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June 24, 2011

New York Approves Gay Marriage

New York will become the sixth state to approve same-sex marriage (the District of Columbia also allows gay marriage). Because of the state's large population, the number of Americans living in states that allow gay marriage will more than double. With New York, 35 million Americans will live in states with gay marriage, one in nine Americans.

The New York Senate approved a new same-sex marriage bill tonight by a vote of 33 to 29. Even though nearly all Republicans voted against the bill, the Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill because of four Republicans who voted with the Democrats. Only two Republican Senators openly backed the bill until just before the vote when Sen. Stephen Saland (Rep.) said he would give the bill the 32nd vote needed for passage. Only one Democrat, Sen. Ruben Diaz, voted against the measure. Only two Republican Senators openly backed the bill prior to the vote.

Additional votes were gained only after a majority in the Senate reached agreement on religious protections in the bill. Shortly before the gay marriage bill vote, the religious exemptions were reportedly passed by a 36-26 vote. The bill passed by the State Assembly included protections for clergy and churches. It did not include explicit protections for faith-based nonprofits. In Illinois, for example, the recent civil unions law has meant that Catholic Social Services could no longer receive state funds for its foster care and adoption services. The nonprofit has a policy against placing children with same-sex couples.

Opponents of the Assembly bill also wanted exemptions for individuals and businesses who objected to gay marriage for religious reasons. These individuals could be in violation of local ordinances. They could also be forced to allow gay couples to use their facilities. For example, without exemptions, critics argued, a business that rents its facilities for weddings could not refuse a couple simply because they were a same-sex couple.

The bill also included language making it impossible for a judge to strike down only the religious exemptions. If the exemptions are ruled to be unconstitutional, the extension of marriage to same-sex couples would be struck down, too.

Even the broadest religious exemptions would not be enough for some opponents of same-sex marriage. Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg said “the principal objection to homosexual 'marriage' has nothing to do with religion.”

“At its heart, marriage is neither a civil institution nor a religious institution. Instead, marriage is a natural institution—rooted in the order of nature itself,” Sprigg said. “The core message of the opposition to homosexual 'marriage' is not just, 'Don’t make us perform same-sex weddings in our church.' Instead, it is: 'Society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad.'”

The new bill still needs to be approved by the Assembly (because of the new religious exemptions) and then be signed by the governor.  The Assembly is expected to approve the new language quickly. The signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is all but certain.  The governor has been an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage in New York. The measure will go into effect 30 days after he signs it.

The outcome of the bill has been in doubt for weeks. The State Assembly has passed same-sex marriage legislation four times in the past five years. The Senate has never approved it. In 2009, the Senate voted 38-24 against same-sex marriage. After the 2010 election, Republicans gained control but the Senate lost some key opponents to gay marriage. By the end of last week, a handful of senators from both parties announced they would be changing their positions, bringing the number of announced supporters to 31, one shy of the number needed for passage.

GOP Senators debated whether to allow the bill to be considered. Part of the delay was reportedly due to negotiations over more religious exemptions  for groups such as adoption agencies.  With more protections, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (Republican) decided to let the bill be considered.

Prior to the vote, the New York capitol was filled with protestors for both sides. One side singing hymns and spirituals chanting “God says no.” The other side included a smaller group of Jewish and Christian leaders calling out “God is love.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage delivered 63,000 petitions and held a press conference outside of the Republican conference room. In addition to featuring leaders like National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, the press conference included New York Giants receiver David Tyree.

Tyree was the hero of the Giants Super Bowl win in 2007. Tyree told the New York Daily News he “probably would” give up the Super Bowl to stop same-sex marriage.

"Nothing means more to me than that my God would be honored,” Tyree said. “Being the fact that I firmly believe that God created and ordained marriage between a man and a woman, I believe that that's something that should be fought for at all costs.”

Comments

This ruling is another reminder that God has given us over to our own lustful desires. May God's grace and power rest upon the Church in NYC to be a better witness in these dark days!

2 Timothy 3
"1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

It was true in Paul's day; it is true in ours, too.

KUDO'S to the 4 brave GOP Senators who remained true to their oath to protect and defend the Constitution which secures equal rights to EVERYONE! They took no oath to any bible, torah or quran, nor did they bend to autocratic archbishops, rabbi's or divorced evangelical ministers,for ,thankfully, our Constitution does not enshrine any form of religion nor give it any preference in distastefully creating certain classes which shall not be entitled to those rights.From now on, religion will no longer be able to bar people from the courthouse door!

The debate began to change when the homosexual issue was successfully changed by the left and became a civil rights matter . Once that was accomplished individuals who did not even support gay marriage became reluctant or able to debate it without it being turned back on their own supposed prejudice or religious view . Marriage became just one more "right" . The view that government supported marriage was meant for the nuclear family as a support from this generation to the next became obsolete . In my liberal state of Washington the only voices against the gay marriage issue are religious organizations that speak to social issues . The middle and vast majority are silent , except the activists on the left .

In the long run the effect I believe hurts homosexuals , especially the youth . The Bible does not teach us to use scripture to dictate laws , but as a way for a closer walk with the Lord and a better life . The warnings against sexual sin are for the people committing it also . God is concerned for all of us .

