Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex “Marriage”

Vermont has just become the fourth state to legalize same-sex “marriage” (read here). This is significant not just because the state has redefined “marriage,” but also because of how it was done. The other three states that have legalized these unions (Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa) have done so through the courts. And in each of those cases, same-sex “marriage” opponents can argue that judicial activism rather than democracy produced the result. This is not the case in Vermont. The elected representatives of the people of Vermont overwhelmingly voted to override the governor’s veto to make this happen.

It’s also important to note this. Not only are we seeing marriage redefined, but we are also witnessing the emergence of a new protected class in our country—one that is based upon sexual preference. In other words, just as discrimination based on race, class, and gender is prohibited in law, so now discrimination based on sexual preference is increasingly being prohibited in law. This is a radical change not least because the new protected status cannot logically be limited to homosexually oriented persons. There are a wide variety of sexual preferences in our culture (polygamy, pederasty, polyamory, etc.). The arguments that are being used now in the same-sex “marriage” debate will be applied to these other kinds sexual preferences as well. Make no mistake. The polygamists will be next in line for recognition.

This is a good opportunity for Christians to reflect on where things are going in our culture and what our place in it will be. It appears that the culture is drifting toward a radical redefinition of marriage—one that faithful Christians will not be able to agree with. This gradual redefinition of marriage will have many effects (some anticipated and some not) that we will have to reckon with. Come what may, we need to be ready to stand with integrity for the truth, even if it becomes costly to us.

More later.

39 Responses to Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex “Marriage”

  1. Harrison Lewis April 7, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    I agree with you Denny. This is a first. The Christian community needs a leader in this situation. I am offended when people compare homosexual marriage to the civil rights union. A gay man has the same rights as any other man. They can’t marry a man and neither can you. In fact, they have special rights now that are neither constitional or warranted. When I walk into a room, I am always a black man. I did not choose to be, but it is my God given attribute. I cannot hide my race or displace it. In the case of homosxuality, what attribute do these people have that they would need to be a protected class. This is a tragedy for everythng we worked for in the country to secure equal rights and protection under the law. They have hijacked the civil rights movement and launched a full scale attack on the GOD GIVEN attributes of a male and female to unite and bear children. I don’t know what Homosexual couples hope to bear. God Bless us all.

  2. Joe Blackmon April 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    This is sad but not unexpected. The fact is that the Bible tells us there will be a falling away by some who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Too many “christians” have decided that standing up for biblical truth is just too hard and they are weary of the fight. I suspect, however, their willilngness to compromise on the clear teaching of scripture has more to do with their lack of true convictions than anything else.

    “…Even so, come Lord Jesus…”

  3. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    It’s interesting to note that in Britain, they are in the process of outlawing gay jokes. And in Canada, they’ve prosecuted people for quoting anti-homosexuality Scripture ONLINE. Thankfully, we have a Hope that doesn’t rest in just the here and now future of America, cause that looks pretty bleak.

  4. Michael Dickerson April 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    In the end we are rushing to oblivion. This is a great reminder of the last days of Sodom and Gomorrah. We stand, as Christians, at the last frontier. To choose to stand for what is right, moral, just and God’s will versus what we are force fed thru the liberal media and untruthful politicians. The Biblically based government our forefathers created nearly 250 years ago has been drastically changed and altered to promote and escalate a liberal agenda. We will soon be fighting not only for what we believe, but for our very lives. The end days are speeding toward us, and this is just the beginning.

  5. T.J. April 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    In the not too distant future anti-homosexual will equal racism. Our non-profit status will be in jeopardy, and in time a sin tax on anti-homosexual institutions will be considered. Public schools are already indoctrinating our children with pro-homosexual ideas. I wish more people would line up behind the Exodus Movement which tries to get christian children out of schools. We, as Christians, will soon be seen by society as wanting to pass on our hate for homosexuals to our children. While untrue, this is how the new, anti-God morality will play out.

    Now is the time to create the institutions that will sustain us in this new, post-Christian United States. We are going to be seen as America haters. . . because how can we sing God bless America when she is so sinful.

