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Column: Religious Opponents Of Gay Marriage Distort Christian Values

This story was written by Justin Head, Daily Mississippian

The election is over.Obama has triumphed, Republicans are complaining and homosexuals in California have been overruled. Yes, during all the joyous celebration of our newly elected lesser of two evils, many people have overlooked another,rather unexpected Election Day vote: the passageof Proposition 8, a bill that limits the definition of marriage within California to only the unionbetween a man and a woman.

I would usually be the first to say that states should have the right to decide on these matters due to the language in the 10th Amendment. However, the language in the 14th Amendment which affirms, Nor shall any State ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, seems to say otherwise.

If a state is willing to allow specific citizens benefits and special treatment under their laws, the language in the 14th Amendment points out that all citizens within that state should be equally granted those same benefits and privileges. When a state defines marriage, it in turn grants special treatment to married people. Therefore, how fair is it todisallowothergroupsthe sametreatment? This is letting the majority oppress the minority. While I am not a lawyer, this seems unconstitutional to me.

Yet, even if the 14th Amendment doesnt apply here and states are constitutionally allowed to decide these issues for themselves, I still do not agree with the decision to pass Proposition 8. I know full well the argument used by proponents of the bill: Homosexual marriage is a sin and, therefore, they cannot support the religious bonding of two members of the same sex. This is a total confusion of the Christian religion.

I am straight and Christian, and I understand the fact that my religion teaches me we are all sinners. To distinguish between sins is, to me, a sin in itself. If you do believe homosexuality is a sin, would you not also believe premarital sex is a sin? What about getting drunk with alcohol? Should drunks and people having sex before marriage be barred from holy matrimony? The Bible clearly defines these actions as sins, yet a drunk would be the first to say all gays are going to hell and not think twice about the log in his own eye.

I also find it ironic that Christians want to outlaw same-sex marriage because it is a sin, yet divorce among Christians is higher than that among non-Christians. Since Jesus made it very clear that divorce is sinful, should we outlaw divorce in this country so the sanctity of marriage will be preserved?

Furthermore, would barring homosexuals from marriage help convert anybody to Christianity? I dont believe it will. I believe it will just create anger towards Christians --not to mention it could drive many homosexuals who are Christian away from the faith.

There is another argument that opponents of same-sex marriage use which points to studies that show the best upbringing for a child is a two parent, male-female home. This, they point out, protects the children of the next generation. But this argument insinuates thatthe state should only allow the most favorable condition for the upbringing of a child. All heterosexual couples do not make good parents, and all homosexual couples do not make bad parents. Who is to determine which situations are most suitable for children to be raised in? By this train of thought,a single parent would not be allowed to raise a child because the situation is not optimal forthe child'supbringing.

People are also scared churches will be forced to marry homosexuals or else be sued. This brings us to my view: The government should not define marriage at all. Marriage is a religious agreement, and so, is unconstitutional for the government to support. If the state did not recognize marriage for anyone, lawsuits would e diminished.

The fact a preacher must say, by the power vested in me by the state of in pronouncing a couple married, is very disturbing to me. This effectively means that the state grantsmarriage, not God. How are conservatives complacent with this practice?

It doesnt seem like this battle against homosexuals has done anything good for the Christian religion. It has only served to create a stereotype that all Christians are exclusive and harbor hatred toward their fellow man while hypocritically preaching love. It is time to follow the true advice of God as well as the advice of our Constitution and take marriage back for the people.

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