditional building blocks that have served us well throughout history. I affirm my position in support of the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The foundation upon which our nation is built must remain strong or we will see the nation fall into ruin.

Ray Newman is executive director of Georgia Citizen Action Project Inc.

NOTE: Comments have been closed.

84 comments Add your comment

williebkind

May 24th, 2012
3:54 pm

David in Houston

May 24th, 2012
3:39 pm
Where in the constitution does it talk about sex? The bill of rights?

Steven

May 24th, 2012
3:51 pm

@williebekind….Thank you for the scriptural references.

Our culture in the USA is being lead by a minority unnatural affection. It is just plain NASTY for sexes to be attracted to each/other or the same sex. We kick a dog off our leg when he humps on it. You certainly don’t see with consistency the homosexual attraction in the animal kingdom. When Gay couples want to have aq baby, they have to submit to the Glory of God by uing the opposite for their seed. I’m soooooooooooooooooo happy that I get it!

williebkind

May 24th, 2012
3:48 pm

David in Houston

May 24th, 2012
3:44 pm
Way to walk in the middle of a conversation David in Houston. My reply was from someone who was using the bible contexts.

williebkind

May 24th, 2012
3:46 pm

“society’s realization that they are normal people that have the same rights as “straight” people.”

And there lies the problem “normal people”.

David in Houston

May 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

williebkind: Quoting the Bible is pointless. Non-religious straight couples are permitted to marry in our country… or did you not know that? No one has EVER been required to be religious in order to get married. So all your Bible quotes are meaningless. Did you also know that the United States is NOT a Christian theocracy? If you did know that, then why are using your chosen religion to dictate civil laws in our country? If a Muslim were to preach the Koran as the basis for our laws, you would be up in arms about it.

hotdog

May 24th, 2012
3:40 pm

williebkind:
Yes, I’m well aware of the state laws and how they define marriage within their juisdictions, but as you said, each state has made an effort to amend their constitutions accordingly. That means another effort can also reverse it. And just because I’m a married heterosexual male doesn’t mean I don’t recognize inequality when I see it. Just like being white doesn’t automatically make me opposed to civil rights. Having an open mind is a choice, not a birth defect.

If applying all legal and financial benefits to civil unions makes them equal to marriage in the eyes of the law, why distinguish them? Why have two sets of laws to govern the same thing? Wouldn’t that just create more confusion and public debt accommodating the needs and requirements of additional laws, amendments, balloting, promotions and legal actions?

David in Houston

May 24th, 2012
3:39 pm

williebkind wrote: “I ask you does the minority have the right to change values of the majority? For instance, if you are a non believer and move into a small town of believers, do you have the right to make the entire town change their behavior because it may offend you?”

Values are not civil rights; and whose values are your referring to? Yours? Your neighbors? The Muslim couple that lives down the street? How exactly does the civil marriage of a gay couple (that you don’t even know) change the behavior of an entire town? The town won’t be allowed to foster hatred and bigotry at gay people anymore? Is that your problem? Marriage equality has been legal in Massachusetts for over 8 YEARS. The “behavior” of straight people is exactly the same: straight men are marrying straight women, and sometimes they have children together. Same-sex marriage doesn’t change any of that.

williebkind

May 24th, 2012
3:23 pm

And again:

Chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus, which form part of the Holiness code, contain the following verses:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.[3](Leviticus 18:22 KJV)
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.[4](Leviticus 20:13 KJV)

“ Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, arsenokoitēs, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)[28] ”

The word arsenokoitēs (ἀρσενοκοίτης) has challenged scholars for centuries, and has been variously rendered as “abusers of themselves with mankind” (KJV), “sodomites” (YLT), or “men who practice homosexuality.” Greek ἄῤῥην / ἄρσην [arrhēn / arsēn means "male", and κοίτην [koitēn] “bed,” with a sexual connotation”:[28] Paul’s use of the word in 1 Corinthians is the earliest example of the term; its only other use is in a similar list of wrongdoers given (probably by the same author) in 1 Timothy 1:9–10:

“ Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, arsenokoitēs, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:8–10)

I think that is enough unless you have a conviction other than the forefathers of this country.

Walter

May 24th, 2012
3:22 pm

“I am saddened we have come to the place in our nation where cultural changes are now impacting behavior more than the traditional building blocks that have served us well throughout history.” Our culture is not changing our behavior. There are no more gay people today than there were 50 years ago. The difference is society’s realization that they are normal people that have the same rights as “straight” people. Our culture is progressing as it gains knowledge, it’s not making people gay, that’s absurd! Our culture is always evolving as it gains knowledge – look at how society has changed it’s view of women’s rights or women in the work place. The culture didn’t force women to vote or start working. People made those changes and society wised up and realized women should probably have the same rights as men.

native atlantan

May 24th, 2012
3:21 pm

Again, the Bible appears to trump the Constitution and Bill of Rights…..