This has showed up on a few of my friends’ LiveJournals this morning, and I found I had something to say about it.
Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you’re in a heterosexual marriage, and you don’t want it “protected” by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.
I have a fairly sizable problem with the view that gay marriage is in any way wrong; as I understand it, most of the objections to this appear to have their basis in Scripture.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that gay marriage is in any way wrong. There are some references to sexual activity between men as being ‘unclean’ (a more correct translation than ‘abomination’), primarily Leviticus 21:13 and several of the writings of Paul, but none of them touch on marriage at all.
And I think it’s painfully obvious that denying gay people the right to marry will not in any way dissuade them from any sexual activity.
I’m not going to go too deep into the exact wording of the passage in Leviticus, but I think most people will realize on an objective reading that “do not lie with a man as you would with a woman” makes sense only in that it refers to a physical impossibility.
Anyone who objects to ANYTHING based on Leviticus really needs to re-read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus preached unconditional acceptance of the persecuted that day, and explicitly repudiated the blind following of the letter of the law without regard for its spirit.
So what then was the spirit of such a law? As with the proscription against eating shellfish, and many of the 613 pronouncements in Leviticus (come on, just TRY to follow each and every one of them yourselves before you open your mouths) I believe that much of it had to do with health. In the Judaea of two and a half millennia ago, shellfish didn’t stay fresh very long. And people didn’t have access to the same hygienic luxuries we have now. Small wonder then that many things were prohibited – some of these pronouncements were predominantly in the nature of a preemptive universal health care plan.
The very next line of Leviticus proclaims the death penalty for heterosexual adultery. This too makes sense within the health care context – the more people slept around, the more likely it would be that diseases could be passed among the people (who didn’t have access to a Walgreens for antibiotics).
How about that? Universal health care plan. In the Bible. Almost makes you want to vote for that guy who’s not actually a Muslim despite what his opponents want you to believe.
In closing, then, a message to anyone pushing for a ban on gay marriage based on Scripture: I welcome you to step forward if you’ve ever had an affair, eaten shrimp, or played football on the wrong day of the week, and I will be only too happy to stone you to death personally.
Have a nice day.