Those who oppose gay marriage because infidelity among same-sex couples is higher than among straight couples are like a gardener who claims bad plants produced a poor yield, although he neither fertilized, watered nor weeded his garden. The byproduct of indoctrinating people to condemn homosexuality is the disposition among some people to reject their gay children or siblings. An anti-gay message from pulpits drives gay teens out of the churches into risky behaviors, even suicide. Promotion and defence of laws that disrupt gay and lesbian families strains their family bonds. To do nothing to support or guide gay teen or adult relationships, and then complain that gay relationships are unstable, is prejudicial.
What to say?
Our role is not to be confrontational or argumentative. The best messages are personal stories of your own journey to support Marriage Equality.
But sometimes it helps to have a rationale for your own convictions about marriage equality when confronted by opposition. That is the purpose of Case Statements: to provide a rationale for you to consider. Below are Case Statements you can read, print out, even hand out to those for whom you feel they could be helpful.
Here are claims which opponents of marriage equality assert to justify their opposition. (These claims are actual statements made by legislators in the State of Washington.) Following each of their claims we offer a suggested response. Click on the "Read More" button after each counter statement to view the entire text.
A claim that same-sex couples have no right to marry:
"Same-sex marriage is not a civil right. There is a long-standing body of law that does not identify marriage as a right. There is no right to marry in our constitution. This is not about civil rights, not about equality."
Suggested Response: Rights once granted cannot be taken away without compelling rational reason. Where same-sex marriage is legal, it is a civil right already granted.
A claim that same-sex marriage is but a self centered search for validation:
"The problem with same-sex marriage advocates is that they are seeking validation or acceptance for a lifestyle that is immoral."
Suggested Response: Same-sex marriage advocates are not seeking acceptance of a 'lifestyle'. They are looking for legal recognition of their families. It is not the role of law to impose personal standards of morality indiscriminately upon other people.
A claim that same-sex marriage violates God’s design for marriage:
"Legalizing same-sex marriage separates God from government. No one has the right to change the definition of marriage. God himself ordained marriage of one man and one woman."
Suggested Response: If we take the Bible literally in all aspects, then modern marriage has already departed substantially from the divine order.
A claim that same-sex marriage cannot fulfill the procreative purpose for marriage:
"Since the founding of our nation, marriage of a man and a woman has been the standard for procreation and nurture of children. Self-actualization is not the purpose of marriage—procreation is."
Suggested Response: The purpose of marriage is not necessarily procreation. Genesis 2 describes marriage in terms of the human need for companionship. For some people a primary and intimate relationship can be found only with a person of the same sex.
A claim that same-sex marriage is a concession to a moral wrong, to what God has called an abomination:
"In the action of legalizing same-sex marriage, we witness moral deconstruction, decay in values. The moral touchstone shifts from God to man. We need to give careful attention to right and wrong, and not validate a lifestyle that is immoral."
Suggested Response: There are two fundamental issues to address in this claim. The first is the underlying definition of the 'immoral' lifestyle: homosexuality. The second is the interpretation of biblical sources that condemn same-sex behavior.
A claim that the gay rights struggle should not be compared with the civil rights struggle of African Americans
“Likening the gay rights movement to the racial civil rights movement offends Blacks. Gays and lesbians are known by a mutable choice of immoral behavior. African Americans were discriminated against for the immutable color of their skin. Comparing their social struggle with the Black Community’s struggle for human justice is insulting.”
Suggested Response: The comparison of these groups is not based on a physical attribute like skin color or personal behaviors. The point of comparison is how wrongly both groups have been described and how badly they have been discriminated against based on the way people view them.
A Claim that gay marriage activists intend to redefine marriage and force their definition upon all of us.
"What is at stake in this debate are two competing definitions of marriage. One definition - advocated by gay 'marriage' activists - would define marriage as the union of any two people regardless of gender, with the law treating the parties' genders as irrelevant to the meaning of marriage. The other definition, contained in law, reflects the collective understanding of virtually every nation throughout recorded history-- marriage is the union of one man and one woman."
Suggested Response: Marriage Equality laws extend access to marriage, not redefine marriage.
Many Christians Support Same-Sex Marriage We do know Christians are divided on the issue. Christians across the world have differing views. Many Christians believe it is moral to allow gay people to marry, and many churches support marriage equality. The same is true of other religions
Same Sex Marriage does not undermine the Church Civil marriage is a government function. It does not undermine the church or any other religious institution.
"Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality" --Hilary Clinton
What would Jesus do about Marriage Equality and gay marriage? First, we do not really know what Jesus thought about gay marriage. But we know a great deal about what Jesus thought about love, and faithfulness, and charity, and kindness, and equality, and justice.
But I want to be true to Jesus. Jesus’ life is about the humanity of people. While we are not introduced to a gay person in any Bible stories about Jesus, we can imagine that Jesus would embrace that person.