Why I support gay marriage

This past Monday was my one-year wedding anniversary.

While I am thrilled to embark upon Year Two with my lovely bride, I have been more anxious than joyful about marriage these days.  No, not my marriage (though there are joyful and anxious moments there among many others), but the marriage rights of thousands presently under siege in California via Proposition 8.

Prop 8 is the effort in California to institute an amendment to the state constitution that will prohibit gay and lesbian people from being allowed to legally marry.  Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court overturned existing prohibitions against gay marriage and effectively legalized gay marriage.  Now, there is conservative backlash in the form of this proposed constitutional amendment that defines marriage in California as being between a man and a woman.

I believe that to deny LGBT people the right to marry is discriminatory, immoral, and anti-Christian.  (I’m sure it goes against tenets of the faiths of many others as well, as well as those who have no faith, but I personally write from a Christian perspective.)  I support equal marriage rights conferred without regard for the sex, gender, or sexual orientation of those involved, for the following reasons:

  1. LGBT people are created as such in the image of God. Thus, they are entitled to the the same religious and civil opportunities as anybody else.
  2. Christian marriage is a religious sacrament, while civil marriage a secular means of securing certain economic opportunities. Religious groups can disagree on whether or not to marry LGBT folk in their religious communities, but equal protection under the law cannot be compromised.
  3. What makes marriage “God-ordained” is the Godliness of the relationship, above all else. Couples of all persuasions can fully meet any criteria for marriage that is based on a holistic view of marital relations – rather than simply sex organs, which is insufficient for securing God’s blessing on a marriage.

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Dumbledore is gay. Okay!

As if the Christian right didn’t have enough to worry about already. First came the notoriously gay Teletubbies, followed by SpongeBob, the Terrible Token of Tolerance. (Following condemnation from the right, SpongeBob was immediately welcomed into the United Church of Christ. Go UCC!)

dumbledore.jpgBut now, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has announced that the beloved Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is gay. (That loud “pop” you just heard was the sound of James Dobson’s head exploding.)

I, however, celebrate this news. As others have pointed out, given the still-pervasive culture of shame surrounding gay and lesbian people in America, it’s vital that gay kids have positive role models growing up–in literature as well as in real life.

However, to the extent that past behavior can predict future behavior, we can expect to see continued Christian-driven censorship of Harry Potter with this new revelation. People have already had a problem with the “witchcraft” in the books (this despite the fact that there are blatant Harry/Jesus parallels to be found as well).

Some may ask, “why does this even matter?” or “why now?” Since Dumbledore doesn’t have any apparent romantic attachments throughout any of the seven books, why would Rowling bother to ‘out him’ at this point?

mugglenet.pngIn my view, Dumbledore is one of the greatest father-figures in children’s literature. People of all stripes and prejudices have come to love him; gay, straight and anti-gay alike. Without knowing about Dumbledore’s gayness, people’s perceptions of him weren’t diminished by their preconceived notions about gay people.

Now, months after the story has been finished, we are free to decide for ourselves whether or not Dumbledore’s homosexuality somehow makes him to be worse (or better) than we’d previously thought. I would think that most honest people would agree that he doesn’t retroactively change into a worse person just because of this news.

Kudos to J.K. Rowling for providing us all with a positive, prominent gay role model in literature.


Here’s how this Harry Potter fan (and founder of mugglenet.com) answers the ‘why now?’ question.

Liberating Leviticus

Ask and ye shall receive…

I asked a blogger on this thread to offer me some specific scriptural citations that indicate that homosexuality is a sin. So, somebody pointed out that in Leviticus 18.22 and 20.13, two men having sex “as with a woman” is clearly condemned.

leviticus3.JPGThis got me thinking, because it is also true that Leviticus is full of mandates, rituals, and practices that, for a variety of reasons, are no longer considered to be instructive for how we ought to live our daily lives today. (See Lev 11, 12, 15, 19.20-28 for particularly choice examples.) I frankly don’t see any standard by which Lev 18.22 and 20.13 should be literally applied in lieu of these others, per se.

Furthermore, I don’t agree that Lev 18.22 and 20.13 necessarily represent God’s final word for gay and lesbian people. To the contrary, according to Jesus, the social relevance of Levitican law actually suggests the exact opposite.

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