The upcoming vote on North Carolina's constitutional amendment draws attention to the ongoing debate about the position government should take on the issue of homosexual marriage. This topic of same-sex marriage is extremely controversial, and discussion on the topic is often heated. I believe that many people miss the key point of this debate.
Some who advocate the legalization of homosexual marriage argue that current laws discriminate against homosexuals. They argue that the government should take a neutral position by granting homosexual couples the same status and privilege as heterosexual couples. The proponents of this perspective attempt to frame the debate about homosexual marriage by bringing up a number of emotionally charged issues. Anyone who opposes homosexual marriage is bombarded with phrases such as intolerance, bigotry, homophobia, denying gays the ability to love each other, and being born gay.
But what is the key issue in this debate?
At the heart of the debate lies a simple question: Should the government endorse homosexual marriage? The government cannot be neutral on this issue. Currently, in most states, homosexual marriages are not legally recognized. This position is not neutral--the government clearly makes a distinction between homosexual marriage and heterosexual marriage. However, the opposite position is not neutral, either. If the government legally recognizes homosexual marriages, this is also taking a position. That is, legalizing same-sex marriage makes the statement that, in the eyes of the law, homosexual marriage is a perfectly legitimate alternative to heterosexual marriage
So the real issue is this: Should same-sex marriage be presented to our culture as a perfectly valid, acceptable alternative lifestyle? Or, should the government maintain its current position--that heterosexual marriage is normal and homosexual marriage is not an equally valid alternative? This is the issue--no more, no less. Before deciding whether you oppose or support the legalization of homosexual marriage, consider this issue carefully, and don't allow anyone to distract you with emotionally charged phrases.
I oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. People who hold my position are often accused of homophobia, bigotry, and gay-bashing. But I hold this position because I care about homosexuals. Even though homosexual behavior is sinful and destructive, behavior does not define a person. We are more than our behaviors: Every person deserves to be loved and accepted, no matter what he has done. But loving and accepting someone is different from condoning his lifestyle. I cannot condone homosexual behavior, because I hate seeing the pain and destruction that it causes in the lives of those who practice it. I feel a great deal of compassion for people who practice homosexual behavior, because they are often shunned and mistreated for their behavior. I have a number of friends who are homosexuals, and I do everything I can to show them love.
~ by Student at Ohio University