September 12, 2014

The case against same-sex marriage

by Jesse Johnson

Last month I posed this question: Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry? Or, more particularly, in states that have followed the democratic process to define marriage as exclusively between a man and woman, should judges intervene and nullify those laws? Where new elections are held, should Christians vote to allow LGBT couples to legally marry?

I answered this question by saying that as much as it depends on voters, legislatures, or judges, that no, marriage should not be redefined. There are three parts to this answer:

  1. Government rightly regulates marriage, and so yes: the government does need to decide what constitutes a lawful marriage (you can read that post here).
  2. God invented marriage, and the essence of marriage is seen in a commitment between two people of opposite genders. Thus same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, and represents a sinful attack on the identity of marriage (you can read that post here).
  3. Because what God commands is also good for society, it is in fact in society’s best interest to keep the traditional definition of marriage. Today I want to write about this third part.

While there are the biblical arguments against viewing same sex unions as marriage—and I find those arguments compelling–we do live in a pluralistic society and thus biblical arguments alone will fail to carry the day.

Fortunately, if any view is biblical, it will also be beneficial to society. Thus, Christians should be able to make both categories of arguments. We should be able to explain our opposition to same sex marriage using both secular language, as well as biblical reasoning. After all, truth should be victorious no matter which arena it fights in.

So, why should the government refuse to redefine marriage?

Marriage is inherently connected to families

In both theology and anthropology, the concept of marriage is the foundation for family. One leads to the other. In fact, the only reason government cares about marriage is because government cares about families.

Government uses the tax structure to promote marriage because it is promoting families. Study after study demonstrate that a person’s family structure is the single biggest variable on a person’s wealth, health, job security, and happiness (here is one from the University of New York, a more complicated one from the Journal of Child Development, and here is one from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

So world history, US history, and the democratic process are largely correct when they say that the government should see marriage as the creation of a family unit.

But government interest in marriage does not end with the simple existence of a family:

Families are the cornerstone of our society’s structure

Our entire society is built upon the cornerstone of family.

Inheritance is passed down through families. Car loans, insurance, mortgages, and even rent vary based on the existence of a family. Spouses have restrictions about how they can testify against each other in court. Universities use family income and family history in determining financial aid. Land ownership, tax rates, bank accounts, health decisions, on-and-on—all these are built upon marriage.

I know that same-sex couples view themselves as a family as well. But this is possible only in light of this inconvenient truth: families generally produce children.

The reason so much of society is built upon the foundation of families is not because legislators watched too many Hallmark specials and got all sappy and romantic. Rather it is because families (generally) produce children, and tax rates are designed to benefit children, inheritance is for children, universities know parents pay tuition, and so on.

Shorter version of this point: the government should regulate marriage because no other area of human life that falls under its preview so much affects the well-being of society.

Which leads to:

Children do better with a mom and a dad

This point could also be called Psych 101, Sociology 101, Ed 101, Anthropology 101, or Econ 101. Children do better in families with a mom and dad around. Almost everyone grants this point (American Psychological Association, Journal for Social Science Research, CitizenLink Public Policy, Brookings Institute, human history, etc. Grudem also has a helpful list of studies that show this on pages 223-224 in Politics).

There are psychological, social, economic, and educational reasons that children fare better when they have a mom and a dad. This is a biological fact, and a social reality. But it is more than that:

The government has an interest in families, but not an interest in validating love

This is exactly why the government has an interest in regulating marriage. I grant that same-sex couples want a partner with which to live their lives, share their hopes and dreams, and be committed to each other into old age—but that does not come from the government. The government is not in the business of validating shallow love, and any love that requires government validation is indeed shallow.

The government has a vested interest in regulating a society that is made of families because it wants to protect the most vulnerable—namely, children. It has as its goal the establishment of families where children are best suited to thrive. The government cannot manage individual families, but it can do things to maximize the role of the family, such as recognize that marriage makes families, which make children, who do best when there is a mom and a dad.

When the government redefines marriage, religious liberty suffers

Because of the uncomfortable fact that marriage comes from God, it is in many ways inherently religious. But part of common grace is that you don’t have to be religious to be married.

Now, it may be in the government’s interest to allow same sex couples some form of recognition. It is easy to see how this would help medical decisions, mortgages, and the like. But this is not what is happening today. Instead, the government is invalidating the historic concept of marriage and then infringing upon religious liberty. When marriage is redefined, churches are then compelled to follow. For that reason a Methodist Church in New Jersey was recently rebuked by a judge for refusing to allow a same sex wedding on their church’s property–the church then lost its tax-exempt status for refusing to host similar weddings (and that link has a list of other similar legal rulings). Christians have been fined in various states (New York, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon) for refusing to celebrate same sex weddings.

