I realize that there are a lot of issues involved in this.
-How do we define marriage?
-WHO defines marriage?
-Is homosexual marriage a right?
-Should the government have a role in marriage at all?
-Who decides who can get married and who can't?
Disclaimer: I'm going to state some of my beliefs here. I understand many of you may disagree with me, and that's OK. I'd love a discussion in the comments. I just ask that we all respect each other as people created by God.
For me, the bottom line is GOD. God supersedes the government in authority. God's Word contains the directives for daily life. Obedience to God is the best way to live. So I stand by God's definition of marriage.
Genesis 2:23-24: The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Genesis 1:27-28: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."God created marriage to be between one man and one woman. (Side note: his directive to "be fruitful and increase in number" would be impossible to fulfill if marriage had been designed to also include same-sex couples!)
Now, should the government have the right to define what marriage is?
I acknowledge that our government isn't perfect. It may even be described as corrupt. And I realize that governments have been used in the past for great ill.
That doesn't negate the fact that government was originally instituted by God for the order and benefit of society. (In 1 Samuel, God chose the first king, Saul, for the people of Israel.) In the United States, our government has outlawed such sins as murder and theft, and sexual sins such as incest, rape, and child pornography. I believe that therefore homosexuality can be decreed by our government as illegal.
This brings me to the next point... is homosexuality a sin?
I believe it is. I believe that anything outside God's design for marriage is sinful. And the Bible does speak to this. Genesis 19:1-11 make it clear that homosexual behavior is punishable. Leviticus 20:10-17 condemns homosexuality, incest, adultery, and bestiality. 1 Corinthians 6:9 clearly condemns homosexuality, along with other sins.
Romans 1:24-28 states, "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts for the degrading of their bodies with one another...Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." It is helpful to read this passage in its full context: Romans 1:20-32. Also see this article for a helpful discussion of the topic.
Now, I must make the most important point.
Do I condemn homosexuals?
I cannot condemn any sinner. Why? Because I, too, am a sinner. It is up to God to condemn sin. I saw an excellent quote on Facebook, that has been attributed to Rick Warren (although I can't verify that):
Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means to agree with everything they do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus loves everyone equally. That's the kind of equality I'm all about! He does not love any person more or less for the choices they've made. However, Jesus did tell the prostitute caught in her sin, "Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more." (John 8:10-11)
Jesus died a horrific death on the cross so that the sins of all people, of all time, would be paid for. He wants all people to be in heaven with him someday. All people have been created by God, and God loves them all, so very much! Whether your sin is drunkenness, gluttony, sloth, greed, murder, lust, theft, homosexuality, or any other sin, Jesus has died to eliminate that sin. He has died for you (and me!) because he loves us. And he doesn't want us to be separated from God for eternity.
So am I going to say homosexuality is wrong? Yup. Am I going to say it's something no one should do? Yes. Am I going to back the government if it makes a law that homosexuality is illegal? Well, I'm not going to complain... but the government hasn't outlawed my sinful habits of rudeness, laziness, and meanness. The government isn't required to make such a decision.
Will I continue to strive to love everyone around me equally, with the love of Jesus? You bet. Because that's how God does it.
Linking with: Upward Not Inward, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, We are THAT Family, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Messy Marriage