The attention homosexuals have gained has only incresed negative consequences for the kids who by the present culture are required to a point to highlight their sexuality in a pridefull way . The self absorption of their different and unique sexuality has not made life easier . Perhaps when they get out of school , in the work place it has appeared to more tolerant .

We worship an awesome God Who loves us so much. When we in turn "love one another," especially our enemies, we follow Jesus. Today, Jesus calls me to truly love the homosexual and to wish them well in their marriages. "Whatsoever we do to the least of His brethren, that we do unto Him."

The only thing wrong with the New York full citizen equality law...is that the Supreme Court should make it unnecessary. All anti-Gay laws should be unenforceable because they are unjust laws based upon entirely upon ignorance and petty bigotry. If the courts are inadequate at protecting the civil liberties of various populations which are disadvantaged in some way, such as by unjust marriage prohibitions or other shameless and immoral discriminations, then citizens and law makers should work to right injustices.

Why would you presume that your Gay neighbor, perhaps coworker or relative...is your "enemy" which you must love because Jesus said so?

You are the one, by doing so, who is creating "the other" into your enemy. Why would you not call a peoples by what they wish to be called, which is currently "Gay?" Gay people obviously do not wish to be labeled with that archaic Victorianism, "homosexual," or they would use the word themselves.

Gay people are not a prissy, obsolete psychological diagnosis; a false diagnosis that had been based on ignorant, if not bigoted presumptions, which lead to the blinders of selection bias.

If nothing else, "Gay" uses less ink. Unlike with the word "homosexual," which would only cause snickers and eye rolling, "Gay" is suitable for polite society.

Great news today. You say that makes 1 in 9 Americans? Great, here's hoping the other 8 get moving towards equality!

@Gordon I wouldn't be surprised if you're right. It will be 9 out of 9 soon. But that's not necessarily a good thing. In Canada there's been gay marriage for around 5 years. And guess what? It's getting tougher for Canadians to speak out for their beliefs without being head-hunted by a human right's commission. Yes, the "persecuted gays" are becoming the "persecutors". There's even a Supreme Court case about this.

By definition, marriage is between a man and a woman. Once we start to mess with this, trouble will not be far behind.

Poor Canadian conservatives, having to treat Gay people like...well...people. The saying that marriage is between a man and a woman isn't supported by history. As often as not, marriage was between a female child and a boy or a man. St. Augustine was once betrothed to a pre-teen "woman," much younger than even his teenaged son by his live in mistress. Marriage between a man and an actual adult woman is a pretty recent development in the evolution of marriage in many places of the world, including Christendom.

Marriage has always been about property and inheritance, and that's really what the anti-citizen equality marriage people are bout...taking property from the genuine loved ones of any Gay relatives, however estranged. "Traditional marriage" and full citizen equality is about greed, exploitation, bigotry, patriarchy and blackmailing people to make them act against their best interests...in other words, new clothes for Jim Crow. What is that CT article on conservative evangelicals and "interracial" marriage (whatever they think that is.)

Great job NY. Its only a matter of time now before gay marriage will be legal in all states. If marriages are accepted by the gov't then no religious opinions apply. This is about equality, getting the same rights and benefits as "straight" married people get. I'm glad that I was taught that I am made in God's image, that he loves me and wants me to love others, whoever that may be. I think the religious weirdos are the ones making God sad, being so hateful and intolerant, hurting people who have done nothing to you. It is you who should be shamed and asking for the Lord's forgiveness! Thanks to all the brave Senators in NY who did what is right and just!

2 Corinthians 4:4 "...in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Ephesians 2:2 "...in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience."

The paganization - the blinding - of America is on track. As GP has so honestly pointed out in previous posts, homosexual behavior in the OT occurred within pagan religious rituals - but certainly not condoned or allowed within the covenant people of God, Israel. (Actually Paul pointed that out in Rom. 1.) And so the pagans are once again trying to force their view of sexuality on America. America, however, is not a Christian nation - never has been. (A Christian nation would never have allowed the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of people, nor would a Christian nation allow the mass murder of its children.) No, the best that can be said of America is that the Word of God has influenced some of her laws and her view of the world. But that influence is waning. God's word predicted this decline and fall. For the Christian Paul taught in Philippians 3:20 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ..." First and foremost I am that citizen.

Jesus never wished sinners well and sent them on their way. He told them "to go and sin no more."
That's a big difference. God will never tolerate sin. And God is the one that has defined sodomy and homosexuality as a sin. Again, no matter how politically correct it may become, it is sin. There is no sacrifice left for those who know they are committing a sin over and over and not caring that it is a sin before God , and in Hebrews 10 it says they can have "only a fearful expectation of judgment of raging fire that will comsume the enemies of God."

Today people redefine God according to subjective feelings and humanistic ideologies, and are making themselves an idol instead of worshipping the God of the Bible. Biblical faith envisions God as Sovereign Lord and Almighty Father. Look up the word "wrath" in a concordance. It is there, used to describe God, as much as the word love to describe Him. And God's wrath will be poured out upon the earth as described in Revelation.

This vote is a tragedy that shows the depths to which our nation as sank.

