As you are following the returns for the Presidential election tomorrow night, don’t forget to keep your eye out for the results of gay marriage initiatives that are on the ballot in four states: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington state. These votes are important because gay marriage has never survived a statewide vote anywhere in the country. In those states where gay marriage is legal, it happened through a state court ruling or through legislative action (as in New York). If even one of these measures succeeds on Tuesday, it will give an enormous victory to the gay marriage movement. Some speculate that the results of these state ballot initiatives will influence two Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage that the Court will be deciding this term (including the final word on California’s Proposition 8).
Gay marriage adovocates are feeling fairly confident about their chances in Maine and Maryland. Activists have outspent traditional marriage supporters 11-1, and one or both of these states may very well be the first to legalize same-sex marriage as a result of a majority vote. If it happens, that will be very significant for the fortunes of marriage in our country.
“Gay marriage on ballot in 4 states” by Maggie Haberman and Emily Schultheis (Politico, 11/5/12)
“Polls: Md., Wash. could overturn gay marriage” by Staff (Baptist Press, 10/31/12)
I voted for marriage equality in Washington state.
I’ve been discussing this topic ad nauseum over the last few years. I have a very conservative background and everyone from that background thinks I’m completely wrong on same-sex marriage and that I’m denying the faith by approving of marriage equality. I see it as a freedom of religion. American liberty shouldn’t be defined by a conservative Christian ethic. The state can administer marriages one way and churches and individuals can deal with it in another way which is exactly how it works now for opposite-sex marriage.
The messages given by opponents of R74 (those against marriage equality) are untrue. They use children and religious rights (as if marriage equality isn’t a religious right) as a scare tactic. All they have to do is paint gay people as gross and/or scary and voilà!
Here’s an article about those that have donated $1000s to oppose R74. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/11/05/i-called-the-top-individual-donors-to-reject-gay-marriage-to-let-them-explain-their-opposition
I think the Bible is clear that same-sex sex was prohibited for the ancient Israelites under the Law and is prohibited for the individuals who comprise the church under grace. For the ancient Israelites under the Law, marriage in the eyes of God was between a man and one or more women, and between a man and a woman for individuals who comprise the church under grace. Under the Law, it was the state that determined the details of marriage, since in ancient Israel religious authority was identical to the authority of the state. When Jesus established his church, the authority of the church was made separate from the authority of the state. It became possible for Christians as citizens of the kingdom to have a marriage before God under grace, and, if they so desired, to have a separate marriage recognized by the state for secular legal purposes. Unfortunately, in the modern era in the United States, we Christians have merged the two and blurred the lines of authority. As a Christian, I would vote to separate the two again, with the state performing civil unions that recognize the civil status and legal rights of united individuals in matters concerning inheritance, hospital visitation, taxes, and other secular matters governed by the state. Individuals wishing to sanctify their union before God could then have a marriage ceremony in accordance with the requirements of their church, synagogue, mosque, or whatever they recognize as valid and sacred before God, but this religious marriage would confer no legal rights with respect to the state. I think this separation of church and state would strengthen the meaning of biblical marriage.
Dr. Burk, the people need your Ohio state coverage live blogging.
What say ye?
Serious question–What has the Southern Baptist Convention and its thousands of churches done to reach out to these folks. I can recount hearing numerous sermons in church bashing these people.
As I read very recently it was said: “Also A former leader in the Southern Baptist Convention weighed into debate over gay marriage in Maryland, saying people who do such things, or approve of them, are “worthy of death.”
Robert Anderson, pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., made the comment Oct. 19 at a town hall meeting put on by a group seeking to block the state’s marriage equality bill, signed into law in March, from taking effect.
Anderson quoted the Bible from Leviticus, calling it an “abomination” for a man to lie with a man as with a woman, and from Romans 1, where the Apostle Paul declares the unrighteous “worthy of death.”
“If we don’t vote against it, then we are approving these things that are worthy of death,” Anderson said.”
Do you think this type of talk is the right approach?