The Truth About Gay Marriage
By: Rev. Charles Burnett-Morrow
This ministry is not at all interested in following after man-made tradition and dogma. For this reason we approach the issue of relationships and marriage quite differently than most traditional churches.
The Roman Catholic institution made a sacrament of marriage, and upon doing so, pressured the secular leaders and governments of that day to further legitimize "church weddings" by making some form of ceremony a requirement to obtain and validate the other little convenient money maker which we commonly refer to as a marriage license. With each new sacrament comes another opportunity for the church to do what? Make money. The truth is that marriages in ancient Biblical times were not at all based upon any ceremony or religious ritual, so much as it was a sacred, private commitment between two individuals. This commitment was consummated in the private chambers of the individual's, and marriage celebrations often followed. Unlike the tasteless practice of today where individuals are teased and tormented about the "wedding night" because it is presumed that both parties have kept themselves chaste for this blessed occasion, in Biblical times it was known only to the two individuals when and where they had consummated their marriage commitment to one another. The celebration, or wedding reception as we might call it today, might follow the actual consummation of the relationship by days, weeks, or months. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph, her fiance, traveled together and even shared accommodations, rough as they may have been. This conduct would be flatly condemned by ninety percent of the Fundamentalist and otherwise conservative religious right of today as being completely inappropriate and "just asking for trouble."
The Roman Catholic church has created an unrealistic and difficult "standard" which most Christian folks, by reason of shear tradition are expected to live up to relative to human sexuality and intimacy. God neither condones a marriage because a ceremony is conducted within a church or before a civil authority, nor does He bless such unions. Many stand before preachers, priests, justices of the peace, and judges whom never should have done so. Many marry in direct contradiction to the Biblical mandate that God's people not be yoked with non-believers, as an example. Many enter into marriage at young ages for a variety of wrong reasons and wind up later divorcing as their choice of partner is clearly wrong. They then must live with the ongoing stigma and sense of failure that so many divorces' experience.
Understanding this, this ministry recognizes all couples living together in full and complete cooperation one with the other, and openly confessing their commitment to and fidelity one to another as married. Regardless of whether a "legal" church or civil ceremony has taken place. It is for this reason that we counsel all committed couples in the same identical way. By this we mean that we do not ever seek to separate a marriage or break up a family, except where Biblical criteria has been met and/or one or both of the two parties are in physical, emotional, or spiritual danger.
A church or civil ceremony absolutely does NOT guarantee the blessing of God upon any union. God's blessing resides upon two individual who give their word to one another and then faithfully honor that word "until death do us part." This is by no means said so as to provide a convenient excuse for couples carelessly living together. Whether or not a ceremony has taken place, a serious life commitment must first precede such an arrangement if it is indeed to receive the Lord's sanction. You will notice the Lord spoke not one word of condemnation against the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, even though He heard her confess that she had no husband, signifying that while she was indeed living with a man as one would live with a husband, there was no commitment between them as husband and wife. The Lord reveals His divine nature in commenting upon her situation and saying, "Yes, you have had several husbands, but now you only live with a man without the commitment and devotion one affords a life mate." (my paraphrase)
Human sexuality is a complex issue. Human interpersonal relationships are equally complex and diverse in their manifestations. This ministry recognizes all relationships as legitimate and valid, provided they are sincerely entered into and the responsibility for these relationships is in no wise handled lightly or carelessly. As one human being, or a couple, is able to adopt children, making them legally and for all intents and purposes "blood offspring," in spite of the fact that they did not personally give birth to the adopted child or children, even so an adult human being is able to adopt another adult human being as a spouse, partner, lover, companion, and help-meet. This is in fact the true nature of marriage. Two consenting adults commit to adopting one another as their mate or spouse, assuming all legal, financial, practical, and daily requirements of the other in exchange for an identical commitment from the other party. Marriage is in fact "adoption." Ruth "married herself" to Naomi and made a verbal commitment to her mother in law, to whom she was not at all obligated, but to whom she desired to remain attached. David and Jonathan had a similar "til death do us part" commitment between them.
RUTH 1:15-17 (KJV)
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
If that isn't a wedding/marriage vow, I'd like to know what is? Gender is not an issue in the matter of two individuals wishing to join themselves together for this journey we call life. Any time two items are brought together with the intention and expectation that they should never be separated, it is said that they are married together. This term is used in plumbing, carpentry, etc.
To imply that "marriage" by definition requires a male and a female is absurd. "Marriage" in truth only requires a bond that is expected to outlast and survive the two individual elements that it has been used to join together. Sadly within our society, many have become so obsessed with the potential goings on in the private chambers of our citizenry, that some have chosen to attempt to deny others their rights as human beings and citizens of a free society. What a sad state of affairs when foolish people act as though marriage is nothing more than a vehicle for sex and procreation. Many couples live out their lives without sex, or without ever procreating or producing offspring. Is there union less sacred and legitimate because they chose to love and live with one another without the trappings of intimacy or offspring? Certainly not. Do we police heterosexual married couples so as to make certain that they are having sex at a particular frequency or level? Again, certainly not. Why then must we assume that two members of the same gender who seek to join themselves together in a life-long commitment and contract of caring are doing so for reasons involving sex? For that matter, aren't all intimacy and sexuality issues meant to be private in nature anyway? It has already been clearly demonstrated that a marriage license is not at all necessary for heterosexual or homosexual individuals to engage in whatever sexual exploits they choose! The truth is, our society is in fact riding upon the backs of unmarried singles, taxing them at far higher rates than their married counterparts. Employers are saving billions of dollars each year by not having to provide domestic benefits for unmarried or same sex couples. The government is footing the bill to provide housing assistance, medical insurance, prescription drug benefits, food stamps, and so on for individuals who may well be "coupled," but who because of the prevailing conservative mentality that sits and quivers at the notion that two members of the same gender may kiss or engage in some sort of intimacy, these individuals are not able to be covered in these important financial areas by their working spouses, which would place the greater weight of financial responsibility upon the private, corporate sector, rather than the public, government sector.
The truth of the matter is this... Conservative America is cutting off it's nose to spite it's face! The funny reality is that were GLBT people to be permitted to "marry" or "adopt" one another as mainstream heterosexual society is able to do so, the economic repercussions in this country would be staggering. And those who have for years been riding the gravy train that is GLBT employees would swiftly be exposed as the true enemies of "Gay marriage" and lobbying powers which today put all their might and finance into conservative campaign tills. This is not a social or religious folks! For the religious zealots can be silenced immediately upon one's pointing them to the examples of Ruth and Naomi, or David and Jonathon. No, no. This is an economic matter, and those who most oppose us, the GLBT population, are those who have the most to lose! If we would present any number of studies indicating that our government and nation would be financially strengthened by Gay marriage, as the majority of the financial responsibility for "single" GLBT peoples would shift from the government to the private, corporate sector, you'd see a lot more politicians suddenly rethinking this matter altogether. How much do you want to bet?