I have noticed in my area basic concern for people with religious views seen as less intelligent, racist, homophoebic , etc . . As it is here , if you do not agree with homosexual marriage , polygamous , or whatever the issue then becomes those who disagree with you defining your intentions and beliefs . Believing a kid , gay , black , white etc is better off with a MOm and Dad is an opinion . Based in Culture , Faith and social science review. Of course a loving mom and mom can help a kid and be good parents . The issue is will gay marriage over all help , and the best reasons here have been so far Christians are intolerant . Mom and Dads both have different unique biological and cultural supports for parenting . Marriage laws at one time were seen as supporting that role , not a give me equal rights conversation . The conversation changed , I don't see why that is a good thing . Homosexxual parents who love their kids know the problems their kids face in these days . Not just talking about prejudice .

The fact is the vast majority of Christians in this nation have little to do with the political process. HAD nothing to do with the laws and culture they were born into . The good thing about gay rights is it exposed the nastiness and problems gays faced . The bad aspect of is it appears they are more then willing to throw others who are different under that same bus .

The problem is how we treat each other , all this proves is our culture shifted and now believes in treating others better and with more respect then others . The disparaging comments here about Christians are allowable in many areas of our culture , any comments against gay marriage would be met with bigot and no one have always been allowed to get married , its the same sexness in the marriage that was fought for . Totally different then black marriage . Totally different issue , but the attempt to use racism was in deed a smart political ploy . Hope the activists are happy living with the hatred they won with or lost with .

My God forgive us for we do not know what it is that we do. If there is but a few forgive us, for you are loving and perfect in forgiveness. I pray to you, please never stop loving the USA; the world, for you first loved us, please forgive us please Lord God, please. We , the USA, gained our strength from your blessings and we have become arrogant and bostful, forgive us. For it is written man shall not sleep with man as he would with a woman and the same for women (it is understood) you blessed us with intelligence and we need your forgiveness.

@child Of God

Yes i can understand not being happy about this . But I really do not see the difference here then with some of our other laws on the books that allow for some stuff . We allow pornography and its available on on our cable . We divorce , abort babies , and so many other things . One of the major problems I have see with the gay rights movement is the nastiness it has caused in us , including the conservative side . I(ncluding myself , something about having God and the scriptures appear bigoted and obsolete that causes concern . But like the Ark when the Israelite attempted to keep it from falling off the Cart , God was not happy about that either . If you recall we Christians believing we had to resort to political activitism to promote Bibical world views instea dof allowing Light and Love to do so must also be of concern .

Help the poor, put no God before our Lord , including politics . Reach out in love , and stand Firm my friend . This issue is not in the long run as important in my opinion of all the previous issues that have creeped into our culture that we just put up with . We have laws that tell landlords thay have to a rent to a couple living together just as if they were married . Those have been on the books much longer then the gay marriage, and no attention politically ever went to it that I know of . At least in NY they did try to prmote some protections fror religious convictions , from the comments here we need them also .

@TOF: (Isn't truth relative in your world? But truth implies an objective standard - what's your's?) And what are your religious convictions? From your comment it sounds like you are an atheist or agnostic. But if you are an atheist/agnostic you have only your opinions or society's cultural standards or the law on which to base your moral convictions - all three of which are shifting sand as a basis on which to build a morality. In other words, if you are an atheist/agnostic the most you can say is, "Well, in my opinion and the opinion of some others this or that is right/wrong." Opinions change from age to age. Or: "The law says this or that is right/wrong." Laws change too. But you can never say something is objectively right or wrong, b/c that implies absolutes. But if you are an atheist/agnostic you have no moral absolutes - just opinions. Now if you're not an athesist/agnostic and you believe in a god then you are in the same boat as Christians when it comes to belief. Oh, btw, Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life. It is not truth over faith; it is faith in the truth.

"If there is no God, everything is permissable."

Marriage equality for 35 million Americans. :)

The press reports today about the background negotiations that allowed passage of the marriage equality legislation make clear that the changes by the Republican and Democratic senators in NY, and the big Republican donors willing to have the backs of the Republicans who voted for marriage equality, were mostly about family. They all had family or extended family members who were gay. And, this is why the progress toward nation-wide marriage equality is inevitable.

When people, including Christians, see gay members of their family, or among their close frieds, or in their church community, and realize that they are not the pervers monsters that some on the religious right make them out to be, that in fact many of them in their church community exemplify the fruits of the Spirit, it becomes obvious that the traditional teaching about homosexuality cannot stand. That, in the face of the reality of our gay friends and family, our gay church bretheren, we must recosnider whether we have correctly understood what we thought the Bible taught. Yes, for many, this comes with difficulty. But, the Church has gotten so many things wrong in the past in interpreting the Bible (flat earth, slavery, creationism, Jim Crow segregation, opposition to interracial marriage, the status of women). The passage of marriage equality laws, by the elected representatives of a small-d democratic state is evidence that we are realizing the error of our ways.

Yes, in the last days, there will be difficulties, and boastful, arrogant revilers. And, they can be found in the mirror that too many of the evangelical churches should hold up to themselves. One prime example is the notion thrown out by one commenter that God is "wrath" more than He is "Love." That has got to be the worst perversion of God's message I have ever heard.

Really CL? Did you ever bother to look up in a concordance about God's wrath for those that don't believe in Him or obey Him? Of course I know you'll lie about this, just like you did with Margaret Sanger. You claimed it was photoshopped, when you can obviously look up a video with Sanger and Hitler in it, when she received her rewards for genocide against African-Americans. You couldn't cover up that lie. You can see what lies ahead for you in Revelation and in Hebrews chapter 10.

