Wednesday, 27 April 2011


How Should We Think About Same-Sex Marriage?
by Dr. Andrew Corbett 26th April 2011
Printable Edition
How should we think about "Same-Sex" Marriage? This public debate is as much about the role of language as it is about marriage. The emotionalism involved from both sides of the argument is intense which often leads to the actual issues being lost in the jungle of irrational verbiage. How we settle this issue as a society says a lot about what kind of society we are.


Confucius is reported to have said- "When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom." Someone has adapted this with the observation that, "When words lose their meaning, people lose their lives." Words have intrinsic meaning. Seasoned debaters know and employ the maxim- "He who controls language controls the debate." Arguably, Language is the battlefield of culture. For Christians, if the components of language can be arbitrarily redefined, then truth, and especially the Christian message, ceases to be coherent and is rendered meaningless.


The arguments in favour of Same-Gender Marriage can be summed up under four categories-
    1. Anti-Discrimination
    2. Intolerance
    3. Secular Society Acceptance
    4. Progressive Religion


This is perhaps the most compelling argument in favour of redefining marriage to providing for two people of the same gender to "marry". After all, if marriage is about committed love between two people why should it be restricted to people of complementary genders? Georgetown University (USA) Law Professor, William Eskridge, puts this argument this way-
"Same-Sex marriage is good primarily for reasons of equality. Legal marriage entails dozens of rights, benefits and obligations which are routinely available to different-sex couples. Those same benefits, rights and obligations should be available on the same terms to lesbian and same-sex couples as a guarantee of their equal rights in our polity."
"Relativism", Beckwith, Koukl, page 119

Torrie Osborn, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, makes a similar argument and has said-
"I think it's a question of fundamental fairness...People who are willing to accept the responsibilities of marriage, which is about love, caring, commitment, long-term commitment, should be able to have the right to be married...[D]enying our fundamental humanity is not good for society."
Beckwith, Koukl, p. 119

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