Friday, May 16, 2008

On Marriage, Again

The California Supreme Court has determined that there exists a "right of same-sex couples to have their official family relationship accorded the same dignity, respect, and stature as that accorded to all other officially recognized family relationships". Wow. Talk about a collision of culture, law, and religion. The people of California don't just have to tolerate same-sex relationships. They are required to afford them the same "dignity, respect, and stature".

What if I have a sexual attraction to Japanese Maple trees that is so strong that I move them into my house and call them Janet, Missy, etc.? I love them so much and I consider them my lifelong partners. By my decision to attach myself physically and emotionally to Japanese Maples, am I entitled to any special rights? Should my relationship be afforded the same "dignity, etc." as other human relationships?

There has been a long work, consciously undertaken by homosexual activists since at least the 1980s, to promote the idea that a homosexual relationship is no different than a heterosexual one, except that heterosexual couples can have children and homosexual couples can't. A small part of the population believes this, but an even larger portion does not. California, which is far from a conservative powerhouse, voted in 2000 to adopt an initiative banning gay marriage. The initiative succeeded by a margin of 61 percent.

I have been engaged for the last 10 months (to a woman) and the outpouring of joy and encouragement has been overwhelming. And do you know what else it has been: spontaneous. I believe that there is a primal joy that gushes forth for a young couple starting out on a new life. It's a joy that springs from the hope of a long, faithful, loving, and fruitful commitment that will bring new life into the world.

Marriage has suffered a lot lately, in no small part because it involves pain and sacrifice. I think it is getting harder to marry, and for marriages to be successful. The cultural support just isn't there anymore. But every time good people give in to fear and discouragement in their relationships, marriage suffers. Not just a marriage in particular, but marriage in general.

No comments: