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WASHINGTON (RNS) What a difference 10 years makes.

(RNS) Supporters of gay marriage rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27, 2013 as the court heard a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom.

(RNS) Supporters of gay marriage rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27, 2013, as the court hears a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage. Six months later, with dire warnings about schoolchildren being forced to read “Heather Has Two Mommies” and threats of legalized polygamy, so-called “values voters” passed bans on same-sex marriage in 11 states and ushered George W. Bush to another four years in the White House.

Fast-forward to 2014, and the cultural and legal landscape could hardly be more different. Today, 19 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, and federal courts have struck down bans in 11 more states. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages after ditching a central portion of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act last year, and 44 percent of Americans now live in states that allow same-sex marriage.

After four same-sex couples filed suit Wednesday (May 21) challenging Montana’s ban on same-sex marriage, neighboring North Dakota is the only state that isn’t facing a challenge to its gay marriage ban — at least not yet.

So what changed? The issue is far from settled — and some conservatives insist that it never will be — but pro-gay groups clearly have the momentum. Here’s why:

1. Rapid cultural shifts

The culture changed faster than conservatives thought possible. Led by the popular gay characters on “Will & Grace” and “Glee,” gays and lesbians are more visible in public life, and Americans are growing increasingly comfortable with that. A generation ago, coming out as gay was a career-killer; now it’s almost trendy.

gene robinson

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson gives the invocation on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009, to begin the Welcoming Ceremony for Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Religion News Service photo by David Jolkovski


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Within religion, the 2003 election of openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson dramatically shifted the conversation about gays in leadership, and Presbyterians and Lutherans voted to allow gay clergy with barely a shrug. The wildly popular Pope Francis changed the tenor of the discussion by famously asking “Who am I to judge?” as his church struggles to reclaim its moral credibility on sexual ethics in the wake of the clergy abuse scandal.

Coupled with an aggressive campaign targeted at gays and lesbians to come out to their families and colleagues, America now has innumerable friends, co-workers, celebrities, siblings and children that are the new face of the gay movement. And that, says Evan Wolfson of New York-based Freedom to Marry, carries more weight than any court ruling or legislative vote.

“There’s no question that popular culture and celebrities and religious figures who speak out create the air cover for the ground game of personal conversations,” said Wolfson, whose group has been at the forefront of the legal fights over marriage. “And that is what really closed the deal.”

2. An ally in the White House

It’s hard to overestimate the power of a bully pulpit, and there’s no bigger microphone than the chief executive’s. While President Obama may be the country’s first black president, he will also be remembered as the most pro-gay occupant of the Oval Office — even if it took him time to get there.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 25, 2011.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 25, 2011. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, photo courtesy of the White House via Flickr


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Obama’s White House shaped the cultural narrative around gay rights by ending the 17-year Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military. Like Obama, millions of Americans reached the same conclusion: If gay men and women can die for their country, why shouldn’t they be allowed to get married? And if it’s OK for the military, why not for everyone else?

Perhaps most significantly, Obama’s Justice Department dropped its defense of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, concluding that the federal ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Attorney General Eric Holder encouraged state attorneys general to do the same, and when the attorneys general in Pennsylvania and Oregon followed Holder’s advice, federal courts swiftly struck down bans in both states.

“No one defended the law in court,” fumed Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, the Catholic bishops’ point man on same-sex marriage. “Is this justice, or just a farce?”

Whatever it was, it worked for the gay rights side.

“If we would have known 10 years ago that the rule of law would no longer be in play, maybe we would have had a different strategy,” added Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who accused Obama of “unleashing lawlessness on the country.”

A Baptist minister from Virginia shares his support for same-sex marriage outside the Supreme Court on March 26, 2013. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

A Baptist minister from Virginia shares his support for same-sex marriage outside the Supreme Court on March 26, 2013. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

3. A problem of overreach

Starting with the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, conservative activists concluded that the only solution to stopping gay marriage was a nationwide ban. A federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage has languished in Congress for years — and now Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, calls such a strategya politically ridiculous thing to talk about right now.”

In addition, conservative groups resisted moves to compromise on a half-measure like civil unions; Perkins’ organization calls civil unions nothing more than “a slow-motion surrender.” And that, said veteran gay marriage proponent Jonathan Rauch, was a critical mistake.

“They set an impossible goal for themselves by saying from day one that the goal of success would be not one gay marriage on not one square inch of American soil, and that was never going to happen,” said Rauch, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

That, in turn, only strengthened the resolve of gay rights groups, even if it meant passing gay marriage state by state, or mounting legal challenges one ban at a time.

“I don’t think a lot of gay people are really in a mood to say ‘Let’s meet the other side halfway’ because the other side has never been interested in meeting us halfway,” Rauch said.

A Westboro Baptist Church sign holder, left, and gay marriage supporter spread their messages outside the Supreme Court on March 26, 2013. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

A Westboro Baptist Church sign holder, left, and a gay marriage supporter spread their messages outside the Supreme Court on March 26, 2013. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

4. Religious influence rises — and falls

In 2004, popular support for same-sex marriage was stuck in the low 30s. According to the latest Gallup Poll released this week, that number is now at 55 percent. It’s now rare to see a poll that finds only minority support for gay marriage.

But another poll number may be more telling about the underlying cultural shift: A decade ago, 71 percent of Americans said religion was “increasing its influence” on American life. Today, nearly the exact opposite is true — 77 percent of Americans say religion is “losing its influence” on public life.

In short, Americans have concluded that while marriage may well be a sacred institution, couples tying the knot have to seek a marriage license at the courthouse, not the altar. With the moral influence of organized religion on the wane, more Americans have decided that there’s a difference between marriage rights — and all the legal and financial benefits that go with them — and matrimonial rites.

“Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage,” federal Judge John E. Jones III ruled in striking down Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban. “However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.”

5. ‘Hateful and bigoted’

Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing proponents of traditional marriage was a negative image that they were never able to overcome. While chafing at comparisons to racism and Jim Crow laws, the matriarch of the traditional marriage movement, Maggie Gallagher, concedes that her side has been labeled as “hateful and bigoted.” It’s no accident that opponents of Proposition 8 — the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California — adopted the logo of “No H8T.”