    How I wish SBC leaders would stand up. . . yet they continue doing the same things they have always done. It is a new day, and we best start thinking differently.

  6. Cate Patterson April 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Again, I raise the question: Why does this issue create so much righteous indignation and a call for Christians to stand with integrity, while many other sins go undiscussed on this board. Maybe it is my “lack of true convictions,” but I believe there are numerous other sins that just as rampant and just as destructive to our culture (and to the home) as homosexuality (and abortion). Why do these issues matter the most (why are they transcendental?)?

  7. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Cate, I’ll address abortion’s transcendental nature. If a society doesn’t value life, nothing else really matters. You have to start there. As for homosexuality, the Bible speaks about it a lot, so it should be mentioned at least. Regarding how much it is mentioned in relation to other sins, you ask a reasonable question. The American Church SHOULD address some other sins more than they do… maybe starting with greed or covetousness or love of money? But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t address homosexuality. Furthermore, there is a huge movement within the Church to actually AFFIRM homosexuality as good and godly. Not a lot of churches are actually teaching that greed and gossip are good things. That we practice them in our personal lives just points to the fact that we’re fallen creatures. But when we start calling evil good and good evil, then we’re getting into false teaching, which the NT indicates is especially sinful (Matthew 18:6). So I believe that therein lies part of the reason why homosexuality gets so much “coverage” in the Church today. Furthermore, Christians are rightly concerned for their children and the next generation, and the likelihood of where the current gay marriage issue will lead is disturbing. Sure, there is some misplaced anxieties over the issue and I’m sure there is an aspect of hatred for the sinner rather than the sin within certain people, but that’s human nature to have the wrong motives for a good thing.

  8. Dave Dunbar April 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    This is sad, but it certainly shouldn’t be surprising.

    In 2 Tim. 3, verse 13 says “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

    Instead of being all up in arms, acting like it is the end of our civilization, Christians need to be about the business of our Lord. Verse 14 says “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of…”. I’m all for Christians in politics, but that isn’t our primary calling. Our business is the gospel, and the downward spiral of our culture into more and more sin can only help differentiate the Christian’s message from that of the world’s, and that is good.

    We need to stand for truth, as Denny said, even if there is a significant price to pay. Verse 12 reminds us “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. If we suffer shame for Christ, it is a high honor; if we suffer persecution for His Word, we will be blessed.

    Perhaps the final judgment may be near, and the new heavens and new earth not far behind, where righteousness will dwell (2 Pet 3:13). Until then, lawlessness is going to increase. May it drive us to holiness that we may properly adorn the doctrine of our Savior.

  9. Joe Blackmon April 7, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Cate

    What other sins might you be talking about? Serious question—I just don’t what it is you’re referring to and I ask because someone seriously suggested to me that if the church wasn’t going to deal with fat people who were guilty of the sin of gluttony that it had no right calling homo’s to repent of their sin. I’m not suggesting that’s what you’re talking about but since I didn’t know I thought I’d ask.

  10. Joe Blackmon April 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    Darius

    Insightful remarks. I too agree that the main reason same sex perversions should be stood against is because of so many people who take the name of our Lord on their lips and in the same breath claim that homosexuality is not sinful.

  11. Tsquared April 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Where will it end?

  12. Branden Scott April 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    A side comment in all of this.

    Homeschool your kids. Either that or a private Christian education.

    Do not send your kids to the public schools today. The schools should be torn down and the earth they stood on salted.

    Public schools are not failing, they are performing their role just as they were designed to. They are indoctrination centers aimed squarely against God and family.

    Protect your own.

  13. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    “the earth they stood on salted.”

    Perhaps they should be salted with Christians? I’m not sure where I stand on this issue, but I am not certain that pulling kids out of public schools and letting them go to hell (literally) is necessarily the best or only option for all Christians. Sure, perhaps at some ages kids are best suited to be at home, but is there a better situation to teach your kids how to relate to an unbelieving world than through the public school system? If not there, where?

