Feb 3, 2009

PERSPECTIVE ON GAY MARRIAGE


Following is a submission by guest writer Miles Dahlby of Casper Wyoming.

Charlie Powell’s perspective on "Does gay marriage threaten yours?" (Casper Star-Tribune, 1/25/09, posted online 1/24/09 as "Turn that energy inward.") springs, I’m sure, from his kind and compassionate heart. I’m convinced that he desires a happy and comfortable life for us all, just as I do. Charlie and I live on the same block, both of us have two teenage children, have a long-term marriage and are men of faith. I congratulate him heartily on his silver wedding anniversary, a remarkable feat in this era of throw-away marriages. Positive statistics abound on the benefits of marriage, from healthier bodies to happier lives. So it appears that in order to advance our common objective of a happy and comfortable life for all, we would indeed do well to defend marriage.

In his advocacy for gay marriage, and against Senate Joint Resolution 2, the Defense of Marriage Amendment, Charlie asks a misdirected question. In his compassionate, albeit sarcastic, argument (Does gay marriage threaten yours?) he fails to distinguish between concern for personal emotional relationships and effective public policy. A more relevant question would be "What is society’s interest in marriage at all, and would extending civil marriage benefits to homosexuals further that interest?"

Society, defined as a group of people working together for common survival, has an interest in promoting behaviors that enhance their survival, like sober driving laws. The behavior of marriage between one man and one woman has been recognized since the beginning of time and civilization as a key element of societal success. For example, marriage provides the ideal incubator for producing and raising children. The team of a nurturing mother and a providing father has been a wildly successful arrangement for ensuring the survival of society through children. Furthermore, marriage is also known to harness the sexual energy of men into the socially beneficial behavior of caring for a wife and children instead of anti-social, destructive behavior. The conclusion, then, is YES, society does indeed have an interest in promoting traditional marriage.

The next question, then, is does gay marriage add or detract from those benefits to society? The nature of the universe (Natural Law, like gravity) answers that question. Gay couples are physiologically incapable of producing children. I am unaware of any civilization based on homosexual relationships that has thrived. In fact, history suggests just the opposite. Additionally, homosexual behavior is associated with anti-social, destructive behaviors, from church invasions (a suppression of free speech) to child molestation such as advocated by the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). The conclusion, then, is NO, gay marriage does not further society’s interest.

Therefore it is in the best interest of our own society, as expressed by public policy, for the Wyoming State Legislature to approve SJR 2, Defense of Marriage Amendment, and for the voters of Wyoming to approve its addition to our state constitution in due course, as 30 other states have already done.

With the public policy question addressed, what about the personal side of the matter? Charlie asked a very useful question "What would Jesus do?" He left the question unanswered, so I will posit a reply.

An effective way to determine what someone would likely do in a given situation is to look at what they did in a similar circumstance. Let’s look at what Jesus did with the woman caught in adultery (see John 8:1-11), another sexual sin in the same category as homosexuality (see First Corinthians 6:9, 10). He compassionately forgave her ("Neither do I condemn you…"), yet instructed her to "From now on sin no more." None of us are justified in scorning homosexuals, since all of us are sinners in one way or another (see First Corinthians 6:11). However, we are under no obligation to "practice acceptance and inclusion," as Charlie put it, of anti-social behavior, any more than we’d be obligated to accept and include drunk driving. Christians are instructed to "Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of right." (Romans 12:9) I show my love (defined as looking out for the best interest of another) for a drunk driver by first of all not being a co-dependent: I don’t give him another drink. I do erect guardrails for him in the way of alcohol restrictions and drunk-driving laws. I further enable him to access recovery programs so he might escape the very real and very difficult emotional and physiological alcoholic trap he’s in. He is in deep, deep pain, and my love must be true and honest. We should treat men and women caught in the trap of homosexuality the very same way.

It is a fallacy to suggest that homosexuality is genetic and that therefore individuals have no choice in their sexual behavior. The natural law of genetics tells us that any counter-productive gene would eventually be bred out of the gene pool. As an individual, I have the power to chose my own behavior, whether to be a drunk driver, an alcoholic, a whore-monger, an adulterer, a pedophile, a celibate or a faithful mate. Like alcoholics, homosexuals have a way out of their pain. There are programs such as Love Won Out from Focus on the Family, and locally in Casper, The Healing Place at Highland Park Community Church.

So, to answer Charlie’s question "Does gay marriage threaten yours?" No, it threatens our civilization and the well-being of ourselves and homosexuals alike. Gay marriage won’t be OK – really.

MILES DAHLBY

Note: An edited version of this article was published in the Casper Star Tribune Sunday February 1st, 2009

 
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