Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness. — George Washington, 1753, Circular to the States

Gay Marriage?

March 11, 2013   ·   By   ·   8 Comments

wedding_ringMarriage And Sexuality

Unlike today, when I was growing up, society’s prevailing attitude toward marriage was positive. This would be from 1945 when I was born, until 1963 when I graduated from high school. Television and movies portrayed marriage as an ideal to personally hope and strive for. It not only offered individuals the promise of shared fulfillment, love and happiness, but it also enhanced the community by modeling a standard of maturity, responsibility and stability.

Marriages were expected to last a lifetime because the institution of marriage was designed with mature, responsible and stable couples in mind. Marriage as an institution provided a model, a standard to measure up to. Failed marriages were not only the source of personal pain and embarrassment, but of public censure. The stigma of divorce was that it represented a tear in the social fabric. Likewise, sex outside of marriage was considered shameful, and pregnancy outside of marriage carried with it the same shame.

As a consequence, many couples got married when the woman became pregnant … to cover up their shame. But the failure of individual marriages does not make the institution of marriage a failure. Neither does the fact that not all married couples have children alter the principle of marriage. Despite the failure of marriages, the structure of society continues to be maintained by the integrity of the “family unit”, consisting of a man, a woman and their offspring.

Although marriage wasn’t strictly thought of as a religious rite (A civil ceremony was an option.) many non-church-going couples chose to get married in a church setting because church weddings were more highly regarded, and provided a bigger stamp of approval, so to speak. In any case, growing up, I saw that couples had options. They could get married in a church, get married by a judge, have a common-law marriage or just sleep together and risk public shame.

I saw marriage as having as much to do with social cohesion as with sexual attraction. Marriage was part of the natural progression of living a responsible and respectable life. In other words, to me it was the polar opposite of sex, drugs and rock & roll. So, my attitude toward marriage did not change when I became aware that society around me was changing — more marriages were failing, ending in divorce, and more couples were choosing to “shack up” together rather than making the commitment to marry. In all of that, the individual’s responsibility to adhere to social mores remained the crucial issue for me. In the context of marriage, homosexuality was never acceptable and never part of the picture.


I learned about homosexuality as a teen-ager. My parents met a lesbian couple who became our good family friends. Bert (Berta) and Alice were well-read, well-traveled, fun and interesting to be around. Alice was the quiet intellectual and Bert was the entertaining raconteur. They broadened my mind and introduced me to such books as D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover. One summer Bert got me a great job. She was working for Doris Duke as house manager of Falcon’s Lair, a mansion in Beverly Hills once owned by Rudolph Valentino. She hired me to do the gardening for two weeks while the regular gardener was on vacation. That was a super experience for a teenager.

Bert & Alice had been a “couple” for many years, but never referred to one another as “wife” or “husband”. To them, those words were only euphemisms. They introduced us to two male friends of theirs, who referred to each another as “my partner”. At first I thought they meant business partner, but eventually I got the message. Even though their relationship was long-term and monogamous, they also did not claim to be married, nor did they use the words “husband” or “wife” to describe each another.

Around the same time, through my participation in community theater, I met other homosexuals. At the time, I had no reason not to accept these friends and acquaintances for who they were. Their sexual attractions were different from mine, but I considered that to be none of my business. The operative word was “different”. They chose to live differently. However, that in no way excluded them from accountability to the same laws and institutions everyone else was held accountable to.

When I was in college, a roommate of mine told me about some gay Catholic friends of his who found an “underground” priest to “marry” them in secret. I remember thinking how hypocritical and rebellious it was for them to insist that their religion conform to them; to do what they wanted, even when their religion forbad it, and yet to still have the effrontery to self-identify as Catholics. My roommate (as well as the homosexual couple) considered their union “sanctified” because they loved each other so much. That made me uncomfortable. I didn’t think the standards of any religion should be changed in order to accommodate personal feelings. But this was the era of “If it feels good, do it”.

I was not a sexual bigot. I had homosexual friends. Neither was I a religious bigot. I wasn’t a Catholic, nor did I identify with any religion. In college, my only association with churches was as a music major. I sang in choirs, including paid positions as section leader, soloist and choir director. I wasn’t a member of any church, therefore I felt no obligation to follow any church doctrine. However, I expected anyone who did belong to a church to follow their church doctrines. To me, anyone who wanted to change the rules to fit their own feelings were simply rebelling against authority and being hypocrites.