Randy Hite holds a gay pride flag during a rally celebrating the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling at Ilus W. Davis Park in Kansas City, Mo. on Wednesday (June 26).  RNS photo by Sally Morrow

Randy Hite holds a gay pride flag during a rally celebrating the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling at Ilus W. Davis Park in Kansas City, Mo., on June 26, 2013. RNS photo by Sally Morrow


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Some conservative activists say they brought it on themselves.

“There was the evangelical belligerence, often, in the last generation that spoke, for instance, about the gay agenda, in which there was this picture, almost as though there is a group of super villains in a lair, plotting somewhere the downfall of the family,” Moore told a gathering of journalists in March.

Conservatives also weathered a host of guilt-by-association charges, which were equally hard to dislodge. In Arizona, a bill that supporters said would protect religious freedom was conveyed as license to turn gays away from public businesses. Evangelical opposition to homosexuality was exported to Africa, which took the form of harsh laws to jail or even sentence to death known homosexuals.

In short, it was no longer popular or politically correct to stand against popular culture and a swiftly changing popular opinion.

“They showed no compassion for gay people, they didn’t offer any substitutes like protecting gay families or gay kids,” Rauch said. “That lack of compassion came through. It took a little while to register, but the American public does not like lack of compassion.”

YS/MG END ECKSTROM

 

 

 

134 Comments

  1. …6. Legal examination. The decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) opened legal and political floodgates in a way which made marriage equality more likely. By permanently taking laws off the books which criminalized gay relations, one could no longer say in some states that gay marriage would be encouraging criminal acts. DOMA could never have existed, if not for a history of criminalizing gays.

    It made it easier for gays to assert custody rights for their children. The decision took much of the “rational basis” out of laws discriminating against gays in all sorts of fields. This laid the groundwork for the recent federal court decisions. No longer could a ban on gay marriage be given a “rational basis” analysis. The lack of rational and secular interests of such bans became clearer for the courts to discern.

    …7. Our wars: Wars always help move civil liberties agendas along. The detriments of discrimination become all apparent in such situations.

    Removing DADT had as much to do with dealing with moribund recruiting and slow disintegration of military manpower as it did with civil liberties. Incentives are pretty dire to join the military given the almost certain guarantee of being sent to a war zone. Having a group of people willing to join and serve only to turn them away was becoming counter productive. DADT also encouraged soldiers to be dishonest with their fellows and leaders. This created unnecessary stresses to people already dealing with the rigors of war.

    …8 Polarization of religious based politics:
    Civil Rights groups threw themselves into support of marriage equality rather quickly in the early “aughts”. The influence of African American and Latino churches on such groups has waned considerably. Many of those churches have embraced conservative politics, typically at odds with civil rights groups. Whereas 2 generations ago the churches were at the forefront of civil rights activism, now they are some of its leading opponents. Social justice giving way to sectarian mundane concerns as well as easier access to political power. Churches could call upon greater political clout by supporting discriminatory conservatives than joining with the polyglot of liberal groups.

        • Trust me. He neither seeks nor requires your approval. It’s the marriage license that counts. That’s the only thing that matters. Your acceptance is irrelevant.

          Nearly half of American citizens now live in marriage equality states and that’s going to get a whole lot bigger. Yet, no traditional marriage has been affected and we haven’t run out of marriage licenses.

          • I can say that the sun rises in the west in the US and every single person could agree with me and it still wouldn’t make it true.

            My acceptance or yours is irrelevant.

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Sorry, Frank, your lack of acceptance of the over 750,000 legally married American same gender couples won’t change anything. There are just too few anti-gays even to get your Hate Votes on the ballots now.

          • But, you are degrading the society not uplifting it. You are adding to the divorce rate, adding to the disease rate, adding to the turmoil in society. What if everyone becomes like you and stop manufacturing procreation? The human race would become extinct. Do you understand this?

      • Wonderful response. I skimmed the rest of the comments. Sometimes it’s better to ignore rigidity after giving it one response. Just gets your blood pressure up. Like arguing with a wall. Blessings to you and your husband.

      • We will never win. Despite my thoughts on what i have learned from religious teachings, to people like Frank, we will never be real.

        Despite having many a friend tell me that I am a wonderful person, people like Frank and Doc do not even really see us as people. To them, our love is false, our emotions are acted, and the men we ourselves love will only be seen as the dysfunctional males of the world.

        I have spent most of my life understanding that I am not worth living because of people like him. People that spread for so long that the world needs their approval. They stand on the boundaries of our foundation in Pursuit of Happiness and say “No. You’re the exception. My religion and my beliefs dictate that despite freedom of religion, or religious vacancy, you cannot be happy. You cannot live free. You are not a person so cannot truly love.” These people that say their belief is true and must dictate others because it is their own and must be used to govern. Because of people like him, we cannot be American people. We cannot be free. We cannot be free to love and make an oath to the men we love that we shall stand with them. It makes me so very tired. Tired of living in this world that will never see me as a person. A place that only views me as dysfunctional creature. A place that is filled with the bonds of mental servitude. Where I could not be permitted truly live free and not be ashamed. Living where I’m silent because I am viewed as a dirty thing. Where someone is so comfortable to look at you and say “He’s not your husband. Despite the promise you made and the vigil you shall both hold to protect, nurture, and live only for each other and to the service of God to spread the love that was so professed, you’re love is not real and your oaths are false.”

        This place is so mean. Religion has become mean. Saying that I am the death of America. It’s so strange to hear because they say we’ve corrupted the world with acceptance. Yet, all the while we existed behind closed doors. Still in the same number but hiding in shadows to be killed when discovered. Now, we are simply trying to wash away the dirt that has been spread upon us, screaming out “Our love is real!”

        That’s really all we want. Accept our love. Accept that our love for the men we have fell so deeply in love with is real. Accept that we are real.

        But you won’t. I’ve learned this with time. So I shall go back to my bed. Hold the man that’s there as if I shall never see him again, and tell him he is beautiful. And one day, I hope to wake up and find that I can love.

      • Larry, from what I have read so far, I would have no problem nominating Frank to the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s concise and correct.

        (By the way, I also wouldn’t have any problem nominating Mr. Gay Marriage In-Chief Obama, to the Federal ADX Supermax Prison!)

        • Liberty Law School may take him. They love fundies and have very low standards.

