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January 26, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Bills Coming to State Legislatures

Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington are expected to vote on bills to legalize same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is back in the national spotlight this week as Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington are expected to vote on bills to legalize same-sex marriage.

Bills in Washington in favor of same-sex marriage were backed this week by Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike. Last year, Microsoft and Starbucks were among 70 groups who filed friend-of-the-court briefs challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.

Today, a Washington Senate committee moved the measure one step closer to passage. The 25th vote needed in Washington's Senate was confirmed by state senator Mary Margaret Haugen who made the following statement earlier this week:

I have very strong Christian beliefs, and personally I have always said when I accepted the Lord, I became more tolerant of others. I stopped judging people and try to live by the Golden Rule. This is part of my decision. I do not believe it is my role to judge others, regardless of my personal beliefs. It’s not always easy to do that. For me personally, I have always believed in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. That is what I believe, to this day.

But this issue isn’t about just what I believe. It’s about respecting others, including people who may believe differently than I. It’s about whether everyone has the same opportunities for love and companionship and family and security that I have enjoyed.

Those who oppose the same-sex marriage bills in Maryland and Washington will likely bring referendums to overturn laws. New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie says he will veto a bill if it reaches him. "This issue that our state is exploring — whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions — should not be decided by 121 people in the State House in Trenton," Christie said, calling for a referendum.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in six states and the District of Columbia. Republicans who control New Hampshire's legislature could possibly repeal the 2009 law legalizing gay marriage.

Maine could see a same-sex marriage proposal on the November ballot. The state's legislature previously approved gay marriage, but it was overturned by a close statewide vote in 2009.

Today, Rep. Barney Frank's office said that the retiring 71-year-old Democrat from Massachusetts will marry his longtime partner in Massachusetts.

Comments

re: state senator Mary Margaret Haugen's quote. She says as a lawmaker she doesn't make moral judgments? She's not doing her job if she doesn't. And as far as being a Christian is concerned, she apparently doesn't know God's word very well either.

So, let me help you out MM: Gen. 2:22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Matt. 19:4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Eph. 5:31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.

This is the problem with politicians like this lady: like them, she has no moral center, no backbone. Too, I wonder what the gay lobby promised her in return for her vote?

Based on the list of the supporters of the bill I wonder if some Evangelical leaders are going to ask for a boycott of Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike and yes even Google. (Read the list to find out)

Nobody is born homosexual. Proof of this is that the homosexuals who want to do their sex their way want to children through schools, etc. to accept their sexual ways so that from puberty on these boys will make themselves available to the adult homosexuals. Otherwise they wouldn't be trying to teach their sex in schools or want to be "respected" as Christians just because they attend Church. True Christians don't give up on addictions, they keep working on freeing themselves from their addictions. And homosexuality is just another sexual addiction like porn, adultery, the need to have more than one mate. Homosexuals know they have an addiction but instead of working on it they work on changing the definition of a word or words, like gay and marriage. Put the vote up to the citizens of the states as it's changing the definition of a word not civil rights, as homosexuals are 99% white males and have always had the right to vote unlike blacks and women. Homosexuals,start loving yourself by loving Jesus and not making sex your priority or god, make Jesus your priority. You'll finally understand Christianity, it's about saving ourselves from any addiction that leads to pain, feelings of worthlessness, etc.

@gay guy Frank: Equal Rights? Where do you get the idea that you are being denied some legal right? Check the constitution - you're making up a right the constitution never gave you. You don't have the legal right from the constitution to marry whomever you want. Just like I don't have the legal right to marry whomever I want. For example, I can't marry a 9 year old girl, I can't marry my dog Lassie, I can't marry my sister, I can't marry two other women besides my wife. The fact is Frank, you are biologically a guy. That's your biological orientation. And FYI: in God's Word the PRACTICE of homosexuality is what is considered sinful, not the orientation itself. As for knowing any gays: of course I've know gays. I've worked with gays. And we got along very well. But what has that got to do with gay marriage. By the way, Original Anna gave you some good advice.

As a gay person (married to my husband in 2008 under California law) and a Christian and a father, I want to come out in favor of gay marriage - it is marriage equality in my eyes.

The fact that Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike have come out in favor of gay marriage in the state of Washington is significant. The corporate leaders must feel that their millions of customers (and workers) are either in favor or don't care.

I'm 50 years old, but the tide among the youth has already shifted. I've seen the effects in church too.

For those still talking about gay recruiting, please turn to the medical literature - this is a completely false notion, and sounds very like a means to continue oppression. Marriage is a civil rights issue for us gay people.