You've shown that you don't mind lying to advance your sordid causes and so your posts are meaningless. But if you go to one of the first verses about God and His wrath, Deut 9:7 "Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD." Your homosexuality is in rebellion to God, and you'll also see His wrath unless you repent. Jesus told sinners to go and sin no more, not continue in their ways that are an abomination to Him.

If homosexuals are "normal", why do they continually show themselves as perverts in their parades? Why do they push for the rights of NAMBLA? You don't convince me or anyone else who truly believes God's Word.

What CL and the other homosexual advocates have NOT failed to demonstrate is their total ignorance of Scripture. They pretend to know what the Bible says but they never get around to providing evidence - they just make stuff up. Jesus not only quoted scripture, He spoke scripture - something the homosexual don't do, can't do; it's not part of their experience. Why? Because they know Scripture condemns homosexual behavior, but they cannot bring themselves to confess their sinful behaviors. [One honest homosexual several months back scolded the so-called homosexual here who try to defend homosexual behavior using the Bible. He told them the Bible condemns homosexual behavior, but nobody - not even God - could tell him how to live his life. He was at least honest.] Paul said in Rom. 1 homosexual behavior is a result, a consequence, "21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools..." Paul is dead on: I have never heard so much futile speculation as I have listening to the homosexuals and their advocates who comment here. But the one thing they won't listen to is God's plain inspired word. In my experience it is not a prudent thing to disregard God's plain revelation. Nor safe!

The fact that these politicians approved gay marriage is only a testimony of how they cannot distinguish the difference btw normal and perverted behavior those who disagree with them won't be affected adversely (and that they have no spine), we all know what liberals do: they sue, sue, and sue until they get the courts to agree with them. And this is what they will do here. This story will not end well.

[Has anyone ever asked the question: what possible economic good will this bring to the Republic? Here's a great secular case against gay marriage. http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html]

Hey Dan,

If you're incapable of deciding a moral issue with that thing in your head called a brain, then I feel sorry for you.

And what are your moral absolutes, Dan? Your ancient holy books promotion of slavery,genocide,infanticide, stoning people to death for absurd reasons, animal and human sacrifices?

Dan, this may surprise you, but thinking human beings don't feel the need to turn to Stone Age holy books that are full of asinine nonsense or to invent invisible men in the sky to dictate our morality.

I'm sorry that you don't seem to think very highly of you intellectual abilities.

Full citizen equality is nothing like ancient fertility cult rituals. They involved rites based upon sexual ignorance and "seed sacrifices." To them, the male "seed" was an "unformed" child. "Mine unformed substance Thine eyes saw..." Or course, we know that we were never, ever, an "unformed substance."

a seed sacrifice is what I think is being referenced in Lev. 18:22. This "sacrifice" was said to be facilitated by cross-dressing priests or other male temple workers. The ritual was to appease pagan gods by sacrificing a human life to them, however liquid, to get the fertility god, Moloch in Lev. 22, to grant the worshiper good crops, prosperity, cure illnesses...to bless the pagan patriarch with more sons, more wives, and more slaves. Does that sound even remotely like consensual adult relationships (many of them being Christian couples) lawfully seeking legal recognitions?

I don't understand why religious-right activists act heartless while claiming to "love homosexuals" (obviously not enough to call people what they wish to be called, however), so blatantly anti-marriage while shamelessly claiming to be protecting marriage, so calloused about the children of Gay people while claiming to love children, so content with perpetuating injustices while claiming to be victims of their victims.

When are anti-homosexualists going to stop writing like pro-slavery apologists, when they were trying to religiously delegitimize the abolitionist movement? Some people know how to do basic historical research, and have access to primary sources...many of which are now online. http://docsouth.unc.edu/index.html

Just as the proslavery apologists pointed to verses regulating slavery and acknowledging its existence were claimed to be "proof text" of slavery being God's law, and therefore could not be abolished, so do the anti-Gay activists today point to verses regulating other-sex marriage and acknowledging other-sex marriage as "proof text" that same-sex marriage is against God's law. Without the Golden Rule, what can truly be God's law?

As with slavery, as with patriarchy, once the blinders are off, the Golden Rule says otherwise, slavery and patriarchy are not God's law, but were merely laws.

Quote chapter and verse all you want, you are still on the wrong of justice. When eyes have been opened, no matter how many millennia an injustice was condoned, no matter how many Bible verses would seem to regulate or condone it, we can rejoice that we can, at long last, begin to abolish an ancient and ongoing evil.

@Truth over faith (an oxymoron in your case)
Anyone can be one of these as you have proven in your response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gROO7xSTxfY&feature=related
But thanks for showing what you can bring - ie nothing.

@GP:Shut up or put up the Biblical evidence that homosexual behavior is condoned by God. But you can't provide any Biblical evidence - b/c there is none. And there is not a good secular case for gay marriage either. http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html]

I only need the Golden Rule...just like the Quaker abolitionists. As for a response to your broken link to Adam Kolasinski...

A friend, Gay activist, novelist, columnist, editor, blogger, photographer, videographer Taylor Siluwe' died of cancer just a week ago. The world needs him, but he is gone. He was an enviably fit man, but cancer was no respecter of that.

A theme in his novels was how "high control" religion pushes minorities within the religion into a dangerous sense of anomie if they dare insist upon their personal integrity and personal authority. He survived his religion, but many have not. He wanted for the Black church what I want for my heritage "church."