There are times when the government obviously needs to compel individual behavior for a national interest. But in this case, the national interest is missing. Religious liberty is violated so that love is validated, and this is something that the courts and government should not do.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He also leads The Master's Seminary Washington DC location.
  • Johnny

    This was good, but it does lead me to a troubling observation: so much of your argument on the practicality of hetero marriage is framed around the importance of families, namely children – so how does the church handle the ‘deliberately childless’ (biological/adoptive/etc) married hetero couples in their ranks who, for whatver reason, have chosen to remain childless? Is this just as much a sin and a violation of God’s design as homosexuality, when couples contracept/sterilize (and/or ignore the plight of the orphan) for their own personal interests and lifestyles?

    • So I was careful not to say that being childless is a sin. Instead, that marriage make families which generally leads to children, which is why government has an interest in this. If the norm was families who were “deliberately childless” then government would not have an interest in marriage.

    • Steve Ingino

      Johnny, I understand your concern. Some gay activists say, “Well, some couples can’t have children, they have infertility issues, so shouldn’t that mean that same-sex couples
      should be allowed to marry?” No, not at all.

      There is no possible comparison between the atypical
      sterility of a married couple and the always unnatural sterility of a
      homosexual union. With infertile couples, the sexual act is normally
      procreative and designed by God to be procreative, but due to some problem,
      they cannot conceive. In the homosexual act, sterility is not accidental. It
      stems from the very physiology of the act, which is infertile by nature.

      In fact, in England, while they were working to approve
      same-sex marriage, they could not define how two lesbians would consummate
      their marriage, so they removed that part of the bill. Since no true biological
      or procreative union can take place between two men or two women, these
      neutered bills make it sound like marriage is a mere friendship, as more
      aspects of marriage are removed from the definition.

      Childless marriages don’t impact society’s need for more
      children to be raised by their mom and dad. Plus, if a heterosexual couple was
      infertile and sought medical help in order to conceive, or if they adopted, the
      child would have a mother and a father. And couples who marry past the age of
      childbearing destroy the logic of same-sex activists as well. A childless
      marriage doesn’t change God’s definition of marriage – Jesus said in Matthew 19
      it’s between one man and one woman.

      Claiming that infertile couples gives justification for
      same-sex marriage is like saying that a person is not human because their leg
      was amputated. But an exception doesn’t warrant redefinition, and in fact the
      picture of Christ and the church is intact with infertile couples, whereas this
      picture is destroyed with same-sex couples. Marriage is about more than having
      children, but the point is that a childless couple is not robbing a child of a
      mom or a dad, whereas that’s what same-sex marriage and parenting would
      intrinsically do.

      I preached a 4-part series which covers a whole lot more from many other angles and covers all the relevant biblical material on marriage and homosexuality (and I debunk the claim that homosexuality is genetically caused in order to show that same-sex “marriage” isn’t a civil right). If you’d like to listen to it, it’s at Christ Community Church Tucson’s podcast. “The Sin of Same-Sex Marriage.”

      • Johnny

        I’ll check that series out. Thanks for the lengthy response. But understand what I was getting at: not necessarily infertile Christian couples in general, but DELIBERATELY infertile couple. “We don’t want kids, so just get ‘the operation’ or pop these pills to prevent them”, etc. I’ve sadly known quite a few couples – great people, too – who have for one reason or another “decided not to have children”, biologically/adoptive, etc, but instead just basically live for their own interests, and that’s where I have trouble reconciling challenging the gay marriage paradigm while remaining silent on married Christian couples who WILLINGLY defy God’s design for having children. To me both are equally incompatable with God’s design, but one is more spoken about from the pulpit than others. That’s what I was trying to get at.

        • Matt Reed

          I wouldn’t jump to judge couples who decide not to have children. First, scripture tells us what a blessing children are, but nowhere does it demand parenthood. My wife and I were married 16 years before we had my son. We both grew up in abusive situations and were afraid of becoming parents. God brought us through some very difficult seasons, I would never judge a couple unless they said they were childless for selfish reasons. Also, God did make it possible to control without operations or pills. Or should we all become like the 19 and counting family? What # are you on?

  • greenpointguy

    Holy Matrimony is inherently religious, and it is not required that any church offer it to a couple they deem as non-deserving (because they were divorced, because they are not worthy Mormons with a Temple Recommend, because they are from different branches of Christianity, etc.). Civil Marriage is a governmental institution and must be available to all citizens.

    • Right. But what is happening now is in contradiction to both of your points. First, when the government redefines marriage, they are forcing that redefinition into the church (and fining Chrisitians/churches who don’t agree). 2nd, even civil marriage has to have limits on what marriage is. Agree? So who defines it?

      • greenpointguy

        Disagree that they force the redefinition into the church. For example, the Mormons have for over a century limited their version of temple marriage to a very few and will continue to be allowed to do so. Can you provide an example of a church being fined (and please don’t refer to nations with national religions such as the Church of England and Church of Denmark)?

