Is it lawful for two of the same sex to wed? This question has positioned itself along the fault line of division in western society, causing seismic waves whenever it is uttered. The East—which consists of many countries that are not as technologically advanced as the West—is not cumbered with this debate due to its largely traditional (and religious) ways of looking at marriage. The disseverment of the chains of tradition by the West paved the way for the public manifestation of what was always there: same sex relationships. They did not magically appear in the last decades of the 20th century; they have always been around. Once the union is made public then the next logical step is to seek equality.
Before one can address the lawfulness of same-sex marriages, one must acknowledge the court and sets of laws within that court that pertain to the issue. Assuming that we are all referring to the same court with the same rules is a grave misunderstanding. Besides the government’s judicial system, we observe laws from the court of public opinion, ecclesiastical bodies (which may or may not contain the same laws found in those bodies’ scriptures), and many others. If we don’t adhere to the same judicial entity, then what one views as lawful will be disregarded by another.
In the court of public opinion, which ultimately affects the judicial system (as reasoning changes so does the interpretation of laws—slowly but surely), the traditional way of looking at marriage has mutated into a form that would not be recognizable by those born at the beginning of the 20th century. If we all adhere to the decision of the court of public opinion, then we are either for same-sex marriage or soon will be (even though most adherents are not, themselves, homosexuals). It is not that the adherents are emphatically in favor of it (as a matter of fact, some are repulsed by the thought of marriage between two of the same sex); rather there is no argument that will fully convince them that they should deny another the right to express his or her sexual orientation.
In an ecclesiastical body, public opinion is weighed and accepted only if it is in line with that body’s religious convictions as stated in their scriptures and other forms of writings that they deem authoritative (in most cases). Though traditional forms of worship and functions have changed with the times, there has not been much change in beliefs concerning same-sex relationships and marriages in religious circles. Therefore, most adherents of a religious belief would not find it lawful to wed two of the same sex.
The battle for same-sex marriage is not being fought as rigorously in the churches as it is being fought in the judicial courts. Because public opinion has shifted in their favor, many who are of that orientation (who were formerly terrified of being discovered), have become emboldened and have taken a public stand. They are knocking on the doors of the legislative body demanding that their form of union be recognized legally and placed on a pedestal equivalent to that of heterosexual marriages. In reaction to this, many from the religious right (conservatives) have campaigned actively against them.
Is it lawful for two of the same sex to wed? I think most adherents of a religious belief have never actually sat down and thought of the question and its implications. According to the Bible, a Christian church (assembly, entity, congregation, whatever you want to call it) can only acknowledge the union of a man and a woman when it comes to what we have identified as marriage. I will present the biblical points for this in the following post.
However, the courts of the nations are not subject to these beliefs. They can choose to allow same-sex marriages and the argument that would win the day would be based on equal rights. Not what you were expecting to hear, was it? Don’t worry, I don’t believe in same-sex marriages. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the union of the sexes. This preliminary approach was necessary to emphasize the fact that when we talk about same-sex marriage with those of different beliefs we are not looking at the same the same way.
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