My views on homosexuality began to change when I became a Christian and began to study the Bible. I learned that God doesn’t see homosexuality as just another “alternative” behavior, but as a sin. The plain meaning of Scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments, is clear on this point. I have heard arguments claiming homosexuality is not a sin, however, in every case these arguments either distort or completely change the meaning of the Scriptures.

Refuting such false and deceptive arguments can be accomplished through the faithful adherence to sound exegesis. That is an issue that deserves a full explanation. I will address it separately, at another time. For now, the point I wish to make is simply that I was not opposed to homosexual behavior until after I had read and studied the Bible. My attitude was changed by faith, not by ignorance, fear, hatred or bigotry.

Same-sex Marriage

For millennia society in general has considered homosexuality immoral. The Bible labels it as sin. But for the past 50 years or so, social mores have been changing. There is now a moral argument that society should accept diverse expressions of sexuality, including same-sex unions, based on the assumption that all gender roles are equal, including those of bride and groom. Also, there is a political argument that says marriage between two individuals of the same gender should be legally recognized and made socially acceptable on the basis of “equal rights” for homosexuals. The problem with these arguments is summed up in the old saw: “You can’t legislate morality.”

The institution of marriage specifically ordains the union of a man and a woman. Historically, in the West, the institution of marriage took its definition from the Bible. But traditionally, elsewhere in the world, all the major non-Biblical cultures shared the same institutional concept of marriage. It was an institution designed specifically to sanctify a man and woman for the revered purpose of ending their dependency on their parents and beginning a new family. Specific laws did not create this institution of marriage. Rather, the laws of each society merely reflected that universal essence of what marriage is — not a relationship built on rights, but of a man and woman’s moral accountability to God, society and each other.

Institutions are foundational. They sustain fundamental values and hold society together by establishing a meaningful social identity. The institution of marriage has been accepted by society at large, including many of those who fall outside the norm — those who for one reason or another reject the cultural or religious views that give rise to the institution. Until the mid-twentieth century, most individuals who rejected society’s standards did so discretely. Heterosexual couples who lived together out of wedlock gave the impression they were married, and gay couples gave the impression they were roommates. But they did so knowing they were flouting social standards. They chose to live according to their own divergent lifestyles, without presuming to change the institution of marriage. They saw themselves as outside the norm.

But since the 1960s the gay lobby has been aggressively working to redefine the institution of marriage by breaking down society’s traditional moral standards. They do this both by undercutting religious beliefs opposed to homosexuality and by changing the argument from one of moral standards to one of legal rights. They are making an end run around the traditional moral values of the majority, by making a bogus claim that all they are seeking is “equality”. But the gay demand for equality is a non-sequitur. Homosexuals already have the same legal right to marry as heterosexual couples do — to someone of the opposite gender, because that’s what marriage is. What they are really demanding isn’t a right, but a special privilege.

Regardless of any changes in the law or the dismantling of the institution of marriage, homosexual couples will never be “married” in the eyes of God. The purpose of marriage is not for providing equal access, equal opportunity or equal rights. God designed marriage for his purposes, not ours. And for that reason, marriage is a holy union of a woman and a man. For that reason, the family is sanctified and society is blessed. A homosexual couple may love each other, but their union is sinful at its core. Such a union is neither sanctified nor a blessing to society. It is not equal to that of marriage.

Libertarians and “Leaving People Alone”

Recently, I was surprised by the level of passionate support for same-sex marriage exhibited by libertarian college students in the audience of a John Stossel program on the Fox News Channel. He was interviewing Ann Coulter. Judging by the students’ jeers and smirks, they didn’t simply disagree with traditional conservative values, but they seemed genuinely astonished anyone could possibly hold such traditional views. Their demeanor toward Coulter was condescending.

When Stossel asked Coulter, “Why can’t gays get married like straights do?” Coulter’s answer was legally and logically to the point, “Um, well, they can. They have to marry a member of the opposite sex.” The audience groaned and booed at her answer. Stossel then asked, “Why can’t they marry a member of their sex?”, interrupting her to interject, “We believe that individuals should be left alone.” Coulter pointed out, “…my reasons I’m telling you … for libertarians or gays or anything else, marriage is the most important institution for civilized young people … I want to make divorce a lot more difficult, too.” Again there were derisive groans from the audience.