        Agreed that civil marriage has limits (two persons, no incest, no pederasty, consenting adults-only). Legislatures and the people define it, SUBJECT TO constitutional review. If a marriage limit is determined by the courts to infringe on a citizen’s civil rights, it is no longer valid. You may disagree with the courts’s rulings, but you have to agree that’s how our system works.

        The bigger problem for “your side” of this argument is the court of public opinion. As more and more gay persons lead open lives — exposing themselves as our brothers, sisters, teachers, soldiers, celebrities, friends — your position of the inherent sinfulness of homosexuality is losing in the marketplace of ideas.

        • I give some links above to churches/Christians that have been fined for refusing same sex marriages.

          • greenpointguy

            Oh, boy, Ocean Grove again (eye roll).

            The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is a religious organization, and it does own the pavilion in question. But at the core of Judge Solomon Metzer’s decision is the fact that the pavilion’s tax-exempt status was not protected under a religious provision. In 1989, Ocean Grove applied for a Green Acres real-estate tax exemption, a New Jersey property subsidy for conservation or recreational purposes. One of the requirements to qualify for the exemption is that the property be “open for public use on an equal basis.” Thus, when Ocean Grove refused to allow a same-sex couple to utilize its pavilion, it was violating its agreement with the state of New Jersey.

            Ocean Grove now protects its pavilion with a religious exemption and should be free to discriminate against same-sex couples according to its beliefs. The couples who sued did not even pursue damages — they merely wanted to establish that Ocean Grove had illegally discriminated against them. The most important takeaway from this case is that any time opponents of marriage equality claim this New Jersey pavilion as an example of “religious freedom” being infringed upon or Christians as “victims,” they are blatantly wrong and distorting what happened to suit their narrative.

            As far as small business persons claiming deeply held religious beliefs to refuse publicly offered services to one segment of society, court after court has ruled against them. You simply cannot discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation in many states (ironically, some that still don’t allow SSM).

          • Ok. There is a list of other cases up there. I mean if your approach is that “the government isn’t forcing christians to go against their conscience” then…well, then I don’t really know what to say.

          • greenpointguy

            No, my approach is that the governments’ laws may bump up against persons’ consciences (as did the anti-segregation laws, for example) and that may force some people out of certain businesses. But, no one is literally stepping into the physical space of a church, nor are they forcing a redefine of church marriage doctrine.

          • Judy Parker

            Thank you for your very insightful blogs Mr Johnson, I always enjoy reading them. You say “When marriage is redefined, churches are then compelled to follow.” I was wondering if your view would be any different if America followed the same route as South Africa where there is no compulsion on any marriage officer (except state officials) to marry someone against their conscience? This means that (almost) each religion is free to define marriage as it wants (taking into account minimum statutory requirements like age, consent and relationship) and is not compelled to marry anyone that does not meet their definition. This means that a Christian minister in SA, for example, is not compelled to marry anyone, straight or gay, and does not even have to provide reasons for their decision. Thanks

          • Well, I think that may end up being the best case scenario for the US as well. But I still hold out hope that it is better for the government to advocate laws that protect that family rather than laws that end up leading to the exploitation of women (which is common in polygamy).
            So in order of priority, 1. Gov should regulate marriage in a way that protects the vulnerable. 2. Gov. should refrain from infringing on religion. 3. Least desirable is to continue down path the US is on–gov. mandating a form of marriage that violates religious freedom and fails to achieve a civic goal.

  • Marc Simm

    Great article, and very insightful.

    You mentioned that, “There are psychological, social, economic, and educational reasons that children fare better when they have a mom and a dad. This is a biological fact, and a social reality…”

    I have heard the argument from LGBT marriage supporters, that children fare just as well if not better with a spouse of the same gender. I have heard this backed up with studies I cannot recall. I am also trying to think about your point on the government’s point of marriage being family focused (children being the biological validation of family in this context). Could not LGBT couples make the point that with adoption or other means, their family falls within the government’s purpose for marriage?

    Can you help me understand this?

    In Christ,
    Marc Simm

    • Sure…first, when SSM supporters say that studies show that gender of parents does not matter, what they generally mean is that there have not been studies showing that gender does matter. In other words, they take all the studies about the importance of parents, and say “yes, but that parents can be the same gender, so that study applies to us as well.”
      Second, basically I think that what is best for a child is that he should be raised by a mom and a dad. A SSM cannot produce children, and I think that children are best cared for by a mom and a dad. Is that helpful Marc?

      • Marc Simm

        Yes, thank you pastor.

      • greenpointguy

        I beg to differ. The State of Michigan put the studies showing pour outcomes of same-sex parenting on trial, as well:

        On cross-examination by the ACLU’s Leslie Cooper, Regnerus’ testimony quickly broke down. Cooper forced Regnerus to admit that he had sought to conceal the role of conservative funders and of his religious faith in influencing his research, both of which were later revealed with smoking gun evidence from his prior words. He acknowledged that he was “not a fan of same sex marriage” before he started his research and that his opposition to it was not primarily based on his research conclusions. And he had to concede that he had singled out gay couples in opposing their right to marry based on alleged family instability: Aware that African-Americans, the poor, step-families and divorced people are all at higher statistical risk of marital collapse and family instability, he nonetheless had no strong opinion on whether those folks should be banned from marrying—just gays, strongly suggesting his views are rooted in bias above all.

