This past weekend, New York State officially passed a gay marriage law. Those of you who have read this blog since it's inception know that I was opposed to it and will continue to oppose it as this law comes up for review and most likely will go up to the voters as it did in California, and will likely be struck down. Once again, just to repeat my previous stance, I believe that the union of marriage has a very specific meaning and that a union of two individuals of the same gender does not meet that definition.
That being said, I find myself torn on this issue. As a Christian, I do not believe a homosexual union is the same type of union as a heterosexual union (marriage), and a law will not change that. While we're at it, I also believe there is a difference between heterosexual marriage in the legal sense and heterosexual marriage in the Church. The latter is a covenant created by God when He created Eve to be Adam's wife, the former is a series of rights being given by government. I've suggested for many years that I would favor a legal separation of these two things, perhaps continuing to call the state version a "civil union" or "civil marriage" (for couples of any sexual orientation) while maintaining the simple "marriage" for the Church based union.
I've suggested that a simple solution for be for homosexual couples to create their own union, similar to marriage, under a different name; in essence saying "instead of redefining our existing institution, create your own." I've also said for many years that I would not stand in the way of legal rights and privileges being extended to homosexual couples by government, just like legal rights and privileges are extended to heterosexual couples who are married. This idea comes from the exact same mentality I listed above: that there is a difference between a legal marriage license and ceremony performed by a government official and the marriage covenant that takes place in the Church. As far as the government end of things is concerned, offering certain rights and privileges to any pairings of individuals is separate entirely from a Church based covenant (again, regardless of the genders of the individuals).
Theoretically, this law does nothing to affect the faith-based covenant of marriage because it exempts religious organizations from being required to perform same-sex ceremonies. So if what the law does is simply offering legal rights to homosexual couples and doesn't infringe upon the religious institution of marriage, why do I even care? Here's why: As I've said before, marriage means something very important to me. God created it. He instituted it with Adam and Eve. It is a holy covenant to me. The fact that it is and has been treated as cheap by mankind does not change it's holiness.
That's why I suggest homosexual couples create their own institution rather than trying to shoehorn their relationships into our existing institution. Equal rights are fine, but marriage has a distinct meaning which is being lost by this law. I'm asking for that to be retained.
By the way please don't bother with the segregation argument, ok? We're talking about recognizing legitimate differences in the makeup of a heterosexual union (one man and one woman) and a homosexual union (two men or two women). This isn't different restrooms for men of different races, this is different restrooms for men and women.
Or, if you prefer to use the license argument (since marriage requires a license), this is the difference between an automobile license and a motorcycle license. The state of New York considers me qualified to drive a standard automobile, I have fulfilled the requirements to do so and have a NYS Driver's License. The same state of New York does not consider me qualified to drive a motorcycle, because I have not fulfilled the requirement to drive a motorcycle and thus do not have a NYS Motorcycle License.
This remains my point. If homosexual couples want to create their own institution, go right ahead and do it. If New York wants to offer rights and privileges to that union as they do with marriage, they can do that to...I won't do a thing to stop it. Given my personal libertarian bent, I would possibly even vote for it and most certainly wouldn't fight against it. I really just want to preserve the meaning of the word marriage. I think you'll find few Christians and Conservatives fighting against my proposal, either. It's a simple compromise that I think would offer precisely the same benefits to homosexual couples while satisfying those who want to preserve marriage by it's original intention. Besides, if it's all about rights, why does the name matter?