  14. Nathan April 7, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Cate,

    If you are referring to divorce then, you are right, the church has fallen behind on this issue. However, it was the state, just as it is now with condoning homosexuality, that allowed no-fault divorce to become normative and that has affected us all, even within the church. It used to be that a spouse had to have a legitimate reason (adultery, abuse, etc) in order to divorce, now it is anything that causes strife.

    Furthermore, this lack of respect for marriage has led to a collapse of chastity in our cities, movies, literature, TV shows, and billboard advertisements. This downward spiral, in my opinion, has led to the approval of homosexuality in the community to begin with.

    But the church needs to step it up and hold marriage and fidelity, especially in our youth, to the highest standard. I am ashamed to say that the church, for the most part, has been lax. I also agree with Darius that the view of the sinful view of the sanctity of life contributes to this downward spiral as well.

    Finally, like Joe, this willingness to make relativistic choices (i.e. homosexuality should be tolerated because attitudes on divorce are poor) simply because of these other problems does not make good logic.

  15. Cate Patterson April 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    Nathan, I agree with you when you say “this lack of respect for marriage has led to a collapse of chastity in our cities, movies, literature, TV shows, and billboard advertisements”; however, I would take it one step further: I think it is the lack of devotion to a holy God which reveals itself in a lack of respect for marriage that has led to the collapse of chastity.

    I also agree with you (and hence, Joe) when you say that homosexuality should not be tolerated simply because the church has been lax on other issues. That is the point I was intending to make: Many of us are willing to live and die on the hill of homosexual marriage, while every single day we allow other sins to run rampant even in our own Christian lives. I believe that we need to be more radical, and I find it very hypocritical to argue that we need to stand with integrity on the issue of homosexuality all the while we’re drinking beers with our buddies, attending the same impure movies, and lusting after Jessica Simpson (or Matthew McConaughey, in my case) – And, before you pick apart what I’ve said to say that you’re not doing any of these or that the Bible doesn’t clearly speak about drinking beer, let me say that these examples are generalizations and only designed to illustrate some of the ways that immoral behavior is pervasive throughout the lives of many Christians. My point is that we allow sin to occur in our own lives, yet we attend church every single Sunday. The only difference between the sins we commit on a daily basis and the sin of practicing homosexuality is that WE’RE NOT PRACTICING HOMOSEXUALITY! Why isn’t the destruction of society linked to the fact that Christians are not walking with integrity in every aspect of their lives? We are not radical enough.

  16. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    I agree with what you’re saying, Cate, but I disagree strongly in lumping beer drinking and impure movies (depending on what that means) in with other sins like lust or gossip or slander or anger. I don’t drink beer, but I don’t view it as a sin at all. The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus drank alcoholic beverages or at the very least supported others doing so (he didn’t turn the water into grape juice, but the most fermented, fine wine ever). I could also make the case for watching certain (but not all) movies… let’s not get into legalism. Let’s strive to be holy and let the chips fall where they may. Let’s actively love others and pursue the fruits of the spirit. Pursuing the law only brings death, pursuing Christ brings life.

  17. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Otherwise, AMEN, Cate.

  18. Cate Patterson April 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    Darius in 17 — this is exactly what gets me going: debating whether or not to drink alcohol or to attend movies that may contain sexual innuendo or impure conversation turns into an argument of legalism; yet there is even no question of whether or not these activities are related to the unrighteousness and destruction of our society. I think that’s where I have the most problem. We are pointing the fingers at ungodly people who are acting in ungodly ways and we are saying “you are the reason for the corruption.” All the while, we Christians are not looking at the speck in our own eyes. I know you did not mean this when you said “Let’s strive to be holy and let the chips fall where they may,” but it seems to represent an attitude of disregard: “I’m gonna do my best not to sin, but I’ll mess up; and as long as I’m not doing it THAT bad, things will still be okay.” I don’t think that’s what you meant at all, but do you see how that could be interpreted? Why don’t we Christians just do everything we can do in our own lives to passionately follow Christ? Perhaps we could lead by example.

  19. Sue April 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Here is one of the verses which was considered hate literature in Canada.