I admired Taylor tremendously and miss his keen intelligence, his wonderful wit and hard earned wisdom. I learned a lot from him, and much appreciated his support. He was a positive benefit to me.

Supporting him through his brutal illness was his "hubby," a man of obvious character which I can only aspire to have. Taylor's hubby is the main reason Kolasinski is wrong. Trel is a positive benefit to society, a man who gave Taylor a reason to want to live, to know what it is to be loved, deeply loved, when life was fading in him. Their love is an inspiring love, a love that lives still, a love that is a positive benefit to all lovers, same-sex and other-sex.

Taylor publicized and supported organizations that help homeless GLBT youth survive the "high control" religion that pushed them out onto the streets with its calloused, hypocritical, chapter and verse quoting smokescreen that hides the Golden Rule. A Golden Rule which exults a love which lives and inspires, the sort of love which death cannot contain... a love that IS a positive benefit to society.

Go to "A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage" from your browser. It will take there. By the way, the Golden Rule was based upon the Law and the Prophets -the same Law and Prophets that condemned homosexual behavior. This is irony (farce, too!) at its finest. But sadly you do violence to the text to interpret it that way. You cannot use Scripture to condone homosexual behavior. Your interpretation fails for lack of evidence, and you engage in theological alchemy [only in this case you attempt to turn gold into lead] that any first year textual critic would roll his eyes over.

It would be curious to see what the divorce rates among same sex couples will be?

I had the link figured it out, and reread it, along with some of the many rebuttals which I would urge you to read as well.

If I may pontificate further, I don't have to expect scripture to condone or condemn "homosexuality," if for no other reason than "homosexuality" is an obsolete Victorianism, and has been since the 1950s, though many people didn't get the memo until recently, when it was sent out over the internet. lol

If Jesus urges us to love our neighbors...and enemies...then we must read the Bible with love, rather than look for reasons to feel superior, to condemn, to shun and isolate "the other."

When you read the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, with the Golden Rule foremost in your thoughts, the Bible becomes a very different book than the Bible my grandmother read and the Bible lessons she taught to me. She wanted to feel special, and not only to God and her family. That is why she adapted literal interpretation, which set us on a values collision course.

I stayed with the United Methodist concept of the burden of responsibility. I try not to proscribe this and that, but to council and educate, and to learn and accept advice from people of good will, as best I can, regardless of their religion, or lack of.

Sin becomes what I do, not what other people do. Other people have their motivations for what they do, and I can only judge them on secular legalities...did they break the law if I'm on a jury...on accepting learning and teaching opportunities, on probabilities as I can understand them, on what morality and intentions they bring to their actions. Sin, if they have committed a sin, is for God and themselves to judge.

Besides, the closest thing to "same-sex sexual orientation" in the Bible, I think, is not in the usual verses that people claim to reference "homosexuality," but in the ancient concept of "eunuchs born that way." Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with them, nor does the OT all that much, for that matter. My friend, Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, who by the way, is not Gay, has studied and written on that, as have others.

The question, Basil, will not so much be about gay divorce rates, but rather how many gay marriages (among men) will function explicitly or tacitly in an "open" manner, that is, without strict sexual exclusivity. I suspect it is in this way that we are most apt to see a distinction between them and the average straight marriage.

Good for New York. If Christians were serious about the "preserving the sanctity of marriage" from gays, they wouldn't get divorced and cheat on their spouses at the same rate as non-Christians. Marriage is meaningless to the Christian community unless a group they actively hate wants to have the same right.

Actually, they have done studies on Christians who take their faith seriously, and the divorce rate is much less than the percentage of overall divorce. You know, as well as I know, that lots of people, when asked if they are Christians, will give a "yes" answer, but they show no fruit of the Spirit. They don't attend church, they don't usually even own a Bible, they can't define the Gospel, they may be living a life in adultary or homosexuality, etc. But committed Christians, who take their faith seriously, attend church, read their Bibles, know the Gospel, pray regularly, and are married to a partner of the opposite sex who is also a strong Christian, have a much lower rate of divorce. Homosexual marriages (if you want to call it that), fall apart much faster, and from the start, they usually consider themselves to be in an "open" marriage. Even so, their rate of divorce is higher than 50%. Homosexuals have a much greater number of partners in every study, and so they usually don't even take marriage seriously, for instance, by having one partner, like Christians are supposed to do. They are only serious about having the tax benefits that marriage allows.

Why, Barbara, would you want to say and believe those things about your neighbor? Where did you hear that stuff, anyway? Frankly, it's based upon apples and oranges comparisons, sometime by people who don't like apples, the forbidden fruit.

I mean, we have heard it all before, the similar gossip about other minorities, their alleged promiscuous, hyper-sex lives; their supposed inability to truly love and be loved like "we" do. Haven't we gone beyond that by now?

Nobody I know is actually calling it "homosexual marriage." I've never hear it said, just have seen it written by some who don't seem to like the idea of "those people" getting married, ever.

"Homosexuals" aren't getting married.I don't know any "homosexuals" anymore, and haven't since the late Sixties. Mutually consenting couples in love, some of whom are Gay and Lesbian, are the ones who want to get married. It's just marriage...a kiss goodbye on the way out the door to work marriage.