Good day,
Mike

I was an orderly at a hospital 30 years ago and had a gay patient. He was a Christian and in his 50's. He told me that when he was about 16 yrs. old he was recruited by older gay males. He spent years in the gay community until he became a Christian and made the decision to be celibate in love and obedience to Christ. He remained in the gay community after his conversion as a witness to his friends. Also, to say one is a practicing homosexual and a Christian is an oxymoron. Not because I said so, but because God's word says so.
Lev. 18:22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable."

Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

I Cor. 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men...will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal. 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery ... I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

You continue this lifestyle at your own peril. I highly recommend your pay attention to the warnings and admonitions in God's word to seek His forgiveness and repent of this behavior. Of course, I will be praying for you.

God is God for all. He is NOT God of Christians or Jews. He is God and He speaks to human beings. He spoke to Abraham, Moses, Jacob, and he speaks to you and me or to anybody. He never changes His word. He will speak to anybody the same words any time and all the time. If He said something differently to different people, He is not the same God but God's enemy.
God
His does not modify/re-translate/paraphrase His word. His character does not change. His moral standard does not change. He does not update His character. He made man and he made a woman. You cannot beat His wisdom. He did not put a gay/homo/lesbian mind in human being, so there is no such thing as born-gay etc.
Trusting in God or Accepting Christ is not something to be ashamed of. In fact, that is the only way a human being can be prefect in mind, heart and character.

The worst lie in the whole thing is that people are born homosexual--doomed to that type of existence. Do you suppose people are born thieves or adulterers as well? Different things tempt different people, but there is no evidence that there is anything congenital that would make a person have sexual relations with a person of their own sex.

I am a gay woman and a US Army veteran and a Christian. When I fought in Iraq I fought for the rights of all people, but just straight people's. I deserve the right to marry the consenting adult of my choice. Frank, the difference between me marrying my beautiful, brilliant girlfriend and you marrying all those children and dogs that talk about is that my girlfriend is an adult who can give intelligent consent and those children and dogs you talk about trying to marry are not.

How dare you think you can tell two consenting adults what to do with their bodies, their lives. How dare you tell my home church what services we can perform?

The Lord Jesus Christ set us all free to love and serve Him and each other. Heck, the first now-Jewish Christian was a queer person, the Ethiopian Eunuch in the Book of Acts. We are are a part of the world and we're not going any where except maybe the wedding chapel in the next few years.

Just an FYI. The Seattle Times, a liberal newspaper, carried a big article about how Rick Santorum was miquoted by democrats and continues to be. He did not make comments about homosexuals and animals, but I guess we can count on the liberals to perpetuate those lies. He HAS said that it is best to raise children in a family with a man and a woman, and that I definitely agree with, aa that is how God ordained it, whether you like that or not.

I do not think homosexuals should be able to adopt. How many cases do we have to see of little boys raised by lesbians who suddenly "choose" to dress and act like a girl? Do you think their "nurtering" by two lesbians, one who pretends to be the mom, and the other taking on the role of the daddy has anything to do with it? I'm tired of children being hurt at the altar of political correctness. If you dislike Rick Santorum, do it for what HE said, and not what some liberals who lied about what said he said. He is for a marriage to be between a man and a woman, and so are the vast majority of Americans.


The youth are tomorrow's adult majority voters:

An annual survey of college freshmen found that 71% of respondents polled in 2011 were in favor of same sex marriage. Check out the home page for the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA.

When gay marriage is being discussed in a Christian newspaper like we are doing, and 71% of college freshmen support gay marriage, you know the world is changing.

Mike

If you know the Bible at all, you wouldn't be bragging that things are getting farther and farther away from God's Word. You would see it as a sign of His imminent return for the true believers, who do the will of God. "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." James 1:22

" the first now-Jewish Christian was a queer person, the Ethiopian Eunuch in the Book of Acts."
Not true. The Ethiopian eunuch was just that - a eunuch, a man who had been castrated. There is no evidence to suggest he was gay. But even if he were, God's word says he believed in Christ. And having believe, he is a new creature in Christ. And as a new creature in Christ he forsook his life of sexual immorality and at the very least became celibate. That is the Biblical pattern.

Well, well; What have we here?

There is no doubt about it in my mind, that this is all the end result of mocking the Truth and the Word of God. By a people, that in spite of Clearly having in front of their noses, a Civilization that is and has always been a Greco-Roman culture, wasted their efforts pretending with all pretense to make that culture appear/masquerade as "christian".