          A better alternative would be an appointee under George W. Bush who has twice shown that rule of law and our Constitution trumps religious dishonest blathering: John E. Jones III.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Jones_III

          In 2005 in the “Dover” case, he tore Creationists a new sphincter when their alleged expert witnesses were exposed as being mendacious and vacant.

          2 days ago, he put the marriage equality ban in its rightful grave with this nice little epitaph:
          “same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection”

          Doc, do you also go by the name “Uncle Ruckus”?

          • Actually, Judge Jones was torn a new one when he found to be a judicial activist — he even admitted as much on the Lehrer Newshour back in 2007.

            The bum gave the evolutionists what they wanted, but in the process he proved himself to be an inaccurate and biased fraud as a Federal judge. He has not been able to (and is not likely to) overcome the damage to his reputation.

            I didn’t even know the bum had made any public statements about the gay marriage mess. He needs to forget that issue and work on repairing his ruined credibility as a so-called judge.

          • Doc, let me tell you a little secret, if the Creationists had a case, they would have appealed it. The fact that they didn’t meant the Judge was exactly right in describing the Creationists as lacking any merit whatsoever. They were the only fraud there.

            You can moan about “activist judges” all you want, but the system has methods of getting around wonky judges or bias. They can appeal to a higher court. Cretiinsts had the money to pay for such things. What they didn’t have is an ounce of rational support and evidence for their position. All you are doing is showing your own bias and ignorance over a decision that you didn’t like.

            On a side note, if not for “activist judges”, you would still be using “Colored only” public facilities in some states. :)

    • The fellow who wrote the article also failed to mention most Lutheran synods and church bodies
      unlike the one he mentioned x communicate homosexual members when and if there found out.. they not only not allow there pastors to be homosexual the members cant be either..

      • Once again everyone could agree that something is true but if it is t it doesn’t make it so. We live in a country that is continuing to lose moral focus. Thankfully God wins in the end and His Will will reign.

      • The only way gays can legalize their gay-marriage mess is to hire dubious so-called “federal judges” (and I mean dubious ALL the way!!!) to impose their will on an entire state and disenfranchise every single voter in that state.

        The Gay Gestapo is winning, but it is every bit as immoral, unethical, and vile as their Third Reich namesakes.

        • Too bad you slept through civics. We live in a constitutional republic. Majority votes can’t be used to disenfranchise minorities. The equal protection clause of the Constitution exists for a reason.

    • Frank, who died and made you the Supreme Legal Ajudicator? The RCC used to say that the Sun circled the Earth, didn’t make that true. You are part of a sad minority, Frank, one that is trying to desperately hold on to 16th century more and values. Same-sex marriage exists and you will never change that. Go crawl back under the rock from which you came with all the other archaic thinkers.

  2. 6. Despite insisting that gay marriage has consequences nobody has found any. http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/2014/05/ryan-anderson-writes-more-fiction-on.html

    No one can point to Massachusetts and say “see, this is what happens when we permit homosexuals to marry.” The divorce rate (one of the lowest in the country) has actually decreased over the last ten years.

    • The slippery slope argument as to “leading to polygamy” is equally silly.
      No place on earth has both marriage equality and polygamy legal. The boosters for both are on the opposite ends of the cultural spectrum.

      • Except that since gay marriage has become passé, the media portray polygamy as the next frontier. And logically it would come next. Because if gender is irrelevant to marriage, why is the number 2 special?

  3. The AmeriKan Christian industry has been loud and clear. They don’t like the gays. After experiencing their bigotry in Jeb Bush’s Florida, and having our rights snatched away at the behest of the Christian industry in 2008, the feeling is mutual. I really dislike Christianity, quite passionately actually, and I wasn’t born this way. If I could ban it, I would.

          • I would think it would be behoove the anti-gay side to move from anger of who they can not control to focus on what they can control within their own lives. ~

            Either our collective minds & tolerance’s will grow with our hearts or your mind will explode with anger from these inevitable changes

          • I am not angry. Just sad that people are willingly rejecting Gods Will and even celebrating it. So very tragic.

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Get real, Frank, of course you’re angry, you had two MAJOR defeats this week alone, in Oregon and Pennsylvania.

            Anti-gays can’t even be honest about themselves.

          • Poor carrot cake man. Doesn’t even realize that the defeat he is talking about is his own and all those that deny and reject Gods plan for sexuality, romance and marriage.

      • Daniel Berry, NYC

        you mean God’s perfect plan as represented in the polygamist marriages of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – to say nothing of Solomon’s 700 wives and 1000 concubines? Is that what you mean by “God’s perfect plan”?

        Read up on where the sons if Israel came from for starters, and then work you way back to Abraham and how his wife “gave him” her maid.

        Perfect plan. What balderdash.

        • Not to mention all those Baptists and other conservative holding marriages for divorced people even though Jesus, who never talked about homosexuality, called a remarriage “adultery”.

          Gotta love the hypocrisy from these “Christians”.

    • I tell you what if you think Lutherans are in for the gay stuff just try joining one of these

      Lutheran synods after you tell them your gay
      and you will always insist on being gay because you think its ok..

      the first synod to try joining after you tell them that would be the

      http://www.evangelicallutheransynod.org/

      next try it on this larger Lutheran synod
      www.wels.net

      and if you still think Lutherans are in for the gay stuff try it on this synod..
      http://clclutheran.org/

    • Though to be fair, the Metropolitan Community Church was doing commitment ceremonies as early as 1969 and filed an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking legal recognition of those marriages in 1970. And that entire denomination was behind that effort, while the UCC wasn’t unified when it came to LGBT inclusion even though the national UCC church was fairly LGBT friendly for a Christian denomination.

      So there’s that.

      • And this is why any remark you make about religious liberty will always be a steaming pile of horsecrap.

        You obviously do not want to recognize religious beliefs besides your own, so obviously you have no clue what it would mean to have the right of free exercise of religion.

        • Oh, I’ve always said that YOUR belief is a religion, Larry.

          YOUR religion is a negative religion, a bad religion, an irrational religion, a quicksand religion, a cult religion, a one-way ticket to Hades, but definitely a religion all the same. Thus it’s worthy of First Amendment rights for the unfortunate victims who get bogged down in the mess.