Why won't you call your neighbor by the name your neighbor prefers? Gay. Just three letters. Easy to spell. Doesn't take much ink or many keystrokes. What's so wrong with "Gay?"

"Gay" has a long history within the English speaking Gay community, a history which even predates the rather short era when there actually were "homosexuals." Before people decided that they did not care to identify and be identified with a Victorian era word that had become an excessively clinical, incorrect psychological diagnostic label. Would you want a community name like that?

Various groups with various languages and customs have their own preferred names, of course, sometimes several. I have friends who prefer SGL, for instance. "Gay," however, has become the consensus name by and for a world-wide community of many millions.

If the Gay community decides to change its name, for any or no reason, you'll get an email... lol

It was just a matter of time for the Greco-roman culture to complete the cycle and just as the previous, the current will follow suit taking it's place among the ruins of history.

Rev. 18:11-18

@Child of God, you bring up some good points -- actually that part of how this debate has brought out nastiness in so many. And why do we Believers think one sin is worse than another? Sin is sin.

We are told to show compassion, love, seek truth.

Nasty arguing doesn't glorify God whatsoever.

We live in a fallen world. Why do we continue to expect the world to live by Christian principles?

If someone is embracing sin, excusing it, that person most likely really needs Jesus. Where is our compassion for the lost souls?

Our fight isn't against flesh and blood but spiritual forces from the unseen realm.

Pray, love, seek truth, show compassion.

Scripture does not indicate that all sin is the same. It tells us that all have sinned and fall short, and that the penalty for sin is separation from God. But nowhere does it say that all sins are equal, and it even indicates that all sins are not equal. See this CT article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/january/19.65.html

Jesus is Lord, so when He defined Marriage as being between a Man and a Woman (Matthew 19:4-6) we must accept His authoritative definition. Even deeper is the theological truth that God created humankind in His own image as "male" and "female". To condone homosexual behaviour, and same-sex marriage, distorts the image of God. There is plurality in our One God ... Father, Son, Holy Spirit. There is plurality in the image of God in humankind ... Male, Female ~ who in marriage become "one flesh". These mysterious realities are beyond our human understanding, but there are enough real pointers here to enable us to say that Same Sex Marriage is a form of bhlasphemy against the nature of our awesome God.

"...the closest thing to same sex orientation [are] eunuchs born that way." Like most of your interpretations, you are wrong here, too. Here's why:

The word for eunuch means literally "castration" in the first use in Matt. 19:12, but in the second instance it most likely is figurative and refers to those who live celibate lives for the furtherance of the gospel. [from the NET Bible notes over Matt. 19:12]

MD, let's wait for the research. So far, "straight" marriages have only succeeded in posting abysmal statistics. I suppose gay marriages could do worse, but at this point there is no reason to believe that will be the case.

The push for gay marriage from aggressive secularism will invariably result in gay marriage being approved in governments in western countries around the world. American states will fall to these law changes like dominos. Australia is also very close equalizing homesexuals marriage rights. Look its going to happen! Get used to it. Christians need to think through this issue more deeply now and change their approach. Fighting for this issue in the political sphere is just going to backfire. Christians need be wise as serpents now more than ever. They need to model healthy families. They need to stand for truth in word and deed. I just don't see a poltical war "to protect the nation" working. In any case whilst it is ture Christians should strive to be good citizens and do their bit to positively influence society; their primary loyalty is to working for the good of the body of Christ first. We are as individual Christians and as a coporate body preparing for life hereafter (there is no utopia in this life). We are going to have to get used to things happening in society we don't approve of and things that are going to ruin the fabric of a strong nation, city or county. Maybe by having strong godly families we can influence society for better. I am not saying Christians should stay away from the political arena, but we won't win it.

I think my friend, Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, would likely be more authoritative than you, Dan, on Bible interpretation. http://home.earthlink.net/~ecorebbe/id18.html

In any case, as I agree with him and not you, and as I can read and interpret the Bible in accordance with my own Christian Protestant traditions which leads me to his conclusions and not your interpretations...you're wrong and we're right, by our respective lights. But, apparently not by your light, which I don't really respect. Sorry...but I usually enjoy responding to what you post, so thanks for that.

The historical context, as Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill explains, doesn't suggest a genital birth defect as causation for "eunuchs born that way." Unlike with the castrated or with males born with genital birth defects, the genitals of eunuchs born that way seemed to function just fine...just not so fine with women...

But as sex is, at its most basic what it is...they sometimes functioned adequately with women, at least on occasion..though if I were a woman, I wouldn't have wanted to marry a eunuch born that way. Unless I didn't like sex for some reason, but liked being married. Given the maternal death rates back then...not liking sex and being married to a eunuch born that way may have contributed towards a longer lifespan.

The context of Matthew 19:4-6 is not about who can or cannot get married, Hugh, but why people should not get divorced. If modifying Mosaic Law on divorce is not objectionable to Jesus, why would modifying secular marriage laws for fully consenting, loving, unrelated adult couples be objectionable to Christians?

Within the context of Matthew 19, it's not strict, plain sense, literal interpretation of the Mosaic Law that matters to Jesus...he modifies it. It's not not traditional interpretation of the Law as actually practiced that concerns Jesus here, he modifies it. What obviously concerns Jesus in Matthew 19 is making sure that the already disadvantaged are not...further disadvantaged by the Law.

