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CURMUDGEONRY
Gay 'Marriage'
Stay out of other people's bedrooms, okay?

by Barnabas
June 25, 2003

Gay 'Marriage'_Barnabas-Stay out of other people's bedrooms, okay?
“There is an evolution of society," Chretien said. He said the law would give religious denominations the right to decide which marriages should be sanctified.
—The Washington Post, June 17.

But the child that's born on the Sabbath day
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

—Nursery rhyme (late medieval? Certainly pre-1960)

mar·riage (mãr-ĭj) noun 1. a. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
b. Wedlock. (Microsoft Bookshelf Dictionary, 2000)
Back when Canada decriminalized homosexual behavior, Prime Minister Trudeau said that he wanted to get the government out of the nation’s bedrooms. Now the current prime minister wants it back in.

For decades I have been a quiet advocate of allowing homosexuals and other unmarried people who want to establish a household to be given whatever breaks and rights accrue to married people. What they consensually do or do not do with each other in their own homes — except for acts that would be criminal in any setting — is God’s business and theirs. Trudeau was right, with this extension: it is no more the business of the government to give permission than it is to withhold it.

This advocacy puts me, in their minds, far to the left of those who want civil law to condemn both the tendency and practice of homosexuality. At least one of their arguments, propounded recently by Chuck Colson, has no support in either scripture or common sense: that procreation is the reason for marriage. If such a definition were supported by law, post-menopausal women as well as homosexuals would have no legal right to marry. Marriage is an enabler of procreation in that it adds covenantal stability to a sexual relationship, but marriage has always existed whether there is procreation or not.

I am not only far to the left of my conservative friends. I am also far to the right of my homosexual friends and those who advocate homosexual “marriage.” Several years ago I was moderating the meeting of a professional association that wanted to make a statement on sexual ethics. A member offered an amendment that contained the term “heterosexual marriage.” I ruled it out of order on the grounds that it was tautological. By definition marriage is heterosexual; putting the words together imply that there is a marriage that is not “heterosexual.”

Despite what the government of Canada is saying, there never was such a marriage. There never will be. Such “marriages” are legal fictions.

Jean Chretien, the prime minister of Canada, may see an evolution of society in redefining same-sex relationships as marriage, but some of us see a devolution of language. We lost the word “gay” thirty-five years ago; the old nursery rhyme about “a child born on the Sabbath day” became a risque joke. I doubt that its author meant “Is fair and wise and good and homosexual,” but that’s what leaps to the mind of a modern child.

Marriage is a covenanted relationship between male and female which, according to the Hebrew scriptures, began in the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t devised by any parliament. While a sexual relationship between two males or two females may be emotionally and physically satisfying to them, and they may be certain that it is better for them — even “spiritual” as they define it — it is obviously not the same as the relationship between a male and female.

So these persons are not getting married. They are establishing a household. Under law their household should have the same legal protections as a household established by a married couple; marriage as such should not be a legal advantage. I am all for such protections, not only for homosexuals, but also for households established by chaste bachelor brothers, spinster sisters, or “just friends.” So make whatever laws you need to. Just stay out of the bedroom while you’re doing it.

About the Author:
Barnabas lived in Canada in the days of Trudeau.


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