          There you go! Your religious freedoms are now defended. Does that sound better?

          • I am not the one saying, “they aren’t a real church”, “they aren’t a real religion”, denying the religious beliefs of others. That is all you.

            I understand you have religious beliefs. I just think they are stupid and hateful. But I do not deny it is religious.

      • CarrotCakeMan

        Is this forum really moderated? “Doc” posts vicious attacks against any church that won’t help him hurt LGBT Americans. Does “Doc” really post within the guidelines here? I don’t see that.

        • @CarrotCakeMan,

          Please – I agree with all of your posts but…
          Please do not encourage censorship or the flagging of posts.

          Let those awful posts remain!
          Let the emperor stand there without his clothes naked and dumb and completely foolish – it only makes YOU LOOK BETTER !!!

          And we need to let the contrast sink in. Because these posts do not have an edit feature the blunderbuss must sit there and take the punishment he/she deserves.

          The only remedy for bad speech – is MORE SPEECH!!

        • Are you saying that only atheists like Larry and gays like yourself get to criticize churches, CCM?

          You guys have done PLENTY of criticizing churches and Christians around here, (the ones whose positions you don’t agree with!), so you may want to stop playing the hypocrite for a moment, and remember that thing about the residents of glass houses.

          YOU insist on saying what you wanna say in this forum, so you might want to look hard in the mirror before trying to restrict other posters’ freedom to do the same!

          • We all get to criticize any belief and church I want to without worry. Nobody is above criticism.

            What we don’t get to do is deny the existence of a church or faith. They are what they are. They exist no matter what we feel about them.

            I accept you have religious beliefs and may belong to a church. I may think its beliefs are silly, but they are still a church. You do not do the same to CCM.

  4. My question are:
    1. Why the marriage though. Especially in an age where civil unions rather legal marriages have become the norm? Is there a point to be made in the legalization?

    2. Why deliberately involve the Church? People can walk to any court and get married, and be happy forever after. Why the emphasis on challenging the clergy or boxing them into a corner against state laws?

    Comment:
    I am not sure that opposition was exported to Africa. The split of the Anglican Church (Episcopal) shows too strong a stand to be foreign influenced.

    • for #1: Because civil unions ARE NOT the equivalent of marriage, They are an inherently inferior status under various laws and lack the legal and cultural recognition of marriage. A “separate but equal” never exists. Marriage equality meets a given need, creates equitable situations for couples and families and has no rational or secular objections which need to be taken into consideration under the law.

      You would not be discussing the benefits of civil union if you didn’t consider it inferior to marriage. Besides, the anti-marriage equality crowd thought even civil unions recognized under the law was too objectionable. So as the author mentioned, why should anyone bother to meet them halfway if they aren’t going to budge an inch. That ship has sailed.

      As for #2, No church is obligated to consecrate a gay marriage. Anything you heard to the contrary is pure fiction. It is a phony ignorant dishonest argument.

      The question is not why we should have marriage equality it is whether there are rational and secular arguments against it. Objections that demand to be taken seriously. Religious belief, custom and tradition don’t cut it.

      • Frank, if you read the article in its entirety, you would know how much your beliefs and comments have helped the gay community in its fight for equality. Your interpretation of scripture and your “knowledge” of how your god and Jesus expects Christians to discriminate against the LGBT community makes other Christians cringe, and has done more harm to your religion than anything else other than science. You claim that your Christian views and beliefs are the only ones a true Christian could have, displaying your narcissism with every sentence. You highlight everything that is wrong with religion. So, on behalf of non-theists and supporters of the LGBT community, and the LGBT community itself, THANK YOU!

    • What are you talking about, John? Clergy aren’t challenged to perform gay weddings. If nothing else, clergy are challenged by their own denominations should they desire to officiate at such weddings. But no clergy has been forced to officiate at any gay wedding.

    • @JOHN,

      LARRY has answered your question.
      It is unfair to allow marriage for some and not others.

      Churches can stay out of gay marriages forever if they want to – but they cannot deny ‘marriage’ from others.

      Christians simply need to learn to shut up and stay out of things – like gay marriage – which are none of their business. If you believe in God let God handle it when the gay people die.

      Do not bother them in this life.

      • Atheist Max

        Christianity does not work like you want it to .. calling murder murder or any other sin what it is .

        IS what God wants Christians to do..

        with out knowing the law who would need a savior from sin ? the law not only shows people there sins/.. it is also a curb thou shalt not murder.. that simple truth protects the ones you love also .. or even some one else’s unborn child.

        • Christians think their self perceived moral superiority overrides the power of people to decide things for themselves. They have the delusion that people need to seek their blessing and authority to live their lives. They do not understand the concept of personal autonomy nor the bible’s talk about “motes and planks”.

          Just a bunch of nosybodies with no respect for others.

        • @rob,

          “Christianity does not work like you want it to…”

          But this is how it is supposed to work:

          “Execute them…” Jesus, (Luke 19:27)

          • @Atheist Max,
            The partial verse you quoted from Luke 19 is near the end of a parable Jesus told and is what the King said in the parable not a direct command from Jesus. Just sayin……

          • @Bob Licitra,

            I’m well aware that it is a parable. The Parable of the Minas to be specific – But Jesus meant what he said.
            The Nobleman IS Jesus and it is a not very well veiled attempt to warn his followers of the master/slave relationship – it is a warning about who is the boss.

            And Jesus is saying “look out for my return, I’m going to kill some people.”

    • The Great God Pan

      “Especially in an age where civil unions rather legal marriages have become the norm?”

      Did you make this up or did you actually read it somewhere? There is no way that civil unions–which are not the same thing as “shacking up,” if that’s what you’re thinking of–have outpaced marriages. From a legal standpoint, they are not preferable to marriage and are now, in fact, obsolete where ever same-sex marriage is allowed.

      “Why deliberately involve the Church? People can walk to any court and get married, and be happy forever after.”

      The Church, whatever that means, has not been deliberately involved. Some churches choose to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, others do not. There is no law forcing any church to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony, which would violate the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment.(*).