    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

    Oddly we also allow young people to rebel against their parents, we allow anyone to gather wood on Sunday as long as it is not in a park, we allow people to commit adultery, all of this without stoning them.

    A death threat is considered a crime in Canada.

    We also allow a woman to get a no-fault divorce so she avoids agravating her violent spouse. These things are in the Canadian law in order to preserve law and order.

  20. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    Sue, free speech is free speech. Can’t you see the slippery slope of the totalitarian state that is Canada? Next stop, Moscow.

  21. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Cate, I didn’t mean that, sorry. I meant that we should strive to be holy and let those who have weak consciences or faith hold to legalistic restrictions. If we’re pursuing holiness, the Holy Spirit will tell us what to avoid and what to embrace. In one situation, drink a beer. In another, don’t. If we merely aim for the law, we’ll end up short and dead. If we aim for Christ, greater adherence to God’s holy plan for our lives will be a byproduct.

  22. Tsquared April 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    A really fruitless conversation, one that has gone on for forty years and to what profit? What are you going to do about it?

    Pulling kids out of secular schools was suggested, but in some states that is an impossibility and most people cannot afford private school, or to homeschool. And even if they could afford homeschool, many are not able to. So where is your local church? How many retired teachers do you have? Still sending your money to foreign missions? What about the local mission of providing academics to kids so that they’re not the subjects of enslavement by the secularists? Too fat are we, like the life we have here, excusing ourselves by the “good” we do? Are you ready for what is coming? Will you defend your family with arms now since you were not willing to defend them with your labor when you could?

    The SBC has had this very issue, of educating our own brought up repeatedly over the past century. But, the truth is, most too much enjoy the tithes from their public school teachers’ fat salaries rather than calling them to the mission of teaching the kids of the king in schools established and orchestrated by the local church as it was in the founding of our country.

    So, what ya gonna do? Got a yard sign? A bumper sticker on you car? Writting letters, organizing? Well, I think, that before there is such a righteous indignation as that that three things need to happen: first the church should recognize that it is too late, second, the church needs to recognize that it has abandoned its primary responsibility to disciple, to do the Great Commission, and opted instead to get the grand old Gov to do it for them. And third, pray.

  23. Sue April 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    “Sue, free speech is free speech.”

    And the law is the law. You are not allowed to threaten to kill someone. That is against the law. This was being sold as a bumper sticker – at least the scripture reference not the full verse perhaps.

    I am surprised that you would support someone going against the law on this.

  24. Darius T April 7, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    The case in point did not involve an actual death threat, just quoting Scripture. I am surprised that you support a state making it illegal to quote Scripture.

    Even the bumper sticker is not an actual death threat, hopefully you see the difference. It’s in poor taste, but that’s it.

  25. Branden Scott April 7, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    Darius,

    Sure, perhaps at some ages kids are best suited to be at home, but is there a better situation to teach your kids how to relate to an unbelieving world than through the public school system? If not there, where?

    I find nowhere in scripture where it suggests children should be raised/educated in an environment that is hostile to God and His precepts.

    I state this out of concern for our children growing up in Christian homes. This is a blindness of many in our faith. The Church has absolutely failed in this regard. Any church or pastor worth its salt would be preaching this all day and night long. Homeschooling is spreading by leaps and bounds. Our churches should be pushing itself to teach its children and not leaving them to the tender mercies of the state (Babylon?) run schools.

    My child will not to be assaulted by the ungodly, I am to protect them from such. I will not let them be overwhelmed and socialized into sin. Being in the world but not of the world does not mean to send my child into state indoctrination camps. It does not mean that my eight year old is supposed to be able to hold his own against the atheists, secularists, and pagans.

    We, the Church, are failing our children. We should equip them and let them mature before throwing them into the world.

    The Church and our pastors have utterly failed in this regard.

  26. Sue April 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    Further research makes me think that in the case that I was looking at, the decision was overturned in 2006 in a court of appeal on the basis of freedom of religious expression.

