by Matt Slick
In the attempt to defend permitting homosexuals to marry (i.e., man to man and woman to woman), proponents of homosexual marriage ask how such marriages would personally affect those who are opposed to it. This is worth answering, and I believe there are two areas we need to look at in response.
How does a murder in another state between two people living in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere, among people whom we have never known and who don't know anyone we know, affect us personally? It doesn't, but because it has no effect on us personally this doesn't mean that we should ignore the moral issues associated with murder and not condemn such actions. Murder is morally wrong, and when any moral law is broken we are all ultimately affected and we know that if such actions were to increase, society would be affected...no matter where you are.
Am I comparing homosexual marriage to murder and saying they are related or somehow equal? Not at all. I'm momentarily shifting the focus to something that we all agree is morally wrong in order to demonstrate that even though there can be an action somewhere that doesn't specifically affect us (i.e., murder), we should rightfully condemn it because it is wrong. It is a moral concern. Likewise, homosexual marriage is a moral issue and we must be concerned with its moral implications -- whether or not we are personally affected at the moment.
However, someone might say that homosexual marriage is not a moral issue, but is instead a civil rights issue. Though some pro-homosexual marriage proponents wave the flag of "civil rights" in support of their cause, which I believe is inappropriate, homosexual marriage is wrought with moral issues: faithfulness, promise, love, support, commitment, sex, etc. Besides, civil rights are based on moral rights. It is morally wrong to prevent someone from holding a job, eating at a restaurant, or using public bathrooms based on skin color. Likewise, the union of two people in a public ceremony where emotional, sexual, and faithful commitment to each other is recognized by the rest of society is also moral. If you disagree, then it is up to you to demonstrate that such public commitment is somehow a non-moral issue.
When we look at the question again, we can see an implied moral standard; namely, that morality is determined by how people are personally affected. But something is not right or wrong merely because of the effect an action might have on someone. Something is right or wrong because there is an inherent nature to moral truths. For example, it is wrong to murder. It is wrong to torture babies for your personal pleasure. It is wrong to divide society based on skin color. It is wrong to promise fidelity, commitment, and love to your marriage "partner" and then break that promise. It is wrong to hate someone without a cause. It is wrong to desire the death of someone just because you don't like his skin color. If morality were determined by how a person is affected, then all of morality would be based on effects, circumstances, and personal likes -- but only when they are acted on, not when they are felt. But this is problematic because if I believe that homosexual marriage is morally wrong, am I morally wrong for simply believing it? Am I morally right? Or is there no moral value to the belief? If you say there is no moral value to a mere belief, then hating someone based on skin color or "sexual orientation" isn't wrong, is it? See how morality based "only" on how someone is affected is wrought with problems? It ignores the underlying motives and says that evil motives aren't wrong until they are acted upon.
If you deny that there are intrinsic moral truths, then there is nothing wrong with hatred, anger, lust, coveting, prejudice, etc., as long as they aren't manifested. Again, if there are no intrinsic moral truths, then please find an exception to the statement that it is always wrong to torture babies merely for your person pleasure. If you can't, then aren't you admitting there are moral absolutes -- to which we must ultimately answer since it implies a moral Truth Giver? But, I digress.
Homosexual marriage is really about two things: love and sex. Sure, homosexuals profess love for one another. But, they also have sex with each other and it is the latter issue that, in my opinion, is the driving force behind their marriage redefinition. Think about it: homoSEXuality. Yeah, I know, its just a word. However, it leads us to the practical concerns as they are related to sex, the very thing that the homosexual community has brought out of the closet/bedroom into the public eye.
If a single homosexual couple is married on the other side of the world, it has no effect on me -- but that doesn't mean it isn't a moral issue. However, if a homosexual couple is legally married in the country in which I live, I am affected. First of all, writing this article is the result of the question raised by pro-homosexual marriage supporters. I was affected, and I'm writing this as the result. Second, the redefinition of marriage away from the public promissory bond of a man and woman affects society as a whole, since society is based on the family unit in which marriage is the legal contract of fidelity and commitment through which children are brought into the world. Third, by redefining marriage away from a man and a woman, where normal physical sexual intercourse can occur, the absolutes of male female marriage relationships are broken down and sexual permissiveness is encouraged. This opens the door to further redefinitions of familial and sexual relationships. Take, for example, the 2011 symposium "Living in Truth and Dignity" in Baltimore, Maryland on August 17. In it, pedophilia was redefined as "minor attracted persons," and the symposium sought to raise concerns about how the DSM