Several op-ed writers with a religious viewpoint tackled marriage equality today. Writing in the NY Times, Ross Douthat, a conservative Catholic who opposes marriage equality, looks at the common arguments used to oppose gays and lesbians getting married, and comments,
These arguments have lost because they’re wrong. What we think of as “traditional marriage” is not universal....I don't know about you, but this seems to be the effort of an intelligent man to fight a rearguard action that he knows he has already lost. Read the whole thing for his conflicted effort to justify why "tab A into slot B" is a "microcosm of civilization", while admitting that gay unions can be perfectly justified.
So what are gay marriage’s opponents really defending...? It’s a particular vision of marriage, rooted in a particular tradition, that establishes a particular sexual ideal.
This ideal holds up the commitment to lifelong fidelity and support by two sexually different human beings — a commitment that involves the mutual surrender, arguably, of their reproductive self-interest — as a uniquely admirable kind of relationship....
The point of this ideal is not that other relationships have no value, or that only nuclear families can rear children successfully. Rather, it’s that lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support.....
Matthew Yglesias comments,
[A]s Douthat’s piece makes clear, the status quo is really a cop out. Instead of holding heterosexuals up to a rigorous standard of conduct—no divorce, harsh & unforgiving attitude toward infidelity—we’re going to discriminate against the gay and lesbian minority and then congratulate ourselves on what a good job we’re doing of upholding our ideals.
Susan Russell points us towards this article by Susan Brooks Thistlewaite over at the WaPo:
There is no "wrongness" in being gay in the Christian perspective, not because DNA evidence tells us that being gay is very likely rooted in one's genetic code, but because gay men, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgendered people are created in the image of God. In the Christian theological perspective, therefore, they are fully and completely human beings in their relationship with other human beings and the God who created them.
And Rev. Peterr, a Lutheran writing at FiredogLake, takes on Cardinal Mahoney, who blogged, "There is only one issue before each of us Californians: Is Marriage of Divine or of Human Origin?" with this reply:
Judge Walker was not placed on the bench to decide whether laws and conduct in the United States match up to the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, or other religious writings. His job is to measure the disputes that come to his courtroom against the laws and constitution of the United States of America....Walker believes that you and your fellow Catholics believe that gays and lesbians are "objectively disordered" and sex between people of the same gender is a "grave depravity." He’s read the materials put out by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (see Finding of Fact #77, points i and j on pdf p. 104). By the end of his decision, he agrees with you that this is why you want to enshrine this belief in law.
Thank God, however, that he believes this is "not a proper basis on which to legislate."
You may be free to discriminate against gays and lesbians within the Catholic church as a matter of faith, but the state of California is not free to do the same as a matter of law.
Andrew Sullivan also takes him on.