      And the only reason that people can “walk into any court and get married” is because of the legalization of same-sex marriages in individual states. Prior to these legalizations, you could not, in fact, walk into any court and get married to someone of the same sex. That’s what the legalizations are for. You are essentially asking, “Why was it necessary to legalize [X] when [X] is legal?” The obvious answer is that [X] is legal BECAUSE IT WAS LEGALIZED, and was not legal prior to that. Is that really a confusing issue?

      (*) Except for cases in which a church rents out a church-owned facility to the general public for the purpose of holding weddings, in which case it will have to follow state laws regarding public accommodation.

    • 1. Because civil unions aren’t marriages, as pointed out. If they were soooooo identical, then why don’t more straight couples get them instead of marriages? I’ll tell you why: because they are inferior, and you are perfectly aware of that fact, which is why you offer it up as your “separate but equal” non-solution. Marriage confers numerous benefits on couples that have zilch to do with religion. I am a straight woman who didn’t actually care if my relationship was formally recognized by the state, and unlike you, I’ve investigated that option quite thoroughly. My discovery? There is simply nothing that provides a couple the same protection as marriage–and all over the country, states themselves have ensured this truth through laws that favor marriage over all other forms of recognition. If you don’t like that, then lobby your state to make civil unions the exactly identical clone of marriage. You know, France did that, and then its religious zealots got all upset that nobody wanted to get married anymore now that they had an alternative. Be careful what you wish for. But you would rather, it seems, dish out this inferior non-solution on gay couples and demand they be happy with that pale imitation. Sorry. I don’t see why they should bargain with their human liberties and essential human rights and accept substandard substitutes just so you feel super-special and superior. (And that doesn’t say a lot of good things about your religious mindset, that you’d even make such a ridiculous suggestion.)

      2. Nobody’s involving the Church and nobody ever did. The Church involved itself by deciding that its approval of other human beings’ private decisions and rights was in any way requested, desired, or required. Nobody cares if clergy feel “challenged” or “boxed into a corner.” That’s kind of the problem, isn’t it, for you lot? But marriage has never needed Church approval at all. That’s why even a couple married by the truest of blue ministers must still get a valid marriage license, and why a couple can get married without a minister at all if they have a license. The religious nonsense is just the icing on the cake for a couple who desire it, but otherwise it is completely irrelevant to whether or not a couple is legally married. In other words, if the Church wasn’t a pack of busybody bigots, then they wouldn’t be right now facing the PR nightmare that they are. It’s really none of the Church’s business; not a single person has ever demonstrated that a private church will be forced to conduct a marriage they don’t want to conduct, just as they do not now–you do know that a lot of churches don’t like mixed-race or mixed-faith marriages, right? And they turn those down without lawsuits resulting. This is the same thing. This question is nothing but a blatantly obvious smokescreen, something bigots use to mask their real problem with equal marriage rights.

      This post of yours comes across as “JAQing off,” as anti-feminists and creationists often do, “just asking questions” you could have answered for yourself within 20 seconds if you’d really wanted to learn something.

  5. Religion was in the way for years.
    Finally religion is dying off and people are free to be whatever they are.

    Simply abandoning religion is solving many social problems.

    • God always reserves a remnant so most Christians are not concerned about Christianity dying out.. ;also the gospel of Jesus the worlds only savior from sin
      does not stay in one place,, right now many people in Asian countries are coming to faith also Africa .. So 50 years from now Christian missionary’s may be coming to the united states from Asian Or
      African countries if this world still exists..
      hopefully it won’t though after all even you know ..

      this earth is not the place of righteousness. you can see what wars do and you also see
      how many are hurting or starving.. all do to the sins of us human creature’s.

      • @Rob,
        “see how many are hurting and starving”

        Despite the fact that a Messiah came to end it all 2000 years ago?
        If true, it has been a complete failure.

          • @Funyun,

            And I’ll be thinking for you.

            Consider smoking some goat meat. God loves the smell of roasting Goat Meat and He might grant you 3 wishes. (Exodus 29:18)

          • The best analysis of the passive aggressive “I will pray for you line” used by Christians to Atheists

            However, there are times when “I’ll pray for you” is spat at you with a sneering curl of the lip and no sincerity whatsoever.

            it is always done with condescending arrogance …

            When someone is being mean or hurtful to you and not acting in a Christian manner, yet then stares you in the face and says “But I’ll Pray for You”….how do you react? It seems sad to me that as Christians sometimes “I’ll Pray for you” is used as a jab. It is just another tool to be pulled out when lies, misinformation, bluster, appeals to emotion, and fearmongering haven’t carried the day for them.

            It is, …often a phrase used to get the last word in and more often than not to add insult to injury disguised behind a phrase that is actually meant to be used as a progressive thing. It is a dismissal tinged with a suggestion of smug superiority. …to reflect beyond their comfort zone or to be open to learning something new and unique. It is a condescending last-word-getter.

            And it is always disingenuous; I have never believed the other party actually did make good on their word and really prayed for me….unless they were praying for an agonizing and lingering death for me starting immediately. …

            Saying you’ll pray for someone for the purpose of making them feel bad and making yourself feel superior, well that comes uncomfortably close to violating the spirit of the commandment not to take the Lord’s name in vain, at least as I understand it. …

            To this “prayer” nonsense, I have only this to say:
            It’s like rubbing your member against a tree. Sure, it feels good for you, but it does absolutely nothing for the tree, and it puts people off.


            We all know, I will pray for you is Christianspeak for “go eff yourself”
            :)

          • The full text of the “I will pray for you rant”
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2011/11/ill-pray-for-you/

  6. It’s true that God loves mankind since he gave up his son, Christ Jesus, so that mankind might have everlasting life (John 3:16) on earth, but it’s some of mankind’s actions that he disapproves of and/or hates, and we should follow his thoughts, advice and wisdom concerning those actions, including that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are not normal and should be avoided (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10). If we want to be true followers of Jesus and true worshipers of God, his Father, we must do God’s will (1 John 2:17).

    • Savior?
      Fran, explain how this works..

      You would love and worship a man who tortured and shot himself to death with an AK47 even though he didn’t have to?

      Replace ‘AK47’ with ‘Crucifix’ and that is the Yahweh/Jesus story.
      God committed suicide for you.

      Please explain why it is ethical for you to benefit from the torture and suffering of another person.

      • Romans 5:6-8

        New International Version (NIV)

        6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

          • How you remind me of my grandfather. Jesus got him too, but it took a long time.Have you unpacked why you are so angry about Jesus?