        Judge Friedman didn’t fall for any of it. “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration,” he wrote in what must be one of the most stinging and decisive repudiations of an expert witness in memory. He cited evidence that the conservative research was “hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder” which clearly expressed its wish for skewed results. Dismissing the defense’s other witnesses just as strongly, the judge wrote that “The Court was unable to accord the testimony of Marks, Price, and Allen any significant weight.” He concluded that “The most that can be said of these witnesses’ testimony is that the ‘no differences’ consensus has not been proven with scientific certainty, not that there is any credible evidence showing that children raised by same-sex couples fare worse than those raised by heterosexual couples.”

    • Steve Ingino

      Hi Marc. Those studies have been thoroughly debunked. Take a look at Regenerus’ study:

      • When compared with outcomes for children raised by an intact biological family, the children raised by homosexuals did worse on 77 out of 80 outcome measures

      “Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family
      structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents…”

      – Kristin Anderson Moore, Susan M. Jekielek, and Carol Emig, 2002.
      “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect
      Children, and What Can Be Done About It?” Research Brief, June 2002. Washington, DC:
      Child Trends, p. 6.

      The New Family Structures Study

      Compared with children raised by their married biological parents,
      children of homosexual parents, either lesbians or male homosexuals:

      • Have lower educational attainment

      • Report less safety and security in their family of

      • Report more ongoing “negative impact” from their
      family of origin

      • Are much more likely to have received welfare

      Children raised by lesbians or male homosexual parents:

      • Are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression

      • Are up to 5 times more likely to think about suicide than children raised by their biological parents

      Children of Gay Parents: The Suicide Comparison

      Children raised by lesbians or male homosexual parents:

      • Have been arrested more often

      • If they are female, have had more sexual partners—both male and female

      Children of lesbian mothers, compared with children raised by their

      • Are more likely to be currently cohabiting

      • Are almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance

      • Are more than 3 times more likely to be unemployed (28% vs. 8%)

      Children of lesbian mothers, compared with children raised by their

      • Are nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual

      • Are 4 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease

      • Children raised by lesbians are seven times more likely to become lesbians than children raised by heterosexuals
      – Fiona L. Tasker and Susan Golombok, “Adults Raised as Children in
      Lesbian Families,” Developmental Psychology, 31 (1995), 213

      • Children raised by homosexual men are three times more likely to practice homosexuality than children raised by heterosexuals
      – J. Michael Bailey, et. al., “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay
      Fathers,” Developmental Psychology, 31 (1995), 124-28

      • Regnerus’ study also found that children raised by lesbians:

      • Are 3 times more likely to have had committed adultery while married or cohabiting (40% vs. 13%)

      Children of Gay Parents: Molestation Comparison

      • Children raised by lesbians:

      Are 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver.”

      Children raised by lesbians:

      • Are almost 4 times as likely to have been raped

      • Are more likely to have “attachment” problems related to the ability to depend on others

      • Use marijuana more frequently

      • Smoke more frequently

      • Watch TV for long periods more frequently

      • Have pled guilty to a major offense more often

      • When compared with outcomes for children raised by an intact biological family, the children raised by homosexuals did worse on 77 out of 80 outcome measures

      – Mark Regnerus, “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who
      Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social
      Science Research, Vol. 41, No. 4 (June 2012), pp. 752–770,

      • “Even after including controls for age, race, gender, family income, and things like being bullied as a youth, or the gay-friendliness of the state in which they live, such respondents were more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to
      have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, having trouble with the
      law, report more male and female sex partners, more sexual victimization, and
      were more likely to reflect negatively on their childhood family life, among
      other things.”

      – Dr. Mark Regnerus, “Does it really make no difference if your parents
      are straight or gay?”

      Best For Children?

      • By comparison, children of homosexual couples did the worst, in 9 of the 13 academic, moral, and social categories compared with children of heterosexuals.

      – Sotirios Sarantakos, “Children in Three Contexts: Family, Education and
      Social development,” Children Australia 21, No. 3 (1996): 23-31.

      • “Same-sex marriage would enshrine in law a public judgment that the public desire of adults for families outweighs the need of children for mothers and fathers. It would give sanction and approval to the creation of a motherless or fatherless family…”

      – Maggie Gallagher, “What Is Marriage For?,” Weekly Standard, 11
      August 2003, 23.

      • “We should disavow the notion that ‘mommies can make good daddies,’ just as we should disavow the popular notion of radical feminists that ‘daddies can make good mommies’…The two sexes are different to the core, and each is necessary—culturally and biologically—for the optimal development of the human being.”

