I was just discussing this with my Consligiara’ Verb. We were having one of our typical elitist aristocratic discussions, when the subject of “gay rights” came up. Some background, my friend Verb is a Lesbian both she and I consider ourselves Christians, so we were discussing the role religion, particularly Christianity has played in Western law and what role it should play (if any) now.
I do understand that Western law has had a strong influence on it by Church Canon Law, however; I posited that the Magna Carta really began the separation from Church Canon law and Secular law, though it was a slow progression. The Magan Carta dealt with land ownership issues, marriage / inheritance issues, criminal law issues etc, in specific for barons and other aristocrats, but it began the movement towards constitutional law that we see in Western countries today.
OF course English Common law evolved from the covenants of that document, as time went on laws applied to all freemen. Of course as we all know, some folks were less “free” than others, and some folks came to the colonies to be more “free”.
Ultimately, we had a revolution and created our OWN law, the Constitution of the United States. Now the values it extols are freedom and liberty for all people, we know however that wasn’t the reality for many people in the United States, however, the founding fathers did not make a document that was not supposed to evolve, in fact, it was to deal with some problems that they left us, (i.e. the inequality of the African slaves, native Americans and women) and new problems as our society grows and changes.
That is why, I posit, the conversation regarding gay rights is a question of LAW. And that is the public discussion that should be had, not morality. Religion deals with the question of morality, however; it must be conceded that that question is subjective, and in a society of many individuals, one can express their subjective morality however we have to govern by a collective law influenced by our subjective morality and ethics.
How would gay “marriage” affect tax law, survivorship laws, dependency laws, etc.? Is there any scientific or sociologic proof that gays marrying would adversely affect non gays? Should gay unions be called marriages, or should there be another construct within civil law to accommodate a same sex union? Where is this discussion? This discussion is clouded by people saying “the Bible says”.
Now, as many of you know or have guessed, I am a very vocal Christian and what the BIBLE SAYS is important to ME, however, I know I’d have a problem if someone was trying to restrict my freedom predicated on what “The Qu’ran, the Vedas, The Enuma Elish, etc.” say., because I do not accept those books as MY authority, simple as that.
Similarly, many people do not accept the authority of the Bible, as they should not be forced to. The Bible has to be accepted by CHOICE, nowhere in scripture does Jesus imply, infer or command that Christians force HIS rules as expressed by scripture on ANYONE.
Within the “Christian Community” (as diverse a community that is) it is expected that Christians debate the issue of same sex marriage, because supposedly everyone in that community should be considering Christ in their choices, but OUTSIDE of the Christian Community, Christians have a right to have their opinion heard, and to vote anyway they choose BUT, I think there are better things to do with our time that actually forwards the ministry of Jesus Christ, protesting same sex marriage seems to do the opposite, but that is another discussion.
It is my opinion, that in the greater diverse community of America, we have to have more than “The Bible says” to use as a predicate for denying someone their equal rights under the constitution. My conclusion, and suggestion, is that the LGBT community, steer this discussion to the LAW, and inform people outside of their community that this is an issue of law, not personal religious or philosophical position. Just saying…