          • @funyun,
            You can’t answer my questions but I’ll answer yours.
            Yes, I’ve unpacked why i’m angry about Jesus: the fictional tale is used like a weapon against those who can’t bring themselves to believe in it.

            This article discusses how American Law is influenced by religion.
            Read the article before commenting and you might understand what is being discussed.

      • Alex, I would feel sorry for that person who tortured and shot himself with a gun. That reminds me of everyone committing suicide or someone who’s been fighting in wars for too long; too many soldiers are committing suicide IF they return home because it ruins their heart and mind, besides parts of their body. But then again, I am totally against war since it it a totally senseless act. I feel that others who committ suicide are in a deep hole or deep pain which they can’t put to an end and they quickly want to end their torment. I am not going to judge any of these people, but it will be up to Jesus, King of God’s kingdom as to what their future will be.

        As for Yahweh and Jesus, Jesus was willing to lay down his life for all mankind, just as many men are willing to go to war and lay down their lives for their countries, nationalism, imagined freedoms, or the God of War. It was not God who laid down his life, and neither did God become lower than himself, as a lowly human, one of his creations, nor did he die. Jesus, however, is the son of God, the first direct creation of God who was a spirit person with his Father, before the earth and everything on it was created, lowered himself as a man, and did die. Colossians 1:15,17: “He (Jesus) is the IMAGE of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation… all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things.” John 17:5: [In prayer Jesus said]: “Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.” God did not committ suicide; he is Almighty God and has no beginning nor any end. (Psalms 90:2)

        Jesus was also not crucified but was impaled on a torture stake. The Greek word rendered “cross” in many modern Bible versions is “stauros”. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale. Later it came to be used for an execution stake having a crosspiece. The Imperial Bible Dictionary acknowledges this, saying, “The Greek word for cross, stauros, properly signified a STAKE, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used impaling (fencing in) a piece of ground. Even among the Romans the crux (from which the cross is derived) appears to have been originally a upright pole.” (Edited by P. Fairbairn, London, 1872, Vol. 1, p. 376. Some translations even use the term “tree” (KJ, RS, JB, and Dy) Also, many translations use cross, while at the time, another scripture referring to it says “tree”. . Galations 3:13 indicates: “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by law. When he was hung on the CROSS, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a TREE.” One of the Bible translations I love to use is The New Living Translation. Whenever I check some scriptures in that translation for “cross”,such as Acts 5:30, Galations 3:13, the scriptures cite the word cross, with the footnote on cross as being “on a tree.” There are also historical origins of the cross going back to a period long before the Christian era, in India, Syria, Person, and Egypt.You can also Google the cross about its history.

        Also, Jesus did not commit suicide.. Suicide is when you kill yourself on your own volition, by yourself. The Chiefs and priests pursuaded Pilate to ask for Barnabas, a criminal, to be released, and for Jesus (who did no wrong) to be executed. Pilate asked the Jews what he should do about Jesus. They all said “let him be impaled. John 19:14,15 brings out: “Now is was the preparation of the passover; it was the fifth hour. And he said to the Jews: “See! Your King. However they, (the Jews) shouted : “Take him away! Take him away! Take him away.” Pilate said to them: Shall I impale your king? The Chief Priests answered: “We have no king but Caesar.” At that time, therefore, he handed him over to them to be impaled. Definitely not a suicide and definitely NO support from the Jews and their religious leaders. Hebrews 9:22:24: “Yes, nearly all things are cleansed with blood according to the Law, and unless blood is poured out, no forgivenss takes place. Therefore, it was necessary that the typical representations of the things in the heavens should be cleansed by these things, but the heavenly things themselves with sacrifices that are better than such sacrifices. For Christ `entered, not into a holy place with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itselt, now to appear before the person of God.” God graciously accepted the ransom sacrifice of his son. Matthew 25:25: says: “At that all the people said in answer: “His blood come upon us and again our children.” They knew they were responsible for Jesus’ death. The Apostle Peter told the people: “The God of Abraham and of Isaac and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his servant, Jesus, WHOM, FOR YOUR PART, DELIVERED UP AND DISOWNED before Pilate’s face, when he decided to release him. Yes, you DISOWNED THAT HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS ONE, and you asked for a man, a murderer, to be freely granted to you, whereas YOU KILLED the Chief Agent of Life. But God raised him upon from the dead (a state of unconsciousness and not a burning place of torment forever, Ecclesiastes 9:5,10, of which fact we are witnesses.

        It was no surprise to Jesus what was going to happen to him (Matthew 16:21: From that time forward Jesus Christ commenced showing his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the older men and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and on the 3rd day raised up. At this Peter took him aside and commenced rebuking him, saying: “Be kind to yourself, Lord; you will not have this destiny at all. But Jesus, turning his back, he said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan. You are a stumbling block to me, because you think, not God’s thoughts, but those of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23). Finally, Jesus said: “No one has greater love than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends.” (John 1513, Jesus perfectly obeyed his Father and did God’s will, and this showed great love for God as well as mankind. Jesus was eventually raised back to life to the heavens by God after 3 days, and is now sitting at the right hand of God (Hebrews 8:1). So nothing was lost in this regard, but because of that sacrifice of Jesus, everlasting like on earth for humans will soon be regrained. (John 3:16; John 17:3), which was lost through Adam and Eve’s disobedience and sin. Also, resurrection of those we have lost to death due to time, unforeseen circumstances, violence, etc. will take place to be reunited with family and friends (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15).

        It is beneficfial for ALL MANKIND THAT Jesus endured suffering and torture before his death, and it no doubt had deeply hurt his Father, Almighty God, to see it happen at that time, but he was happy that his son had been faithful and obedient to him until death. Because of the death of Jesus, we will soon never get old, sick or diseased, hate one another, have to put up with any violence, and see the resurrection of those we have lost to death, from unforeseen circumstances and time, even violence, back to life on earth, and enjoy the millenial rule by Jesus and all of its blessings. No man can nor will ever achieve any of those things. Otherwise, if Jesus had refused to die for mankind, we would just continue to get sick, old, and die forever until the end of time, with no way out of those situations. His ransom was a ‘legal requirement’ that needed to be carried out, since there are no perfect men on earth that take away the sins of the world. Lastly, 1 John 4:10 encourages us in this way: “The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a propitiatory (favorably disposed and gracious) sacrifice for our sins. :-D :-D :-D

        • Fran, your description can be shortened to “a god sacrificed himself to himself in order to convince himself to change a rule he made himself”.