    IMO, it should be illegal to post in public verses saying that a certain class of person should be put to death, regardless of whether it is in the Bible or not.

  27. Branden Scott April 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    An aside and a further my point…

    Why are we sending missionaries anywhere around the world when we are not providing a Christian education for our children?

    I am not suggesting a zero sum game here. I am stating why would we not raise our children in a godly way with a love for the will and precepts of God before we even consider as a church, or the Church, funding the teaching of of the true God to the world? Shouldn’t our first concern be with our families and the raising of our children? Shouldn’t the Church be concerned with this as something extremely important?

    Once again, I think the Church has had a very blind eye to this. Aren’t we commanded to have our house in order, and the raising of our children would seem to fall under this, before other things?

    I state this rhetorically as I know the answer. I am to have my own house in order and to raise my child in the ways of the Lord first before other wishes of my Lord are to be carried out.

    The Church is absolutely failing in this way, and it about time our leaders, our elders, and our pastors spoke about this.

    Perhaps there are those that have preached about this, but I have not yet heard of the pastor that has. That is not to say that one hasn’t.

    And again this is not to suggest that this is a zero sum game. But first things should be first.

  28. Branden Scott April 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    Oh, and I should state that homeschooling is spreading in spite of the Church and not because of the Church or its pastors.

    Sorry to ramble and repeat.

  29. Joe Blackmon April 7, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Sue and Cate

    I can’t speak for anyone else but when people who claim to be “christians” stop teaching that homosexuality is morally ok according to the Bible I’ll be happy to let the issue drop. However, we’re told in the Bible to oppose false teaching and correct it. If “christians” like David Goshee and Broadway Baptist Church in Texas choose to affirm that anti-God lifestyle as compatible with Christianity don’t act surprised when I and others Christians refute that ridiculous assetions–loudly.

  30. Sue April 7, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    The point is that the NT classifies homosexuality with slander and gossip. The OT classifies homosexuality with anyone who gathers wood on the sabbath. No matter what, I still don’t think that one should post in public something inciting the idea of death.

    A neighbour of mine, my age, kids went to school together, was found dead in the park near me a few days ago. Call me sensitive. What woman has not been attacked physically at some point in her life simply for “being there.” I just don’t find this funny.

  31. Sue April 7, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    In any case, this topic was brought in by someone else. It does not relate to the post which is about same sex marriage.

    My comments are only in the context of Canadian hate crime legislation. That’s it. I don’t want to derail this so I’ll bow out.

  32. Darius T April 8, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    “Oh, and I should state that homeschooling is spreading in spite of the Church and not because of the Church or its pastors.”

    WHERE do you live? It is the opposite here in Minnesota. My church has a huge homeschooling group. I myself was homeschooled (one of the first in the state back then). The church is where it’s at, the secular world doesn’t particularly care for it.

  33. volfan007 April 8, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    Sue and Cate,

    The Bible condemns homosexuality. The reason that this is a big deal at this time is because it’s in the news, and states are trying to say that it’s ok for same sex marriages, and some countries are trying to make it a hate crime to say that homosexuality is a sin against God.

    Now, if we’re talking about divorce, or drunkeness, or adultery, or fornication; then we can and will talk about those subjects too. But, right now, Denny is bringing out this issue because it is an issue. Thus, we’re talking about it.

    Also, do you see the concern that Pastors would have over this? especially if it becomes a hate crime to speak against homosexuality? when it’s taught in the Bible…the same Bible that we are called to preach? commanded by God to preach and teach?

    David

  34. Branden Scott April 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    A commentary criticizing Rick Warren and wishy-washy pastors on the homosexual marriage:

    America’s wishy-washy pastors

    And Darius, to answer you question – Texas

  35. Darius T April 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    I have some friends in Texas and they’re part of church bodies which are big on homeschooling. Hmm, must not be everywhere.

  36. Paul April 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Wow. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got. Just…Wow.

  37. volfan007 April 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    Branden,

    Great link and great article by Farah.

    David

  38. Darius T April 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/buzz/6366322.html

    A little moral discernment would have saved this girl.

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