Now that Masquerade is falling off day by day. That same "people" though they could "baptize" that Culture into "christendom" without repentance. In their efforts they wasted millions of $$ in TV and Radio" shows", "christian" rock concerts, Politics and Magazines. Makes me wonder, what in the world made that people think that they could baptize demons?

Now, that Greco-Roman Civilization/Culture, is falling again backwards in time, finally showing the previously hidden Traits of even older Civilizations, like the Babylonians and Sodom and Gomorrah.

I'm sure is not easy to figure this one out!


.

It's been said many times and in many ways; That a people, a Nation that Ignores the Lessons of History, condemn themselves to repeat the Errors and Horrors of History.

That should be easy to figure out!

All they have to do is ask themselves; Where are Babylon, Gomorrah and Sodom and what happened to ancient Greece and Rome?

The only Problem may be that the Teaching/learning of Geography, ran the same course as the Teaching/learning of History. Which runs parallel, with Stubbornly Ignoring the Holy Scriptures.

What is usually lost sight of in the gay marriage debate is that marriage has 2 aspects: civil / legal and religious.

From a strictly civil / legal standpoint, marriage is just a legal contract like a mortgage contract or a contract to get a bank loan to buy a new car. Consequently, since, from this standpoint, a marriage is just another form of a legal contract, the state has no more business prohibiting gay people from entering into the legal contract known as "marriage" than the state has prohibiting gay people from entering into a legal contract known as "mortgage" or "new-car loan". Indeed, the "equal protection" and "due process" clauses of the 14th Amendment prohibit such restrictions. A legal contract is a legal contract is a legal contract, and gays have as much right to marry legally / civilly as heterosexuals.

Marriage is also a religious sacrament. As such, how a religious organization -- church, mosque, temple, etc. -- chooses to comport itself with respect to marriage, religiously considered, is a matter that is left entirely to the discretion of the religious organization and its theology. Furthermore, the religious organization's right to determine its own attitude toward gay marriage on religious grounds, is a prerogative that is guaranteed by the "establishment" and "free exercise" clauses of the 1st Amendment. Even if gay people were granted full civil / legal marriage rights tomorrow, the rights of religious organizations to grant or to withhold religious sanction to same-sex unions would not be affected.

Gay marriage is the biggest non-problem to come down the pike in a long time. Indeed, not only does the US Constitution solve the problem for us, the Constitution even prevents there from being a problem in the first place. The only issue in question is how seriously we take the Constitution, in particular, the 14th and 1st Amendments.

It is, perhaps, worth adding the following "coda" to my remarks above ...

In order for gay-marriage opponents to construct an argument against gay marriage that would pass constitutional muster, 3 things are necessary:

(1) a definition of what the essence of marriage is

(2) a demonstration that there is something in the essential "ontology" of gay people that is so fundamentally incompatible with (1) that gay people cannot be married

(3) a demonstration that the state has a compelling interest in preventing gay people from marrying as a means of preserving the essence of both gays and the institution of marriage

Furthermore, all 3 elements must be formulated in such a way as to be free of confessional and denominational biases and presuppositions. Otherwise, one ends up proposing that a specific religious doctrine be written into the code of civil law -- which would be violative of the "establishment" clause of the 1st Amendment.

One may, of course, cite all manner of religious, theological, and doctrinal objections to gay marriage. But if these objections are to be translated into public policy in a manner that does not conflict with the US Constitution, there must be independent, secular, and non-religions -- not to say anti-religious -- grounds for such an exception to the 14th Amendment.

Absent arguments that comply with (1)-(3) in a religiously neutral manner, the presumption is that the "equal protection" and "due process" clauses of the 14th Amendment are applicable to gay people just as they are to any other group.

@Dan ... How do you propose that all those biblical texts be written into law without violating the "establishment" and "free exercise" clauses of the 1st Amendment?

Mike: When gay marriage is being discussed in a Christian newspaper like we are doing, and 71% of college freshmen support gay marriage, you know the world is changing.

The fact of the matter is that, for all intents and purposes, the battle for gay rights in general, and for gay marriage in particular, has been won.

After every such cultural / political / social upheaval, be it civil rights or gay rights or women's rights, the predictable reaction of the die-hard "antis" is now, and always has been in the past, is to start fulminating by selectively quoting the Bible, predicting the downfall of the US a la Greece and Rome, and in general channeling Oswald Spengler and The Decline of the West with End-Of-Western-Civilization-As-We-Know-It paraphrases.

