I originally wrote this back in 2007 but I feel it still carries weight today.
I spent a long time on this. I apologize for length, but I do ask that the time spent on writing this be appreciated in the sense of a reasonably well-thought out response, if any, should follow.
If I may take a slightly different angle here.
Since most anti-gay-marriage proponents come from the Right side of the political spectrum, and many of those argue their position on religious grounds, I think it's fitting to examine the Bible a bit, first and foremost.
In Chapter 19 of the book of Genesis, God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
At least in my version of the Bible, verses 1 through 8 go like this (paragraph breaks are verse breaks):
And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.
And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did not eat.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
The first five verses are the most commonly quoted by Christians when asked why they believe gay marriage to be wrong.
Indeed, the implication is there. God sent in two angels to Sodom and the locals wished for them to come out so they could have sex with those angels. That seems to imply that homosexuality is, in fact, a sin.
However, Lot, of the one holy family, does something interesting in the last three verses: he instead offers his virgin daughters to those men so that they may rape the daughters instead.
Under that logic, all God-fearing families should throw their daughters at any man who wishes to partake in homosexual activity, to do as they see please. Let's be honest: that just doesn't fly.
Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but not following up is hypocritical. That deadens the Biblical argument significantly.
We all have sins that keep us from eternal life, so say Christians. Our sins must be atoned.
John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Interpretation: Jesus died for our sins so that we may enter Heaven.
There are several ways you are to go about being forgiven for your sins. I will not list all of them here. Whatever the case, we must accept Christ's sacrifice for us: this is grace.
After this happens, Romans 6:1-23 offers a little insight as to what should happen next:
12: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
13: "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
I could go on. Conclusion: Stop sinning. You shouldn't even want to. Easier said than done: even Paul complained that he couldn't stop sinning. (Romans 7:14-15)
But, so is claimed, these people (homosexuals) cannot be forgiven.
Jesus had something interesting to say about sinning:
"Whosoever putteh away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." (Luke 16:18)
Paul – the man who continued to sin – puts it even better:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Conclusion: Divorcing your spouse and remarrying is adultery, on either end, which, it's worth pointing out, is a deadly sin. These, among a variety of others, will never go to Heaven.
Okay, but what's the point?
At least according to this article, divorce rates are around 40 percent. I'll use that figure.
Of these, 75 percent eventually remarry. A calculator tells me that 75 percent of 40 is 30. This means 30% of Americans who marry commit adultery, and therefore a statistically significant portion of Americans have no right to complain about homosexuality. I'm sure some of those were Christians. This also does not count all the other sinners mentioned above.
According to this article, somewhere around 4% of people are homosexual.
So, following the Bible's teachings that these people are all committing equal sin, I ask you, which is more damaging: homosexuality…or adultery?
Biblicly, the anti-homosexual marriage argument loses: while homosexuality is a sin, there are far worse sins, and more of them. We should be more worried about those sins, first and foremost. Or, ban marriage altogether, since a very large portion of Americans commit adultery as a direct result. Since the more-sinful marriage will not be banned, the less-sinful marriage should not be banned, and therefore the pro-side wins.
But wait! Wikipedia tells us that there is a separation of church and state in the United States.
What does this mean? My entire Biblical argument doesn't mean anything.
Well, crap. Forget everything I just said about religion. But Christians are still wrong, even if the Bible didn't prove otherwise. (Yes, Americans have adopted a lot of Christian doctrine, but that is not the focus of this discussion).
So, as a result, we must argue this on more secular grounds.
Marriage defined: Well, there are a bunch of them:
a. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
b. The state of being married; wedlock.
c. A common-law marriage.
d. A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex marriage.
2. A wedding (one of many definitions for wedding is " To take as a spouse; marry.")
3. A close union: the most successful marriage of beauty and blood in mainstream cocomics�Lloyd Rose).
4. Games. The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.
Okay, we don't need the pinochle definition. What we have here is ambiguity. One definition states that it's between husband and wife, while one doesn't. As the Constitution does not officially have a definition – though people are trying, mostly on the now-debunked religious grounds – we cannot give a clear-cut definition. Which is right? Who knows. But until we figure that out, we have to assume that they're all right or all wrong.
Conclusion: Either all marriage needs to be allowed, or all marriage needs to be banned, at least until we can figure this out. Point for the pro side.
Could we have civil unions? Unfortunately, I can only argue this with personal opinion. But with Plessy versus Ferguson as a reference, I feel fairly secure in saying another case of "separate but equal" will not work.
Conclusion: No civil unions. Marriage is marriage. A wavering, debatable point for the pro side.
So, we have one last venue to explore. Marriage, in and of itself, is a title. Are you married? Are you not? Doesn't technically matter, so long as you're with someone to build a healthy, loving relationship.
However, there are rights gained by being married, and they are, if I say so myself, fairly significant. Again, they are rights. There is no argument here.
So now, I refer to what is, in my humble opinion, quite possibly the greatest document ever made, and that is none other than the Declaration of Independence which states, quite clearly, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
You probably could say most of that out loud yourself.
That's right. We have unalienable rights. Who are you, you, you, or you to deny those rights to a certain group of people? In fact, when the government begins to trample on those rights – say, by restricting them – it is your duty to get rid of that government and establish one that won't. That's right, every American citizen should, according to the Declaration, at least, be speaking out against this blatant violation of people's rights over something that is little more than discrimination.
So what's the point of this incredibly long post? There is no argument: from either a Church or State point of view, things need to be equal. Even if you don't like gays, even if you're terrified of them, even if you think the poop chute should lead out of town and not in, the fact remains: marriage laws should be the same. For everyone.