Consequently, as Gay couples are definitely disadvantaged by today's marriage law, and as Jesus does not approve of people being disadvantaged by the Law...why should Christians oppose full citizen equality?

Christians wouldn't want people at a disadvantage to be further disadvantaged by any law, right? Even if that law should give privileges and advantages to themselves and not others?

In antiquity, women, who were often children by today's standard, had very little say on who they would marry. That was determined by men, though a mother might have some influence if her husband permitted. I think that under Jewish law, what with maternal death rates being what they were, a female could refuse to marry and live with her extended family as a spinster until she died, but...that's not the same thing as choosing whom she would or would not marry. I'm not even sure that was allowed in antiquity.

Jesus modified Mosaic law on divorce, didn't he, only to prohibit it...and yet, conservative Christians get divorced today. I can sympathize with wanting to end an unhappy, stressful marriage, though I've never been divorced.

I would maintain that today's secular divorce laws modify the no-divorce Matthew verses, and so are permitted by Jesus' intentions to protect the disadvantaged woman.(The sexual immorality exception might even be a later insertion...or a suggesting a divorce instead of having an adulteress stoned to death.)

If memory serves, a divorced woman in antiquity, if her family wouldn't, couldn't take her back, could end up on the streets with just the clothes on her back. The resources she helped her husband acquire during their marriage were never hers at all. I guess that a dowry would revert back to her father to care for her...but if a bride price were paid, would her father have to pay it back?

Today's divorce law tries hard to make sure that a divorced woman ends up on the street with nothing, or would have to move back in with her parents...forever... So...today's divorce is not what a divorce was in antiquity. A couple today is still financially "married" even after they are lawfully divorced.

And, if money or goods were exchanged for a woman, even for marriage, by today's law, that would make her father or her husband an illicit procurer.

If divorce isn't what it was in antiquity, why would marriage also be what it was in antiquity? Which by today's law, would probably be an illicit marriage between a man or a teenager and an underage female that he or his father bought and paid for.

As with Jesus in Matthew 19 on divorce Law, today's law is about trying to make sure that no party in a marriage is disadvantaged by marriage law or divorce law...that both parties are fully consenting to the marriage and to a divorce.
But, some people are fine, I guess, with inequality under the law.

Barbara --

Fortunately, you are not the Judge. As NY shows, a growing number of Christians who "take their faith seriously" and "show ... fruit of the Spirit" also believe in marriage equality. The OT verses purporting to condemn "homosexuality" (which wasn't even a word when the OT was written) are in the middle of multiple chapters telling the people of God to keep culturally separate from the surroundng peoples:

* Eating sacrificed meat on the third day is an abomination. Lev. 7:18, 19:7.
* Eating shellfish is an abomination. Lev. 11:10.
* Eating eagles, osprey, or vultures is an abomination. Lev. 11:13, 19:7.
* Certain winged insects that creep on all fours are an abomination. Lev. 11:20
* Eating snakes is an abomination. Lev. 11:42.
* Lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination. Lev. 18:22.
* If a man lie with mankind as with womankind it is an abomination. Lev. 20:13.
* Eating anything with which the ground teems is an abomination. Lev. 20:25.
* It is an abomination to take the silver or gold used to make idols. Deut. 7:25.
* You should not bring an abomination [a graven image] into your house. Deut. 7:26.
* Sacrificing a blemished sheep is an abomination. Deut. 17:1.
* When you come into any of the lands God gives you, you should not do any of the abominations of those that dwelled there, and those abominations are why God drove them out ahead of the you, and anyone who does the abominations of the inhabitants becomes an abomination. Deut. 18:9-12.
* Women shall not wear things that pertain to a man and vice versa. Deut. 22:5.
* If a man divorces his wife and she remarries, and that man either also divorces her or dies, if the first husband remarries the woman it is an abomination. Deut. 24:1-4
* Using varying weights for measuring is an abomination. Deut. 25:13-16.
* The man who makes a gaven image, which is an abomination to God, is cursed. Deut. 27:15.

Clearly these verses set out distinguishing cultural norms, not things that are intrinsically evil. Even the so-called "holiness" code is prefaced by the admonition to not do as the Egyptians and the Canaanites do. Not only that, it requires a man who rapes a virgin to merely pay her father a fine and to marry her, which clearly treats the girl as her father's property and as entitled to no restitution for herself. Deut. 22:28-29. That bit of "holiness" is rather sadistic and I don't see any Christians lobbying for that type of criminal law.

The law distinguishes between things that are intrinsically evil -- mala in se -- and things that are prohibited just because we choose to prohibit them -- mala prohibita. Lobster, stale sacrificial meat, and lying with mankind as with womankind are all, because they are lumped together as the same type of "abomination," mala prohibita, not mala in se. Thus, in the New Covenant, we are not obligated to follow them any more than we are obligated to keep kosher or practice circumcision or force a girl to marry her rapist.

If you take away from the whole breadth of the Bible that God is more "Wrath" than "Love," then, yes, I believe that is the most perverted distortion of the Bible possible.

BTW, just because you've seen a video on-line purporting to "prove" something, does not make it true. Pulitzer Prize-winning, non-partisan PolitiFact rated your rant about Margaret Sanger as a "Pants On Fire" fabrication, as in "Liar, liar, pants on fire"!