None of it ever comes true. African-Americans did not go onto welfare rolls wholesale after the civil-rights movement. Women did not spontaneously leave husbands and children. And gays will not -- so I predict -- start pulling little kids into bushes for unspeakable purposes.

My one fear is that, especially in WA state after the gay-marriage bill becomes law and after gay / lesbian couples begin to come here to be married in significant numbers, there will be a significant upswing in homophobically motivated anti-gay violence. I would draw a parallel between the gay-rights situation and the situation immediately following the Civil War and the passage and ratification of the 13th Amendment ending slavery. In the few years following the latter, the KKK got its start, blacks started to be lynched across the Deep South (though not just there!), and a concerted effort began to "keep blacks in their place" -- this time by force instead of legislation. I fear that analogous things will happen with gay people.

But then, in a couple of generations, there will be a (true) civil-rights revolution for gays. Gay folks will produce their own equivalent of Martin Luther King. And a couple of generations after that, we will look upon prejudice against gays with the same disdain with which we regard "Whites Only" signs on restrooms and water fountains and "Jim Crow" laws today.

IOW, the gay-rights movements is going to repeat the pattern of all movements in history that succeeded in extending the full panoply of constitutional rights to hitherto marginalized minorities.

Well surprise guess what party is taking the lead on this issue? Hey Tony Campolo are you proud of your party? Maybe your friend John Stuart can give us some of his political sagacity on this one. Even better lets get Bill Maher to chime in as well? Paul asked what concord does Christ have with Christ? Ask Campolo he can provide a satisfactory answer to this perplexing question. But lets wait for obama to get a second term and appoint two or three new Justices to the Supreme court and eventually homosexual marriage will be the law of the land and if you oppose on biblical grounds you too can be sued for discrimination should you own a business you are under the tyranny of the state! Christian schools that do not tech an inclusive view of society may be fined themselves in conflict with the state and be subject to fines and who knows what else? Oh and preachers whom preach from Romans 1:26,27 you too will be the subject of the states doctrine of hate speech and just as it is in Canada receive a nice fine if found out. and the list goes on and on. friendship with the world is enmity with God dear Friends. Think about that when you check off the box come november

@Mike Falsia: if you oppose on biblical grounds you too can be sued for discrimination ...

Actually, no, you could not be sued if you oppose [gay marriage] on biblical grounds -- important "if". Why? Because, under the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment, you, and your church, would still be free to adopt whatever attitude toward gay marriage and gay people your theological convictions dictate. So, e.g., your church would still be free to decline to hire gay people for its church staff. A secular business would be different, but a secular business would not be covered under the "free exercise" clause.

I don't understand what people are getting so upset about.

The 14th Amendment has been in the Constitution since the late 1860s, and under the terms of the "equal protection" and "due process" clauses, civil marriage is already a right of gay couples. The legal system -- and, increasingly, the society itself -- is just now waking up to that fact. From a civil / legal standpoint, marriage is just another form of legal contract, not essentially different from a mortgage or car-loan contract. Consequently, there is no more constitutional justification for denying civil marriage to gay people than there is for telling gay people they can't get a mortgage of buy a new car. In all 3 cases -- marriage, mortgage, new-car loan -- you are just talking about legal contracts.

Marriage is also a religious sacrament / ordinance. But the religious dimension of marriage is already covered, and the prerogatives of religious institutions and individuals is already protected, by the "establishment" and "free exercise" clauses of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Even if (civil / legal) gay marriage became accepted nationwide this afternoon, that would still not abridge the rights of religious institutions to comport themselves toward gay marriage in whatever way their religious convictions dictate.

Now, you may not like that. But if you don't, the answer is to either (a) amend the Constitution to define the word "marriage" as heterosexual or (b) find some non-biblical / non-religious basis for opposing it. You can't write religious teaching and theological convictions into the law of the land. The "establishment" clause of the First Amendment stands in your way. The Constitution, not the Bible, is the relevant document, and the only relevant document.

JRC

@Mike Falsia: Oh and preachers whom preach from Romans 1:26,27 you too will be the subject of the states doctrine of hate speech ...

Wrong again ... And for the same reason: the "establishment" and "free exercise" clauses of the First Amendment already guarantee religious individuals and institutions the right to adopt whatever policy toward gay people, gay marriage, and gay-ness in general their theological principles entail.

If what you say were true, Rev. Fred Phelps and his people at that Baptist church in Topeka, KS, would already be in jail for what they say about gay folks. Ditto virtually everyone in Focus on the Family. The fact that they are still free and still speaking decisively refutes what you say.

JRC