I cannot and never have been able to choose to live a 'gay lifestyle'. Almost every gay person in the world will assure you that they can't choose to live a 'straight lifestyle' just as almost every straight person in the world (myself and yourself included) concede we cannot choose to live a 'gay lifestyle'.
That's all I have to say on the matter.
The difference in opinions between you and me is simply:
I believe being gay is sinful (IMO). You don't.
There is no need then to further the debate because we are not going to get anywhere.
As a Christian myself I take serious issue with the religious argument against SSM.
The idea of homosexuality being a sin comes from Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Sure it is fairly clear but Leviticus also has a whole lot of other laws. For example:
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
Do you eat bacon or any other product from a pig? We should probably make a law about that forbidding that. It's a shame because I love BK's BBQ Bacon Double Cheeseburger.
Here's a good one from Exodus:
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
As someone who clearly follows all the Old Testament Laws you should be outraged that the state has made it illegal to exercise your right to sell your daughter into slavery and by slavery it also means marriage. So I'm glad to see we still follow that traditional definition of marriage and that hasn't evolved in the tiniest bit.
This is one of my favourites:
Exodus 35:2Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
Have you ever worked on Sunday? Would you support a law making it illegal to work on Sunday? Obviously we would have to institute the death penalty for people that break the law. In fact it would seem the penalty for death is stricter than that for homosexuality.
I'm also forced to question where you stand on the subject of divorce? The bible is very specific about divorce being unacceptable in the eyes of God. Maybe if those who make such a passionate defence of the sanctity of marriage could start there and solve the 50% failure rate of this most sacred of unions.
One cannot simply pick and choose the parts of the bible they wish to follow especially when they are making judgements on the choices of others and how they live their life.
The New Testament is also very clear about the teachings of Jesus superseding the old Laws.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
To me Christianity is about love for God above all and then for one another. It is not for us to decide how others wish to live their lives. Judgment is for God alone. If what people do or how they choose to live their lives is wrong in the sight of God then there will come a day when they and all of us will have to answer for what we've done.
We are very to lucky to live in a country where we have the ability to free worship or practice our beliefs. But we also have to recognise this is a secular and free country. Where we expect to be given every freedom, others also have that right.
We would not accept others forcing another religion on us, we cannot do that to others who do not share our beliefs. It has to be freedom for all otherwise we live in a theocracy. Separation of church and state protects everyone equally.
Opposing SSM on religious grounds is forcing your beliefs onto someone else and restricting their rights. That goes completely against everything we stand for as Christians. Imagine the shoe was on the other foot and you were told you could no longer openly practise your religion because it offended somebody else.
I personally don't agree with SSM. But I have no doubt that many don't agree with my beliefs and I'm ok with it so long as I remain allowed to have them without restriction I don't see why other people can't make their own choices considering the only people if affects is them.
The other issue is that same sex marriage is purely a legal issue. It confers rights and recognitions hat straight couples have enjoyed. For those that ask why can't be satisfied with civil unions, well as has already been explained that they don't have same recognition. They would also not have the same protection and recognition internationally that a marriage does.
The US Supreme Court challenge to the Defence of Marriage Act is a perfect example of how gay couples do not have the same rights as straight couples.
A day after the court considered whether to overturn California's gay marriage ban, the justices will consider the case of Edie Windsor, who says her 2007 marriage to Thea Spyer should have offered the same federal rights and benefits as a union between a man and a woman.
Windsor and her supporters say section 3 of Doma violates the 14th amendment of the US constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law. The Obama administration said in 2011 it considered the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it, while former president Bill Clinton, who signed the measure into law, has said it should be overturned. Campaigners believe there is a good chance the justices will rule the provisions to be unconstitutional.
Windsor, a former IT worker, met Spyer in 1965. They became engaged in 1967 and finally married in Toronto in 2007. Spyer died in 2009 after battling multiple sclerosis for many years, but, unlike opposite-sex married couples, Windsor was not entitled to any tax relief on her inheritance. Windsor had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes.
Religious marriage is a separate entity and will still be between a man and a woman.
The religious argument against SSM really has no place in this issue at all. If however there came a day when churches were forced to perform SSM then we would have a legitimate issue. That would be an infringement of rights.
But legal recognition of SSM is simply the right thing to do.
Long rambling post over.