      – David Popenoe, Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence That
      Fatherhood and Marriage Are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society,


      Different Mothers: Sons and Daughters of Lesbians Talk about Their Lives, edited by Louise Rafkin

      Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez, bisexual, raised by lesbians:

      • “Children raised by same-sex parents deeply feel the
      loss of a father or mother, no matter how much we love our gay parents or how
      much they love us.”

      • “These children feel the loss keenly because they
      are powerless to stop the decision to deprive them of a father or mother, and
      the absence of a male or female parent will likely be irreversible for them.”

      • “They feel shame or guilt for resenting their loving
      parents for forcing them into a lifelong situation lacking a parent of one

      • “…having a mom and a dad is a precious value in its own right and not something that can be overridden, even if a gay couple has lots of money, can send a kid to the
      best schools, and raises the kid to be an Eagle Scout.”

      • “Putting aside all the historical analogies to civil
      rights and the sentimental platitudes about love, the fact is that same-sex
      parenting suffers from insurmountable logistical problems for which children
      pay the steepest lifelong price.”

      • “It is unconscionable to deliberately force a state of deprivation on innocent children.”

      – Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez, “Justice Kennedy’s 40,000 Children,” and an amicus
      brief submitted to the Supreme Court, written with Doug Mainwaring

      For articles that debunk the recent Australian study which erroneously claimed that children raised in same-sex homes fair better than those in heterosexual homes, see:

      • greenpointguy

        Regnerus’ study was put on trial in the Michigan Federal Court:

        On cross-examination by the ACLU’s Leslie Cooper, Regnerus’ testimony quickly broke down. Cooper forced Regnerus to admit that he had sought to conceal the role of conservative funders and of his religious faith in influencing his research, both of which were later revealed with smoking gun evidence from his prior words. He acknowledged that he was “not a fan of same sex marriage” before he started his research and that his opposition to it was not primarily based on his research conclusions. And he had to concede that he had singled out gay couples in opposing their right to marry based on alleged family instability: Aware that African-Americans, the poor, step-families and divorced people are all at higher statistical risk of marital collapse and family instability, he nonetheless had no strong opinion on whether those folks should be banned from marrying—just gays, strongly suggesting his views are rooted in bias above all.

        Judge Friedman didn’t fall for any of it. “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration,” he wrote in what must be one of the most stinging and decisive repudiations of an expert witness in memory. He cited evidence that the conservative research was “hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder” which clearly expressed its wish for skewed results. Dismissing the defense’s other witnesses just as strongly, the judge wrote that “The Court was unable to accord the testimony of Marks, Price, and Allen any significant weight.” He concluded that “The most that can be said of these witnesses’ testimony is that the ‘no differences’ consensus has not been proven with scientific certainty, not that there is any credible evidence showing that children raised by same-sex couples fare worse than those raised by heterosexual couples.”

        • Steve Ingino

 you’re listening to an activist judge with an agenda. He had no credentials in social science or statistical analysis. What your article failed to note is that Regenerus was cleared of all claims made by homosexual activists that his study was flawed.

          The last link here explains the facts and shows documentation from the university.

          • greenpointguy

            Flat-out wrong. Regnerus compared intact male/female families with broken male/female families where one partner had a subsequent same-sex relationship. Apples and oranges and you know it.

            Even the University of Texas rescinded its support of the study.

            “Activist” judge…LOL…so all of the 30+ state, federal and circuit court judges who have found these bans unconstitutional are “activist”?? Do you realize how silly that makes you look?

          • Steve Ingino

            Hi again. I don’t have time to get into all the details, but if you will read the links on the page I sent you, you will see that actually Regnerus compared same-sex couples but since there were so few who stayed together longer than 3 years, he had to also use those who had a previous same-sex relationship, etc. But, please keep in mind that before Regnerus’ study and after it, the same results were found. Children in same-sex homes fair worse in almost every category. I have read the study, but it looks like you’re just taking sound bites from the site the gay activists setup against Regnerus. There is much more to this and again, the link I shared has some key articles on the “back and forth.”

            As far as UT Austin, there was an independent agency which investigated the claims against Mark. That agency found Mark’s study credible and the university issued a confirming statement. Only after the radical homosexual agenda pressured the university with their big money did they issue another statement which sounds like it was drafted by the LGTB community.

            Either way, we know from God’s Word that children are conceived by a mother and a father, children need a mother and a father for the best outcome in life, and if God wanted two men or two women to conceive He would’ve given them that ability. As it stands, Scripture and science show that children are conceived and raised by a man and a woman, a mother and a father, and no social experiment can contradict that.

            To your other point – yes in those other states they were activist judges. Are you forgetting that in all but 2 of those states, the PEOPLE never voted in support of SSM but voted against same-sex marriage. Therefore the judges LEGISLATED FROM THE BENCH to overrule the will of the people, which is the definition of an activist judge (we’ve seen this from California to Virginia and in between). In all those states the judges either bowed to political correctness, abandoned the will of the people, or were pressured by radical activists. And the case for their stance was flimsy at best.