When you present Truth to those who do not love it, they will continually find ways for misinterpretation. Those who love truth will follow Jesus. Jesus reiterated that marriage is between a man and a woman, if the Old Testament did not speak it clearly enough. Among other laws, this one stays relevant because it deals with the intimate nature of Man and it is perpetual. Laws such as the sacrificial laws died with Jesus, as he was the ultimate sacrifice and the others only pertained to God's chosen, the Hebrews. In historical context the laws would make sense to them and their culture, they were not meant for us. However, like the Commandments, certain laws were not only upheld by our Lord Jesus but they were reinforced such as Homosexuality. And I will call it by it's proper name, because that is what it is. Gay meant "happy;with joy" and was used in the Bible itself to describe this emotion. I love my Homosexual brothers and sisters and I pray intently for them, but I cannot stand this twisting of God's Truth and the re-labeling of the sin under a formerly "good" word. God Bless.

CL. I know you would love to be a book burner,because the more you try to defend Margaret Sanger, your heroine, the more confused you appear to be.

Just pick up Margaret Sanger's autobiography, and read things like this:
"I accepted an invitation to talk to the women's branch of the Ku Klux Klan...I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses...I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak...In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered." (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366)

Yes, she did appear with Hitler on film, and your leftist organizations can't hide the truth, as hard as they may try. It's so easy to find dozens and dozens of her hate filled garbage against the African-Americans, and it is more than apparent what her "clinics" were and are for.

I noticed how you slipped in those verses prohibiting immoral homosexual behavior with those prohibitions which were not moral issues. But you failed to distinguish/specify those which were a violation of God's moral laws and those which were not. You kind of lumped them all in together in an attempt to obfuscate. (Oh you lawyers, always trying to spin and deceive.) Now you do use two latin terms - mala in se - mala prohibita - as a kind of interpretive principle. But the only problem is: it is only your opinion. So regarding those prohibitions in the OT Law, you said, "...we are not obligated to follow them any more..." Ok, well let's apply your goofy theology and logic to Lev. 18. Using your logic, let's make a list of things we can do NOW under your new covenant (not to be confused with Jesus' New Covenant) but couldn't do then: see Leviticus 18 - According to your logic:
*v. 6 - We can now uncover our blood relative's nakedness (totally cool now; not cool then)
*v. 7 - Now you can uncover your mom and dad's nakedness (totally cool now; not so much then)
*v. 8 - Now you can uncover your dad's wife's nakedness (totally cool now; definitely not kosher then)
*v. 9 - Now you can uncover your sister's nakedness (but who would want to - gag) (okey dokey now, tho - but then it was verboten to the max)
*vv 10ff - Now you can uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter, your daughter's daughter, your father's wife's daughter, your father's sister, your mother's sister, your father's brother, your aunt, your daughter-in-law, your brother's wife, a woman and her daughter, her son's daughter, her daughter's daughter. In addition you NOW can (b/c of your new covenant) marry a woman AND her sister (to that Mr. T would say, "I pity the fool...") You can also have sexual intercourse with your neighbor's wife (Hey, Bob. Remember when you said I could borrow anything any time - well, how 'bout the Mrs?); you can NOW offer your children to Molech; and you can even develop a close, intimate relationship with another animal specie of your choosing. CL, I must say you have a remarkable sense of humor - but your exegetical skills really suck.

Jesus said in Matt. 5:17 - "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill." (Clearly Jesus did not abolish the Law or the Prophets, b/c He said He didn't.)

Jesus also said in Matt. 15:16 “Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” (Clearly Jesus taught that the dietary laws were temporary and were abrogated - but not the moral law of God.)
In fact, Jesus never disagreed with the religious leaders as to what constituted sexual immorality.

All through the New Testament Paul (Gal. 5:16ff for e.g.), Peter, James, and John warn their listeners about the sinfulness of sexual immorality and its consequences. Get out your concordance and look up sexual immorality and see what God's word says. Homosexual sex - as defined by Lev. 18:22 and described by Paul in Rom. 1:26, 27 - is immoral and you can't prove from the Biblical text it isn't. I also challenge you to find one place in all of OT Jewish history and religion where a man lying with another man as a man lies with a woman was acceptable. It's obvious you do not think Lev. 18:22 is referring to homosexual behavior - well, all I can say is, "If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck...it's a duck." Your problem is you simply don't know the Scriptures.

Funny how MALUM IN SE and MALUM PROHIBITUM can be mix, stir and twisted in such a way, to make it appear as if having relations with a person of the same sex is something we choose to prohibit. Rather than a command and prohibition that was from God himself.

Because in the Beginning, God Created them Male and Female. Not only Humans were Created that way but so other creatures lower in the Hierarchy of Creation.

MALA IN SE and MALA PROHIBITUM are the Plural forms in the Latin. But leave it to Lawyers to manipulate a language like that, even though is nobody's Vernacular anymore. It was God who chose and decided both the IN SE and the PROHIBITUM not Moses or Israel.

The abomination of those that are MALA IN SE, like homosexuality or Sodomy, are obvious by its own CONTRA NATURA characteristics.

ERRARE HUMANUM EST

Last paragraph above should read instead: The Abomination of thoses crimes and sins that are MALA IN SE, like Homosexuality or Sodomy, are obvious by their CONTRA NATURA characteristics.

@S21 - Well nailed!