This isn’t my typical post. I have to admit I was dumbfounded by the recent ban on same-sex marriages in North Carolina. I had high hopes the voters would rebuke the attempt to deny some of their citizens equal rights, but they didn’t. I’m disappointed. Not in the voters as much as us, the whole of society. We’ve failed miserably at being fundamentally American by allowing this to happen. This isn’t about sexual orientation to me. Far from it. It’s equal rights for all. It’s as simple as that. These are my random thoughts on the matter.
I’m not going to fault 60% of voters in North Carolina for denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. It’s not a choice I would have made, but I understand that most of them voted based on their religious convictions. They believe supporting same-sex marriage is dishonoring God, and they are allowed to cast their votes based on any reasoning they choose. We’ve never made it a law that you can’t bring your religion into the voting booth with you. I think their choice is misguided, but I also think their intentions are out of a devotion to their religious beliefs. So this post goes out to the good folks who voted based on those beliefs.
I should start by saying I think it’s unfair to heap the blame for denying equal rights to a certain segment of society just on Christians. Most religions support discrimination against homosexuality. Voters from all walks of faith supported the ban on same-sex marriage in North Carolina this week. The New Testament says very little about Homosexuality or acts that can be construed as homosexual acts. There’s not even a whisper of a reference to homosexuality in any of the four Gospels. There are a few references to sodomites and male prostitutes not being allowed into God’s Kingdom in other books of the New Testament, but I’ve got news for you, a good chunk of that 60% that voted against gay marriage in North Carolina ain’t going to heaven if sodomy keeps you out. And if by specifically referencing male prostitution, couldn’t you translate the omission of female prostitutes as a tacit endorsement of women selling their bodies for sex (as long as it doesn’t include sodomy)?
To North Carolina’s credit, they do have laws on the books that make sodomy illegal. They don’t just pass laws on homosexual relationships. For instance: you can go to prison for up to two years if you are an unmarried person engaged in fellatio with another unmarried person in private. “Habitual intercourse,” as an unmarried person is a misdemeanor in North Carolina. You can avoid prosecution by getting married. And, if you share a hotel room with a member of the opposite sex for immoral purposes, you are breaking the law. Ironically, there is no law about sharing a room with a member of the same-sex for immoral purposes.
To North Carolina’s discredit, they do not enforce these laws. I say discredit because you can be sure officials in the state will enforce and defend vigorously the ban on same-sex marriage. They will engage in hypocrisy. And, the 60% will applaud their state government for doing so. I say again, 60% of North Carolina voters will support active discrimination, the denial of a right by the government to residents of North Carolina. Equality does not exist in North Carolina, based mostly on “laws” established in the Old Testament.
The most oft quoted source to support laws banning same-sex marriage is Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. It is very plainly stated that one man can’t get freaky with another man. Bam! Case closed. People who quote this verse either don’t know or purposely don’t share what else the laws of Leviticus bans. Here are a few choice ones people never bring up for some reason (KJV):
Leviticus 19:27 – Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Leviticus 19:19 – Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.
Leviticus 11:10-12 – And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
This list goes on and on and on. You can’t see a bunch of people naked. There are very specific ways you have to plant your crops. In short, the Bible, not just Leviticus and not even just the Old Testament, is filled with sins we no longer recognize as legitimate. I am not committing a sin every time I eat a shrimp or pork chop for that matter. If I were kosher, yes, but since being kosher isn’t a law, I can assume someone made the determination that following that particular rule didn’t merit a piece of legislation to uphold because it’s not “sinny” enough. The truth is we (society) only uphold those sins in the Bible that make us feel icky or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, homosexuality fits into that category.
Here’s my proposal to make this ban on same-sex marriage fair. Let’s ban everything that is clearly identified as abhorrent or a sin against God in the Bible. We need to shut down the shrimp, crab, and lobster industries. The pork industry? Gone (you can’t eat animals that chew their cud and have cloven hoofs)! The garment industry? Heavily regulated to prevent mixed fiber blends. Is somebody writing this down because we have got to make a lot changes…
Or, we could just grant everyone the same rights regardless of their race, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. Somehow, somewhere along the line, I got the idea that’s what America is all about. I don’t know maybe I missed a meeting or an email that pointed out the exceptions to the equal rights edict on which America was founded. If we are allowed to exclude certain groups from certain rights and privileges, I have a few groups I would like to add to the list. For instance: I would totally love to not allow people who post on Facebook during a movie the right to procreate. People who use tanning beds? Can we all agree we should start weeding those folks out of the gene pool? And anyone who uses the phrase “At the end of the day,” excessively should not be allowed to participate in a talk show of any kind.
I said all that to say this. The only way you can ruin the sanctity of marriage is by denying consenting adults in love the right to marry. In the eyes of God, marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is no more an abomination than eating shellfish. Unless you’re strictly kosher, you’d have to agree, right? So, if we allow people to legally eat shellfish, why is it members of the same-sex can’t get married?