Why I Oppose Gay Marriage

This is going to be another one of those controversial blogs, but I felt it was time I speak up for the many like me who are opposed to homosexual marriage, and explain exactly why.

I'm not even going to start off by apologetically explaining that I have nothing against gay people and have lots of gay friends. The first statement is true, but the social circles I move in (church and schoolmums) naturally mean that actually I don't have gay friends. But that's just how it is - it's not like I'm deliberately avoiding them.

My issue is not with the rights of anyone to be part of a loving relationship. I also recognise that people are very different and are thus attracted to different personalities, physical types and, yes, genders. We all need love in our lives, and part of the human condition is to seek it and thus find our own fulfillment and happiness.

At the heart of the issue is that word: Marriage.

As a deeply religious person, among my beliefs are the fact that marriage is a sacred and holy institution, established by God from the very beginning as part of a divine plan for our happiness and salvation. One of the pronouncements from the leaders of my church says, "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God". I believe that my husband and I consecrated ourselves to one another in the vows and covenants we made in August 2006, and that our union is both established by God and blessed and recognised by Him.

Because that's what marriage is and has always been: the sacred union between a man and a woman. Soaring divorce rates, domestic abuse, errant spouses and even "open marriages" do not change the basic fact that we have this unique and ancient covenant in which a man and a woman pledge themselves to one another for life. I think it's rather special and wonderful.

Another fundamental belief I hold is that any sexual behaviour outside the covenant of marriage - be it sex before marriage, or extramarital affairs - is wrong. I believe this primarily because the scriptures declare it to be so, but also due to common sense. My belief in the law of chastity (as this principle is called in my church) is not what is at issue here, but if you would like to know the reasons I consider saving sex for marriage to be self-evidently right, I drafted a document on the subject several years ago in which I gave six reasons to wait for marriage, none of which related to religion. I'm happy to supply this on request.

Putting these two facts together - that marriage is a holy covenant between a man and a women, and that sex outside marriage is wrong - you'll see one reason I believe homosexual sex is sinful; because it is sex outside marriage.

OK, so I'll admit, it's not the only reason. The scriptures are pretty vocal on homosexual behaviour being wrong in and of itself too. In fact, it the Bible calls it an abomination, detestable, indecent and degrading. (The usual disclaimer: it's not wrong to be homosexual or to feel attracted to people of the same sex. What is wrong is to act on those inclinations. There are homosexual people in my own church and I admire them very much because they are committed to living a life of chastity rather than sin.)

Are you keeping up so far? Homosexual behaviour is wrong because the Bible says so, and because it is outside marriage. But society today says that sex outside marriage is OK, and homosexual sex is OK too. I don't have to agree with that, but it's not really anything to do with me what people choose to do behind closed doors, is it? Why should I actively oppose gay marriage? Why don't I just accept that as someone else's business too?

An analogy. Let's say you're a teacher and have a class full of nine-year-olds. At the end of each day, those who work well, don't chew gum and sit properly on their chairs - all four chair legs on the ground - get a sticker. But some children like to rock back on their chairs, lifting up the front legs and balancing on just the two back legs. You tell them off each time, but they frown and tell you that it's perfectly safe to sit on the chair that way.

"No it isn't," you tell them, but none of them have yet fallen backwards, so they don't believe you.

"It's not what it was designed for," you respond. "Clearly the chair is meant to be used with all four legs on the floor."

"We have a right to use our chairs however we like," the naughty children respond.

Realising you're fighting a losing battle you give up and drop the issue. Maybe it's not a big deal.

But after a few days, those children start insisting they are owed a sticker for good behaviour. "I set the rules," you tell them, "And I give stickers to children who do good work and sit properly in their chairs."

There is a big difference, you see, between allowing a particular behaviour (or just turning a blind eye), and validating it. If the teacher gives in and gives a sticker to those naughty children, she is affording chair-rocking the same status as sitting properly.

And how might the good children who have sat nicely, worked well and quietly, and not chewed gum, feel to find their sticker reward devalued in this way?

That's why I have a problem with calling a union between two men, or two women, a "marriage". Marriage is something God regards as a holy union. A homosexual relationship is something which God regards as sinful and wrong. We cannot validate something God says is wrong by dressing it up as something He says is sacred.

I find it distressing that there are so many people who would want to give homosexual relationships the same standing, legally, morally and within society, as the precious and sacred covenant of marriage. I feel doing so makes a mockery of my marriage, devalues it, and goes against all that society has been about for thousands of years. (Can you imagine going back in time and telling your great-grandmother that two men can now get married? She'd think the world had gone stark-staring mad. She'd be right.)

I respect the right of everyone to form a loving relationship. I respect their right to use their "chair" however they like, even when it is quite obviously not the purpose it was designed for (although I may add a warning that the Teacher doesn't like it). However, I feel it is a step too far to validate those relationships by allowing gay marriage. In taking something which God says is wrong and perverted, and trying to validate it using something God says is right and holy, society is committing a gross act of sacrilege which offends me, and should offend all those who believe in the sanctity of marriage.


  1. So... you can't have sex outside marriage. But if you're gay then you can't get married, unless you can stomach the thought of marriage to someone of the opposite sex (which you probably can't). So a gay person can never have a fulfilling, life-affirming and committed relationship with the person that they love.

    If that's what a 'loving' God demands, don't you wonder why so few are interested any longer?

    I believe wholeheartedly in marriage but am entirely unoffended by the thought that gay people may also be able to marry; I welcome it as a possibility and rejoice that the God of love, of inclusivity, of treating people neither as male nor female, slave nor free, but seeing all people equally, blesses commitments between two people who love each other and wish to spend the rest of their lives together.

    Oh, and I don't think God says a gay relationship is wrong and perverted anyway any more than I think he dislikes people wearing fabric woven of two types of material though, and eating shellfish, and shaving your sideburns, and not building a parapet on your house...

  2. My point is that of course you can have a fulfilling, life-affirming and committed relationship. Just don't call it marriage. Yes, God loves everyone equally, but sin is sin and he cannot look upon it with the least degree of allowance.

  3. An interesting viewpoint. I'm firmly in favour of marriage as a lifetime sacred commitment and agree totally with you there.

    There are rules in the Old Testament that were "of their time" and essential to ensure the wellbeing of the community in a hostile environment. Not eating shellfish, for example: it was a vital health rule in a hot climate with poor (or no) sanitation. Nowadays, with refrigerators and decent hygiene, I thoroughly enjoy all sorts of shellfish.

    In those times, with very high infant mortality rates, the survival of the tribe/community depended on having lots of children. Homosexuals were expected to comply with the rules for the greater good of the tribe.

    That is not an issue these days. While I have no insight into the Divine Mind, I an with Auntie Helen that God is a God of inclusivity and loves us all, in spite of our faults and weaknesses.

    If God had made me homosexual, I would still want a loving and caring relationship with someone special.

    I know several same-sex couples who are clearly very happy together, and wish them joy and blessing.

    However, the state has gone overboard in the opposite direction lately - making it illegal for a Christian couple to refuse a B&B room to a same-sex couple. It should be permitted to say "Your relationship is offensive to me, I would prefer not to have you under my roof."
    But that's a different debate.


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