          It makes no sense. Since the original idea of torturing humans forever in a hell he made himself, for nothing they did during life (God decides who to torture before they are born), is immoral, it shouldn’t have been made in the first place. Then to commit a second immoral (and insane) act of torturing, them sacrificing himself to himself doesn’t change anything that he couldn’t have changed by just deciding himself.

          Why the illogical mental gymnastics? Because that confusing story is how the churches control their members and take their money.

          Sad to see. Sadder still to see the harm it does, both to the members and to us all.

          • Okay, now I have to ask (and I’m not being sarcastic about this).

            Are you **sure** you’re a Christian? Hmm?

            On what basis, exactly?

        • @FRAN,

          You said, “Jesus did not commit suicide.. Suicide is when you kill yourself on your own volition, by yourself.”

          All-knowing God became man, knowing he would be killed on a cross.

          Jesus prayed at Gethsemane (to God/Himself) because he temporarily changed his mind about committing suicide “Let this cup pass” – he went through with it anyway.

          This is the nature of delusion:
          Profound emotional commitment to an impossible conclusion.

          • Max, the all-knowing God is our Heavenly Father and the .Father of Jesus.

            Jesus, the son of Almighty God, his Father, became a man, knowing he would die.

            Jesus, the son of God, prayed to his Father, Almighty God, at Gethsemane, not to himself.

            Luke 22:41-44 says: “And he (Jesus) withdrew from them (disciples) and he bent his knees and began to pray: FATHER, if you want you, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let not my will but YOURS take place. Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. (Would A most powerful, wise, loving and just God ever need help from an angel?). But he was in such agony that he kept praying more earnestly, and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.”

            So Jesus prayed for God’s wl to take place, not his own, even if meant he would to endure suffering. Jesus did not change his mind about “committing suicide” because that thought had never entered his mind before.

            Yahweh/Jehovah is Almighty God and Creator of all things.

            Jesus is the only-begotten son of Yahweh/ Jehovah and was the first direct creation by Almighty God. It was through Jesus, a co-worker with God, that everything else was created. Jesus is referred to as a “mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6), but he is not equal to his Father, Almighty God. Jesus himself acknowledged that “the Father is greater than I am.” Also, 1 Corinthians 11:3 says that “the head of the Christ is God. Evidently, Yahweh/Jehovah is the Most High and Almighty God. Jesus is the son of Almighty God and is in subjection to him and a position immediately below him, and the angels below him. There is no trinity doctrine taught by the Bible, nor is there a place of fiery torment forever by a torturous God taught by the Bible. :D

          • @Fran,

            You must be mistaken.
            “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” (exodus 20:2)

            You are pretending that there is more than one God. But there is only one. Yahweh and Jesus are the same God:

            “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28)
            “Jesus answered them, ‘I and My Father are one.’” (John 10:30-33)
            “The Lord our God is one”. – (Deuteronomy 6:4)

            So Yahweh God became man and ARRANGED for himself to die knowing how it would have to happen – he was prepared to be slaughtered like “a lamb.”

            Why are you not admitting that this is suicide?
            Why did god need to have himself slaughtered?

    • Ask me if I have to care?

      More importantly, ask me if our laws take any of it into consideration?

      Whatever you think God tells you about gays and what they do with their lives is of no concern to anyone but you.

      Unless you have a rational and secular objection to marriage equality, Nobody has to give a crap. Religious freedom means never having to care what you think God is telling you.

        • I care when you try to give those views color of law or use it as excuses to act badly towards others. But if the subject is changes in our laws, Jeremiahesque caterwauling is just not going to be relevant.

          Our laws do not have to conform to your religious views.

  7. So what changed?

    Well try reading your own article through one more time and the answer is there. SSM was imposed upon the people from the top against their clearly and repeatedly expressed wishes.

    The sitcom propaganda pieces, refusal to debate the issues, educational indoctrination and outright bullying of any and all opponents all helped but essentially this was culture change by Federal decree.

    Read the artice again and tell me it doesn’t say that.

    • Unfortunately for you those “express wishes” were discriminatory, malicious and lacked any rational and secular purpose. ALL discriminatory laws reflected the will of the majority. It is the job of our courts to protect the rights of those who are subject to majority will.

      Also, had the bigots not been so quick to enact laws to ban marriage equality, it would not be so quickly legalized. Had they left well enough alone, lack of interest would have kept it from being passed in state legislatures. But the bigots had to try to foreclose all possibility of that happening. Thus they are victims of their own malicious intent.

      • I’ve never been on a subway myself, Larry. My preference is to walk anyway. It’s much better for your Cardio, plus you have much more space and strategy for either fight or flight if you get approached by crooks.

        Meanwhile, atheism is totally worthless, both rationally and spiritually. It’s cyanide in slow motion. You don’t want that outcome, do you?

        Life is so very short. So why not upgrade to the absolute best?
        Viz., CHRISTIANITY!!

        • Your diatribes are even more useless than Fran’s. At least she has the benefit of self-delusion and megalomania. You are just a nasty person in general.

          Why would I want to join the same club as you? I shudder at the remote possibilty of being in the same zip code as you.

          • Yeah, but now imagine an entire afterlife, for eternity, filled with people like him. Ignoring the glaring question of whether his god exists at all, which is something Fran and Doc absolutely are ignoring too, I’ve got no reason to think that his god hates exactly the same people he does (and you and I sound like we both know why that might be), so chances are his god is just as nasty as the bigots abusing people in his name. I also have no reason to think that, on the off-chance his god doesn’t actually hate the same people he does, that his god will magically strip out his followers’ bigotry and nastiness when they die.

            Nooooo, thanks. Whatever the alternative is, it’s got to be better than blowing sunshine up a bully’s skirts for all eternity. And I’ve got no reason to think that a god who hates people, commits genocide, and tortures folks who don’t kowtow to him is honest about what he’s promising his followers anyway. I don’t know if anybody’s even wondered about that–what a painful idea!