For a libertarian to say the legalization of gay marriage is just a way “that individuals should be left alone” is a perverse contradiction of terms. How does undermining one of the most basic and commonly held institutions in all of civilization “leave individuals alone”. It doesn’t. It rips apart the moral fabric of society. It forces the majority to recognize and accept something that is so morally offensive that the Bible calls it an abomination in the eyes of God. That is not an example of government staying out of our personal lives. Forcing all of society to accept same-sex marriage by passing laws to give equal standing to homosexuality usurps the right of society to set its moral codes according to traditional and religious standards.

The law is a standard. The phrase, “all men are created equal” is a Biblical principle. It means that there should be one standard for all, applied equally to all. Gay marriage violates this principle. If the law is changed to allow for gay marriage, then the government is redefining the institution of marriage, rather that reflecting the will of the people. Such a forced redefinition on the part of government is an abuse of the law because the law is intended support the institution marriage, not design it. Society at large has already done that. If homosexuals wish to live intimately as couples, that’s their business. However, they do not have the right to make the rest of society condone and sanctify their lifestyle, particularly since it offends so many on moral and religious grounds.

And yet, that’s exactly what they are trying to do. One of the most offensive tactics employed by pro-homosexual forces is to malign anyone who disagrees with their agenda. They have established the misnomer “homophobe” as a pejorative to demean anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep with their position. All opposition to homosexuality is ascribed to motivations of fear, hatred, ignorance and bigotry. In effect, while loudly demanding the nonsense that same-sex marriage is their “equal right”, the homosexual lobby insults and demeans anyone who stands against them. They deny that any genuine grounds exist for opposing same-sex marriage.

The homosexual lobby does not tolerate or respect moral or religious arguments against them. They relegate such arguments to moral and religious bigotry. Rather than addressing the actual arguments, they revert to the old stand-bys of name-calling and accusation. The difference between right and wrong holds no significance to them when the wrong is identified as homosexuality. And they particularly don’t have any respect for Biblical arguments against homosexuality, because they have their own way of looking at Scripture in order to make it comply with their own wishes. Bottom line, they consider both moral and religious arguments against homosexuality to be bigoted and irrelevant.

The sad thing is that the gay agenda has managed to upgrade an aberrant behavior to the level of a genuine controversy. Controversy feeds emotional rhetoric as dry kindling feeds a burning fire. But resolving a controversy is like extinguishing a fire before it destroys everything it touches. The gay agenda is out to destroy the time-honored institution of marriage. Their demand for the so-called “equal” treatment of gays is accompanied by an assault on the rights of anyone who does not approve of homosexuality. The mob mentality of gay activists leads them to trample over long-held doctrinal teachings of Scripture. They do not seek to resolve controversy. They choose to fan the flames. But this fire needs to be extinguished.

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

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Michael Day is a native Californian and a retired mailman, proud of the fact that while most of his friends were protesting the war in Viet Nam, he volunteered for the draft and served in combat with the U.S. Army Infantry. His diverse life experiences range from singing with the San Diego Opera to doing menial labor and being involved in church leadership for twenty five years. His blog,, is an expression of his deep convictions concerning freedom and Biblical faith.
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  • thisoldspouse

    “How does undermining one of the most basic and commonly held
    institutions in all of civilization “leave individuals alone”. It
    doesn’t. It rips apart the moral fabric of society. It forces the
    majority to recognize and accept something that is so morally offensive
    that the Bible calls it an abomination in the eyes of God.”

    Exactly right, Mr. Day. The truth that is incessantly suppressed and denied by the homosexual lobby is that same-sex “marriage” affects other people not involved.

    They deliberately ignore the fact that wherever this contrivance is pushed as a law, there is always the countering amendments offered by opponents of incorporating “religious exemptions” in the law (which, incidentally, are almost always vehemently opposed by homosexual activists.) What does the necessity of “exemptions” imply. Exemptions, from what? And why are these common-sense defenses always opposed by homosexuals?

