Tuesday, 5 February 2013

What to Say in the Wake of the Commons Vote on Same-sex Marriage

(Updated 6 February, 08:12 - a bullet point on bisexuality added)
When you turn up at work tomorrow, or you’re standing a the school gates, and someone says to you, ‘You’re a Christian, what do you think about gay marriage?’ how are you going to respond, especially if you take a traditionalist view?
Here are a few ‘bullet points’that might help.
            •          Same-sex attraction is a sexual attraction. It is not just about feelings of love. The debate said a lot about love and commitment. What did it say about sex?
            •          Same-sex attraction is based on sexual disorientation. It is not a sexual orientation. In same-sex sexual activity, the instinct for reproduction and the sexual organs involved do not find their proper focus or use.
            •          Non-fertile marriages are therefore not an argument for same-sex marriages, because even in non-fertile marriages the sexual instinct and the sexual organs follow their natural use.
            •          Infertility in marriage is usually the result of a debilitating issue, such as the effects of old age or illness. Same-sex marriages, even at their most healthy, will always be ‘infertile’ by definition. They therefore are not ‘equal’ marriages.
            •          Bisexuality is generally included in the list of alternative ‘sexualities’, along with gay, lesbian and transgendered (hence LGBT). But if marriage is an exclusive sexual relationship, and is only for two people, how does this grant ‘equality’ to bisexuals? On the other hand, if ‘equality’ is the reason for changing our concept of marriage, ought this not to allow either non-fidelity within a marriage of two people or marriages that include more than two people?
            •          Same-sex marriage is unnecessary, given the provisions afforded by civil partnerships. The motivation for redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is so that these relationships can be treated as essentially ‘the same as’ heterosexual relationships (hence ‘equal marriage’).
            •          The deliberate effect of this legislation is effectively to impose a doctrinaire view of same-sex attraction and relationships which does not square with the facts of nature.
            •          The doctrinaire approach being taken to same-sex relationships, reinforced by the introduction of same-sex marriage, will severely impact the liberties of those who taken a contrary view. Inevitably it will be deemed an ‘offence’ to question the rightness of same-sex acts if they are just what happens in a same-sex marriage. The freedom to take a ‘common sense’ view will ultimately be lost.
            •          For Christian believers, marriage is an institution which enshrines God’s intention for a man and a woman, in an exclusive, faithful and mutually supportive relationship, to express their sexuality and to bear and nurture children. Ultimately, it is a ‘holy mystery’ reflecting the relationship between Christ and the Church. Same-sex marriage confounds that model and rejects God’s pattern.
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