          • Heh! YOU think theism itself is a “nasty” thing, so I’m not impressed when you start saying “nasty persons.”

            All the while, you are totally unable to see how your own atheism has given you your own unique unpleasantness. It’s like you’re permanently angry and corrosive, just like most of the other tenpenny atheists you see on the Net.

            Want a full example of the adjective “nasty”? Then check out your own writings sir. (Or if you want an overdose, check out Captain Cassidy’s. Sheesh!)

            Don’t bother blaming Christians for all that mess. It’s on you.

          • No, I think many theists are just nasty people and full of excuses. I have no problem with theists who respect proper boundaries or who are honest in their approach. I just don’t see it here often. Never from you.

            I see nothing inherently spiteful and mean-spirited in good Captain Cassiday’s posts. Righteous indignation definitely. Well founded arguments and strong opinions, definitely. But not hatefulness.

  8. I don’t think the reason same sex marriage has become more acceptable to Americans has too much to do with the 5 reasons listed above at all. In fact, I think the major reason is embedded rather deeply in American culture and reflects rather traditional values. The real reason has to do with the justice of the thing. It’s a matter of fair play and equal opportunity to find happiness in life. This goes beyond whether Americans think homosexuality is a moral lifestyle or not. Most Americans, even if they do not approve of homosexuality, cannot get past the sense that to deny something to some people because of their sexuality, when others enjoy the benefit, is unjust and simply not right. A cultural change hasn’t occurred so much as Americans are looking back to the very foundational impulse of their nation. All men are created equal and they have a right to pursue happiness without undue interference from any person or institution.

    • The Great God Pan

      But that doesn’t really explain why a wave of voter-approved bans on same-sex marriage swept the nation just a few years ago, nor does it explain the Politico poll from a few days ago showing that the majority of likely voters oppose gay marriage.

      It also doesn’t take into account the fact that the recent advances consist of judges overturning laws passed by the voters whom you think are so interested in justice and fairness.

      “America: Land of Fair Play” sounds like a chapter from a particularly dubious high school history textbook. Americans in general don’t care about justice for anyone outside of their own racial/geographic/religious/economic tribe.

      • The national acceptance of Gays is the backlash from….

        The McCain/Palin campaign of 2008
        which was a shock to the American system.

        1 – Republicans proved they want a Theocracy.
        Liberals rebelled.

        2 – Republicans started a spending war, which they’ll win.
        Liberals are disgusted.

        3 – Republicans proved they will use fascist Christian Churches as a means to their power-mad ends.
        Liberals decided it was time to speak up for separation of church and state.

        Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and the far right Christian wackos
        Pushed the American electorate to question their ties to religious dogma
        as a way to fight back.

        Churches have paid a high price for their collusion with Sarah Palin, et al.
        Democrats are realizing that Christian Fascism is not in their interests and they are questioning why they ever believed this junk.

        And that is why Christian Dogma is getting thrown out. It has shown itself to be against democracy, against civilization and against human decency.
        Religion is a disease.

        Let’s marry some gay folks!

          • @Neo,

            Holy Smokes is on to something.
            The acceptance of gays in the mainstream began to pick up steam during the long 2008 campaign where Sarah Palin made Christian fundamentalism part of the national platform.

            Palin called it the ‘lame stream media’ which is a crass insult to popular culture. Well, Pop culture rebelled. What do you expect?

  9. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    First the Supreme Judicial Dictatorship throws out laws in all 50 states protecting human life from death in the womb. Then the lower court Dictatorships start the ball rolling for gay “marriage” and keep it rolling.
    Both issues are social issues that the people should have been the deciders, not judges abusing their power.

    • CarrotCakeMan

      If you hate America, the United States Constitution and its written Proper Rule Of Law this much, Mr. Bresnahan, why don’t you emigrate to your Homophobic Paradise, Russia?

    • Every discriminatory law ever put on the books was passed by a majority will. We have equal protection under the law, through our judiciary to keep our laws from being overrun with bigoted attacks on fellow citizens in a given minority.

      Its called civil liberties. Its why we have a bill of rights. Gay marriage bans lack secular and rational purposes. Nobody has to care if the majority wanted it. It violated the constitution.

  10. None of this would be an issue for Christians if marriage had remained a church-only issue. Who cares what the state thinks, since the definition of marriage now is a complete joke with no-fault divorce and endless remarriages?

    I think this is the next direction the church should take: remove marriages from state level and keep it back at the church where it belongs.

    • Neo, it was NEVER a church only issue in the entire history of the world. You have no clue what you are talking about.

      Marriage was always a function of state. It affects too many things dependent on civil laws not to be. The only time it was the sole province of a church is in places where they ARE the state. Never here. Never in Western civilization.

      If Christians weren’t so ignorant, self-centered and power hungry, this would not be an issue. They would have understood from the outset that their ideas concerning marriage belong solely within church walls, where nobody else has to care.

      The churches never had the power, they don’t deserve it now. Religious freedom means the function of state never has to be premised on the workings of any given churches.

  11. With regard to #3, the French did achieve that halfway mark by introducing the PACS, a legal relationship status through which same-sex couples could receive all the financial and social benefits of matrimony while preserving marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This year, France legalized same-sex marriage too, despite strong Catholic/protestant resistance. Given that example, and though I found the PACS to be an interesting compromise, it’s conceivable that a similar alternative in the US would have merely delayed full legalization here as well.

    • As stated in the article, the anti-gay crowd was not interested in any compromise. So even some separate but not actusl marriage would have met resistance. So a half way solution was never in the cards. To quote Dan Savage, “that ship has sailed. Now that gays are winning marriage, there is no need to go backward”

  12. Value voters? We’ve read some depraved literature in our time in school. Violence, sexism, racism, fornication, adultery, murder…but two men or two women raising kids is the worst thing to these people. When will Christian fundamentalists understand heat freedom of religion actually means? I’ve not seen any other religion in this country except for Christianity raise hell about the horrific consequences of gay marriage. Not only is religion irrelevant when creating equality, but Imposing Christian and biblical law on people of other religions is just like imposing sharia law on non Muslims. So most Christians even realize that the scripture they’re clinging to about homosexuality is in the Old Testament, or Jewish law? Way to ignore Jesus entirely.

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