As a lifelong Christian, I grew up being taught that same-sex marriage and romantic relationships are sinful and explicitly prohibited throughout the Bible. I still believe these things to this day but does that mean they should be outlawed in the United States?
Many evangelicals, who often lean to the Right and are one of the largest voting blocs for Republicans used to be heavily against same-sex marriage. According to Gallup, in 1996, only 27% of Protestant Christians in the U.S. supported same-sex marriage. However, that number has now jumped all the way up to 55% of Protestants supporting same-sex marriage as of 2017. According to the same poll, this is a higher percentage than the percentage of all Republicans who would support same-sex marriage, which is only 47%. The percentage of support from Democrats and Independents is up in the 70% range.
The poll also shows a gradual increase of support from everyone from the years of 1996-2013. But between 2013-2015, there is a spike in support from those who identify with the Republican party and also the evangelicals. Support from the Republican party jumped almost 20 percent among evangelicals. Why is this? It’s possible that a few major Supreme Court rulings could have changed some minds. In 2013, in the case of United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) being unconstitutional. This now meant that same-sex couples who were legally married (there were 12 states and the District of Columbia who had legalized gay marriage at the time) could take advantage of the same benefits as heterosexual couples like tax breaks, applying for healthcare, retirement, dental care, etc.
At the end of 2014, South Carolina became the 35th state to legalize same-sex marriage and on June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges was decided in another vote of 5-4, overturning the case of Baker v. Nelson, which took place in 1971. Under this new ruling, all 50 states were now required to issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of their sexual orientation. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and was joined by the Supreme Court’s other four liberal justices. Justice Kennedy’s opinion held that the 14th Amendment of the United States grants the right to same-sex couples to receive the same treatment as heterosexual couples; “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I can clearly see how under the 14th Amendment, it would be unconstitutional for states to not treat couples equally based on their sexual orientation.
These two cases are arguably the two most important ones in terms of gay rights, and I can see why their decisions could lead to more support for same-sex marriage. Now that we’ve looked at the increase in support, I want to talk about my two different perspectives on this issue.
As I mentioned in the very first paragraph, I am a Christian and with that, I strongly oppose same-sex marriage in a moral and biblical sense because I believe that it is sinful and wrong. Romans 1:26-27 says, “26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 is another example. These two cities were so full of homosexual misconduct that God rained down burning sulfur on them and destroyed them. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” There are plenty more instances but these are just a few examples of how the Bible clearly detests homosexuality. I am a firm believer in the Bible being the inspired Word of God and I hold it as the highest authority in my life. But how does this translate to law and politics?
I still hold the view that same-sex marriage is wrong and immoral, but I look at it through a different lens and hold a more libertarian view when it comes to whether the government ought to be involved in this issue as I do with most political issues. I think most people want to be left alone by the government so they can go about with their lives, as long as they’re not violating the rights of others. To put this in context, what rights of others are same-sex couples violating if they want to get married? From a legal perspective, I certainly don’t have a problem if a man and a man or a woman and a woman want to get married. As long as they’re not bothering me or anyone else about it, I don’t care who people marry or sleep with. The way I see it, the fewer things the government is involved with, the better. I certainly don’t want the government to be involved in the business of marriage.
The United States of America is the freest country in the history of the world. Let’s keep it that way and not let the government continue to creep in and be in control of every aspect of our lives.