            Their actions were not in line with the law – there’s a reason why we have a legislature which makes laws and judges who enforce them. But again, I don’t think we will agree here since you don’t seem to care what God’s Word says about the sin of homosexuality and God’s design for marriage between a man and a woman and children’s need for a mother and a father (and the gov’t should not officially endorse a system which intentionally excluded a mother or a father. Divorce or single moms is one issue, but a state-endorsement for intentionally excluding a mother and a father is not only wrong, but apples and orange).

            One other point – what a judge decides doesn’t prove it’s true. For instance, most judges approve of abortion. Are we to believe that even though Scripture and science prove that abortion is murder, that because 30 judges approve of it, it is no longer murder? That is the logic behind your statement. If 30 judges say something is right or moral or constitutional, then it must be constitutional? I don’t think so. Truth is truth. Facts are facts regardless of the interpretations or agendas of man.

            Furthermore, some of the greatest lawyers hav articulated great statements on the unconstitutionality of same-sex marriage, and Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion in the latest issue surround DOMA is agreed upon by some of the top minds in the country. Let’s not forget that Scalia is a brilliant judge. But no matter what he says, God’s Word remains true. So, whether a position is in the minority or majority, what matters is the merits of the arguments, not how many hold to one view or another.

            I hope you will turn to God’s Word and submit to His will and wisdom, and see that the sin of homosexuality is hurting America and same-sex marriage not only defaces the picture of the gospel (Christ and the Church, Eph. 5) but damages marriages and children. For the documentation on that, you can search online. As the counterfeit is pushed (SSM), the real deal loses values – we’ve seen this in many other countries. It’s well-documented. You can hear the citations in the 4 part series I mentioned in my original post.

  • jerry

    My wife and married 53 years two biological and 3 adopted children. Strangely enough when gays and lesbians started getting married it had absolutely no effect on our life. Minding ones own house (business) is a good thing.

    • I understand that. But a government has to regulate marriage–they can’t just say, “hey, whoever wants to call themselves married, go for it.” Well, I suppose they could say that, but I think that would have a harmful affect on society in the long-term. Its amazingly short sighted to say that if the government wants to legislatively redefine a family, as long as it doesn’t directly affect me, it wont’ affect others.

  • Gertrude

    What do I say to the person who tells me I am anti-gay just because I believe marriage is between and man and a woman?

    • That you do think homosexuality is a sin, but it is a sin that can be forgiven through faith in Jesus. But that is a separate discussion from what marriage policy is best in a country.

      • greenpointguy

        Not really, thus the conclusion by courts from the SCOTUS on down that anti-gay animus is the real driver behind the marriage bans.

        I suggest you YouTube the floor speeches on DOMA from 1996. You’ll see that the “it’s about the children” argument really didn’t exist yet (it wasn’t necessary, as it was still socially acceptable to bash gays publicly). Those speeches fairly drip with anti-gay animus and hate.

        Finally, please name one significant person or organization who is against same-sex marriage, yet 100% okay with homosexuality.

        • Gay republicans? I have seen floor speeches from 96. My fav. was Hillary’s.
          I can’t speak for others, but my argument is that the government has an obligation to pass laws protect the national good…but I don’t want to repreach my post here!

          • greenpointguy

            Hillary’s did not drip with hate.

          • Right. And she voted for the law. So there is that.

          • greenpointguy

            Right. It was pure politics, of course. The nation was in full re-election mode, and the GOP knew they had Clinton over a barrell with DOMA. He couldn’t vote his conscience, as the public wasn’t with him yet. I may agree with their politics, but I never said Bill and Hillary aren’t died-in-the-wool politicians! LOL. P.S. Gay Republicans are now on board with Marriage Equality.

          • I’m having a hard time following you here. Your first point was that only reason to vote for DOMA was gay animus–then told me to see the speeches. I point out that Clinton (as well as others) made speeches w/o animus, and you say your second point: That was political.
            So, which way are we going to argue this: is animus the only reason to have been in favor of DOMA (and thus Clinton and other must have had it), or are there political reasons to be for traditional marriage? And if there are, am I allowed to be part of that political process?

  • kanehau

    Just because you say “God created marriage” does not make it true.

    You can’t even prove that any gods exist at all.

    Stop forcing you sky-monkey beliefs on others.

    • Thats fine. But my question here is who created marriage then. Who gets to define it and how. You say “not God.” Fine. Who then? Legislatures? Judges? Votes? Or are you content just to say, “Not God, so no such thing as marriage?”

      • kanehau

        In the USA, the Government is what issues marriage certificates, not the church.
        Secondly, historically marriage has not always been “1 man and 1 woman”. Even the bible has “man with many women, man with slaves, etc”.

