Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gay Marriage -- the future beckons?



I'm no longer living in California, so I won't have an opportunity to cast my ballot regarding Prop. 8, a bill that would institute a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman. This bill is similar in nature to another one passed in 2000 (Prop 22), a measure that limited marriage to a man and a woman, but did so as simply a statute, not a constitutional amendment. That effort passe with 61% of the vote.

A recent poll reported on in the LA Times suggests that things have changed in 8 years. Now a slim majority (51%) in a recent Field Poll would vote against the measure. In part that might because of changes in perspective and also because this is a constitutional amendment, and people are less eager to change the constitution. Whatever the case, it is quite possible that the California Supreme Court decision throwing out the earlier vote will stand allowing thousands of gays and lesbians to be legally wed.

The question that stands before us then is this: Is this an anomaly or is it suggestive of what might be around the corner, that we as a culture have come to accept (at least to a degree) homosexuality as a natural part of the community? Certainly there is plenty of opposition and even persecution, but has the tide turned? If so what does that mean?

On this issue the church will not be out front. We will hold back, waiting in part for generational changes of leadership. But looking out over the horizon, I believe that things are changing, and probably quicker than many thought possible.

4 comments:

drew said...

I do think that the change is inevitable. An entire cohort of our society has been unfairly limited in their rights to have a legal, secular contract of marriage. Things have changed immensely in the past 10 years reducing so much of the stigma. Soon gender neutral marriage will be as constitutionally supported as breathing air.

That Baptist Ain't Right said...

As law abiding Americans, gay couples should have the right to enter the same legal contract as a heterosexual couple. Gender preference shouldn't be a deciding factor in the state granting the license.

The church will have to make its decision on how it handles the issue within its boundaries. That is up to the church. But we're not talking about imposing religious dogma via the civil code --- at least I hope not.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Change is coming, but at different rates in different parts of the nation. (I still wish the California Supreme Court had held off on this decision until after November so it wouldn't be a rallying point for the Right.) The churches didn't lead in pushing for interracial marriage, either.

I am glad that my congregation is Welcoming and Affirming. I'm trying to do my little part by finishing my series of blog posts defending Christian gay marriage.

Gary said...

Same-sex marriage is as immoral and anti-Christian as is homosexuality itself.

Those who support homosexuality and same-sex marriage are apostate. Your Christianity is a farce.