By Aubrey Singh
Gay marriage should not be permitted. Let me preface with the fact that I have openly gay friends and family members that may testify on my behalf that I love them and treat them no differently than I would anyone else. But they know where I stand, and I know where they stand.
I was a former member of my high school’s Gay Straight Allegiance Club. I have no shame or fear of standing with linked hands to combat hate or bullying targeting sexual orientation or gender identity. Nevertheless, I do not support the legalization of gay marriage.
In Matthew 19:5 Jesus states, “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” In addition, Islam strictly forbids gay relations. In the Quran 26:165-166, the prophet Lud asks the rhetorical question, “If a man would leave a woman who God created for him in exchange for another man?” The answer was supposed to be no. In the Sikh religion there are several vices that are taught to be avoided including greed, anger and ego. While the Guru Granth Sahib (The Sikh holy text) does not explicitly forbid same-sex relations, many Sikhs do interpret the vice of “K’haam” or lust to include homosexuality and that it is also contrary to nature. Almost all main world religions teach against same-sex relationships. By most religious standards, same-sex relations are against the laws that a divine entity has created. While I do not agree with their relations as well, they have their own choices to make, and I would never wish to tear someone away from the person they love. However, marriage is another factor entirely.
The majority of people who follow a variety of religions (or have relationships with God) believe that marriage should forever be between a man and a woman. Because marriage is inherently a religiously sanctioned contract, trying to change the laws of the church is impeding on their rights to retain the original definition of marriage. If we live in a nation in which church and state are separated, then the state should not be involved with marriage. On the other hand, according to The Human Rights Campaign website, “There are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in federal law.” These include a whole host of tax benefits, Social Security benefits and dependents based on children in the household. All of these are being denied to same-sex couples. Under the Constitution, this is unequal treatment and is unjustifiable by any means.
Therefore, from a constitutional standpoint, I am not against a type of “civil agreement” or a contract along the same lines. Same-sex partners should not be denied the right to tax benefits and legal profits. If they wish to be together and would like to receive the same benefits, I see no reason for a courthouse not to be able to draft a legal document for them. If we completely separate the church from the state, then traditional religious families will be able to hold onto what they believe in their core values without denying constitutional and legal rights to more progressive couples.
I do not want to simply mask the word marriage behind the words “civil union,” because I know that separate but equal doesn’t work; but there has got to be some sort of compromise. The religious community wishes to protect the sanctity of the institution of marriage and that means at the very least trying to preserve the word itself as defined by divine law, while the gay community and those who are pro-gay marriage want equal rights. Both sides have valid points, so there has to be compromise if we wish to progress.