        • We agree here. Did I say anywhere the church issues marriage licences? I’m saying that the government does, and that the government does so based on what is best for the national interests.
          In the OT there was marraige with slaves, polygamy, etc. Sanctioned by the gov. In our country there has not been. Recently judges started striking down state laws on marriage. I’m saying that they are making the wrong move, and that marriage b/w 2 people of opposite genders is better than marriage involving a slave, multiple wives (your 2 examples) or 2 people of same gender. Apparently you agree with 2/3 of that.

          • kanehau

            Since marriage is not only about birthing children – but also things like the ability to share resources, protection over sickness/death of a loved one, etc… there is no reason to deny marriage between two same sex couples.
            I challenge you to point to ONE instance where ‘straight marriage’ has been negatively impacted by ‘gay marriage’ – in any state that has legalized it.
            Secondly, if you want to deny equality to gay people, then I suggest you tell straight people to stop having gay babies (after all, where do you think we come from?)

          • I deleted your comment because it wasn’t at all interacting with my reply to you. Feel free to interact, start a new comment, or tap out.

          • Mom in MN

            So what about your statement “Fortunately, if any view is biblical, it will also be beneficial to
            society”? So, you think that Marriage with slaves and polygamy is beneficial to society? Do you also believe that if a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die?

          • Marriage to slaves in some cases beneficial (if there are safe guards to ensure voluntary nature of it). Even in the US, many slaves were denied the ability to marry people they would have wanted to, and that is wrong.
            I don’t think that the death penalty for adultery is appropriate today.
            Let me be clear though: I do agree with you that there are comparisons between SSM and polygomy. I’m really surprised that SSM supporters are the ones that are making that comparison though, because it reinforces the idea that government should draw lines about marriage.

          • Mom in MN

            “I don’t think that the death penalty for adultery is appropriate
            today.” It’s interesting that you feel like you can opine on which
            biblical views are appropriate for today and which are not.

            you missed my point … I’m not making a comparison between SSM and
            polygamy. I’m pointing out that there are many commandments and prohibitions in
            the Bible that have been abandoned by our society; some long ago,
            and some more recently. I could have chosen some examples that seem
            more bizarre by today’s standards (imposing the death penalty on people
            who mix wool and cotton clothing or curse their parents), but you’re
            smart enough to know that.

            I am Believer who respects the Bible,
            and it forms the foundation of my beliefs and the principles by which I
            try to live. However, I have little patience for those who use the Bible
            as the foundation for their public cries against others’ freedoms. You
            have the right to speak out against homosexuals, but you should include the admission
            that you’re picking and choosing which parts of the Bible are important
            to you.

          • Unfortunately you’ve failed to understand the way that God has dealt with His people throughout history; i.e., through the administrations of covenants that may change from age to age.

            This post will help you understand why it’s not a matter of “opining” when Jesse says the death penalty is not appropriate for adultery today, and why it’s not inconsistent to both (a) not adopt the Mosaic Law as the civil law of the United States while at the same time (b) insisting that what’s biblical is best for society.

            Please take the time to read it.

    • George

      You can’t even prove that my God doesn’t exist.

      • kanehau

        You make the claim – the proof is on you.

        However, as a scientist – nothing we have ever discovered about our universe so far (including current hypothosis for universe creation) requires a deity to explain.
        Everything can be explained by natural processes.

        Well – to be correct, one hypothesis for universe creation does indeed have a creator, though it is not a deity (that would be Simulation Hypothesis).

  • George Fox

    It’s just not true to say that almost everyone grants that children do better with a mom and dad around. The American Psychological Association, who you claim agrees with that point, in fact says just the opposite. Here’s what the APA actually says: “Overall, results of research suggest that the development, adjustment,
    and well-being of children with lesbian and gay parents do not differ
    markedly from that of children with heterosexual parents.” ( You are entitled to disagree with that conclusion — though if you read the research thoroughly, I don’t know how you could — but don’t misrepresent what the APA’s position is.

    • I did read through it, as thoroughly as possible (for me), as well as the summaries that others made about of it. I noted that it was “more complicated.” That sentence that you quoted above just does not mesh with my understanding of the rest of the study, and has the appearance of being stapled on in a PC fashion. And I’m not alone in that sense either. There was even a NYT oped about that as well.

      • Others elsewhere on this thread are really hashing out that study, and showing that despite that sentence you quote, there is much more there in the study that was not friendly to the SSM agenda.

  • Dave

    Jesse, thanks for the reasoned responses and biblical leadership you continue to demonstrate. I greatly appreciate that it is neither “the court of public opinion” nor “the marketplace of ideas” which determine “sin.” Legality, conventional “wisdom,” or social norms, perhaps, but not what “sin” is. Also, thanks for continuing to show and preach God’s love through Christ to all of us who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

  • kevin2184

    Thanks Jesse. Great post as usual.

  • tovlogos

    Rock solid, Jesse — and fresh.