    • retiredday

      I think by focusing on “exemptions” progressives are trying to redefine the “free exercise” of religion. Essentially, they want religion to be something we do inside a church building, but don’t bother anyone outside your doors. That isn’t what Biblical Christianity is at all. Christianity is not just a religion of church-bound rituals. It is a free way of living designed to affect the entire social structure. The LGBTQ doxy wants to limit the “free exercise” of religion down to the phrase “religious observance”. That isn’t in the constitution. The government does not have the right or authority to define the free exercise of religion according to any supposed “religious observance”.

      • WXRGina

        True, Mike!

        This is an excellent piece, as usual for you. I have “borrowed” a passage from your piece for my column tomorrow (attributed in my column to your website). Thank you for always giving us the insight and wisdom with which the Lord has richly blessed you!

      • thisoldspouse

        I saw a great sign held by an orthodox Jew on the cusp of New York falling to the sodomites: “The road to Hell is paved with religious exemptions.” There is a wealth of wisdom in that one short knock-off of another famous axiom.

        What can be “granted” in religious exemptions can just as easily be taken away.

  • Bob Ellis

    The “morality” of counterfeit marriage isn’t even remotely comparable to the morality of real marriage; homosexual relations are inherently immoral, and something inherently immoral cannot logically be comparative to something moral, except as a contrast.

    There are indeed many benefits of marriage. However, in order for those benefits to be realized, one must have a real, authentic marriage.

    A counterfeit marriage is to marriage what counterfeit currency is to monetary policy. Counterfeit money does nothing to support, uplift, enhance, benefit or add to legitimate currency. Instead, counterfeit currency devalues authentic currency because it misleads people into believing something that does not meet the criteria of authentic currency, and does not provide the same value and benefit of authentic currency, is genuine currency. Put simply, counterfeits devalue the original.

    This is why we have words, and why words have meanings. When something can mean anything, or at a minimum, the value of that word as a descriptor is diminished.

    Homosexuals can pretend all they like, but one must have a man and a woman as the most basic elements to form a marriage.

    Homosexuals can even commit to some sort of exclusive relationship with one another if they wish.

    However, in addition to what I have already pointed out about the fallacious nature of counterfeit marriage, we should not fool ourselves about the level of commitment typically found in the homosexual community. Studies have found that monogamy is almost non-existent in the homosexual community, even among homosexuals who claim to be monogamous. They invent “creative” definitions of monogamy (just like their “creative” definitions of marriage) that allow such caveats as “As long as my partner knows I’m having sex with a third (or fourth, or fifth, or sixth or seventh…) party, that’s still ‘monogamy.’”

    Again, words have meaning. Let’s all be grownups and face the truth: in addition to lacking one of two of the most fundamental elements of marriage, “monogamy” in the homosexual community is a joke, and marriage and family are far too serious to be made into a joke.

    Frankly, a statement made by a homosexual judicial activist carries zero weight. In truth, the exclusion of homosexuals from the federal definition of marriage does nothing to encourage or strengthen heterosexual marriages…except preserve the unique and critically important meaning of marriage, as well as the vital purpose served by marriage in any healthy society.

    Those who are interested in learning more about the nature of marriage are encouraged to check out the following:

  • retiredday

    The comparison of homosexual unions to marriage is a fallacy, based on your own bias. There is no comparison in fact.

    None of those listed benefits justify the redefinition of marriage. Nor does the wisdom of Man trump the will of God.

    And why should the opinions of judicial activists overturn a plebiscite? In our constitutional republic, the federal judiciary wasn’t designed to run roughshod over state referendums. I have no respect for judicial activists who are actively dismantling American freedom and shoving their agenda down our throats… and so should libertarians, not just true conservatives.

  • thisoldspouse

    Then homosexuals should get married; it is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and all U.S. possessions. Homosexuals have been getting married for eons, even the most strident, high-profile activist homosexuals, like “Rev.” Gene Robinson, who fathered children with his wife. And there are many other examples.

    Nothing is stopping homosexuals from getting married, according to the standards of marriage almost universal everywhere. Since we are constantly told by activists that it is not about sex or child-rearing, then the established standard should be acceptable to them.

  • Carrie_K_Hutchens

    Activists must take special courses in “mob mentality” and work towards degrees in insult and interrupt techniques. To insist that all “embrace” their choice is not their right.

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