Revisiting a sensitive issue

Of all the labels that get tossed at me the one I most despise is being called homophobic. It is all the more irritating when the person accusing me feels it is imperative that they point out to me that they themselves are not homosexual.

I have to wonder who is the more intolerant among us, the one that has voiced an opinion about a specific issue, or the one who is terrified of being identified with the group they claim to be defending?

I've always been clear on why I oppose gay marriage and why I would personally prefer civil unions or some other form of legal protection for same sex couples. Yet time and time again I get someone accusing me of being intolerant and wanting to relegate gays to 2nd or even 3rd class citizens. That charge is completely false.

I do believe that all people regardless of gender, religion or sexual orientation should receive equal protection under the law. This is also why I do not support hate crime laws, it should not be law that one group's lives or property carries more value than anothers. All should be valued and protected.

It should also not be law that in order to ensure one groups "rights" it is ok to trample the "rights" of anothers.

Whether you like it or not, outside of a few progressive Churches, most religious doctrine regards homosexuality to be a sin. This is a fact and so the question remains, how do we as a society offer the right of gay marriage without crushing the right of religious expression?

The people who choose to attack me on this issue can not answer that question. They tell me that the Church is wrong and the teachings should be changed.

I ask how is that different than saying that homosexuality is wrong and those who practice it should be changed? Again we are talking about society placing more value on the rights of one group over another, and again I do not get an answer.

Mark Steyn touches on this issue in his article "Losing the Faith". registration required

So it’s no surprise to find that, even though we’ve only had legalized “same-sex marriage” for ten minutes, and even though Paul Martin & Co. have given a lot of fine-sounding assurances on how the new arrangements will respect the deeply held beliefs of ancient religions, gays are already in court suing for the right to marry on church property.

In 2003, the Knights of Columbus in Port Coquitlam accepted a booking for a wedding reception in their hall behind Our Lady of the Assumption Church. It’s a fairly typical Knights of Columbus hall--crucifixes, photographs of the Pope, paintings of the Virgin Mary, et cetera. When the Knights discovered that Deborah Chymyshyn and Tracey Smith were, in fact, a lesbian couple, they cancelled the booking as politely as they could under the circumstances, returning the deposit and, on the advice of the Archdiocese, chipping in a further $600 to cover new wedding invitations and an alternative location. The Misses Chymyshyn and Smith immediately went out and signed on with Barbara Findlay--or, to use her preferred style, barbara findlay. If you want to know why she rejects capital letters, you should attend one of her “unlearning oppression” workshops.

The point is, if you’re looking for a lowercase crusader who’ll get your case to a higher court, she’s the gal--the Queen’s counsel who’s also B.C.’s most celebrated queens’ counsel, the lesbian activist who famously declared in 1997 that “the legal struggle for queer rights will one day be a showdown between freedom of religion versus sexual orientation.”

“the legal struggle for queer rights will one day be a showdown between freedom of religion versus sexual orientation.”

I don't believe that is has to be this way if only we would respect the reality of the situation. For the Church and for the religious marriage is more than a legal binding financial agreement between two people. For the religious, marriage is a covenant between man, woman and God, it is an acceptance of the teachings of God's word/law involving marriage and sex. So the ramifications of breaking that covenant and dishonoring God's word/law, involve more than the fair and equal distribution of property and finances.

There is no law in the western world requiring that all marriages must be preformed through religious ceremony to be deemed legal. This protects those who do not share the beliefs of the Church from having religious doctrine imposed upon them.

Many people say that this is how gay marriage should work as well, but it won't because for some this will not be enough. The Church is denying them access so the Church must be destroyed. What better way is there to make the Church obsolete than to force it to go against it's own teachings.

For some no matter what is given it is never enough until they have crushed everyone and everything that stands in the way of their agenda.

Although it doesn't have too, It will become a battle between religious freedom and gay rights and no one can win in the long run by taking away the rights of one to appease another, Nor should they.

* If you feel inclined to comment please stick to the topic. I'm looking for real solutions here for a real issue, not opening a forum for christian or gay bashing.

cross posted at bittersweet

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