    “Thus same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, and represents a sinful attack on the identity of marriage.” (as God defines marriage) There’s the linch pin.

    Moreover, The idea of denying a child the opportunity of experiencing both genders is breathtaking robbery.

  • Corey Firepony

    There is no evidence to back any of your claims. Nor are your claims anything new, and several federal judges have seen through the smoke screen (even highly conservative, religious judges).

    • No evidence to back my claim that it takes two genders to produce a child?

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  • BFJ

    I would like to politely disagree. I’d like to start with “what is biblical is good or beneficial to society” and to connect that with “marriage comes from God”: While I respect these views as being your religious conviction, unfortunately our government cannot make a decision based on these convictions. Moreover, marriage is a construct of humans and human law, which existed long before the coming of Christ, and which has been defined *as we now know it in Western society* by the Christian Church (mostly pre-Reformation, so let’s just stick with Church in this instance). We have a strict separation of Church and State, so I’m sorry but any argument that has “God/The Bible says this is right/why” automatically loses potency when it comes to government regulation/legislation.

    Secondly, I take great umbrage with the author’s assumption that same-sex couples can’t create a family, and eliding of the fact that studies show that children do better with two parents, not necessarily just a mother and a father. Granting the author’s declaration that marriage is regulated by government to promote healthy families (which I don’t necessarily agree with, but for the sake of this point will just grant), there is also great psychological harm being caused to the children of same-sex couples by not allowing their parents to marry. You’re telling these children that *don’t* belong to a family. For a very well-articulated and researched explanation of this general point, see Judge Posner’s recent opinion ruling Wisconsin and Indiana’s bans on same-sex marriage:…/judge_richard_posner_s_gay… (the opinion is linked in the second paragraph, and the article summarizing/analyzing is also worth reading) Judge Posner’s opinion also touches on the fact that there are plenty of heterosexual couples who willfully enter a marriage with no intention of having children–a point which I think was also well articulated by Johnny below.

    The point about marriage traditionally being defined as between a man and a woman is also a failing argument, because traditions, words, and concepts change over time. That’s just the nature of the world. “This is the way we’ve always done it” is not a valid argument–you must explain *why* keeping it the old way is the best and/or Constitutionally valid. And in this instance I believe that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is a social harm (hurting same-sex couples and families) and unconstitutional (it is, by its very nature, discrimination for no other reason than that it offends some people’s religious convictions).

    The point about religious liberty being encroached upon, to me, is the only potentially semi-valid point in the entire article, and only because of the specific argument being made (the typical, “redefining marriage by the government destroys the religious/traditional conception of marriage and thereby restricts my liberty to define it otherwise” is specious). The case of the church being fined for not allowing a same-sex marriage on their property is intriguing, but ends up not holding water when you actually read through the information about it. It is important to note that the couple was not asking to be married in the church itself, but a pavilion at an outdoor compound associated with the church. From my scan of the judge’s opinion, there are several details which jump out and which were not included in the original article linked in this author’s piece: 1. The same-sex couple were residents of the community on which the pavilion is located, 2. the compound is not technically church property, it’s owned by an organization closely associated with the church, 3. The organization’s tax-exempt status was granted with the explicit agreement by the organization that the pavilion and other grounds would be available for public use without exception.

    In other words, this is not, actually, the restriction of religious liberty–at least not in the way purported by the author. This group, not the church itself, had agreed to provide access to the facilities to anyone and everyone, without any exceptions whatsoever, as a necessary condition of their tax-exempt status (if you read the section on page 2 which addresses this point, there was actually concern at the time of the application that they would discriminate, and the organization specifically said that they wouldn’t). The statute they were found to be in violation of holds that any place made publicly available (which this facility was as a pre-condition of its tax-exempt status), must not discriminate based on same-sex orientation. By refusing to conduct the same-sex marriage, thereby denying someone of same-sex orientation equal access, they were in violation of the statute. Moreover, when they violated that condition of the tax-exempt provision, they logically and rightfully lost their tax-exempt status–the church itself was not actually effected at all, and I personally have not heard about *churches themselves* being fined or sanctioned for refusing to celebrate same-sex marriages (and the author doesn’t cite any sources for the other examples)–from my understanding such an act would, in fact, be an infringement on religious liberty. You see, churches and other places of worship are not facilities made publicly available, they are private institutions. So my guess is that the cases being referenced by the author are similar to the NJ one, in which it is an associated organization which explicitly agreed to some equal access/treatment clause which they then violated. The difference is between public and private places, a distinction which has been recognized going back to the earliest days of the republic–the government has the right to infringe on what would normally be considered private rights for an institution that is in the public sphere. (Judge’s opinion:

    • Thanks for your careful reply. My point about “What is biblical is also beneficial” wasn’t meant so much as an argument to non-christians about why they should refrain from changing marriage, as much as an argument to Christians as why they should not fear making their case using secular language. I do grant that it was confusing how I said it though.

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