James Huger, who runs the delightful JHuger.com, has this to say on the issue of same-sex marriage:
In the late 1700s some people wanted democratic rule. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that the king ruled by God's will.
In the mid 1800s some people wanted to end slavery. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that God approved of slavery.
In the early 1900s some people wanted to give women the vote. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved that God made women inferior to men.
In the mid 1900s some people wanted to end segregation. Conservative elements of the church pointed to the Bible and said it proved God wanted to keep the races separate.
When you look back at how your parents and grandparents dealt with these things, are you ashamed or proud?
Now some people want to allow gay marriage. Conservative elements of the church are pointing to the Bible and saying it proves God hates homosexuality.
When your children and grandchildren look back at how you deal with this, will they be ashamed or proud?
What it comes down to is that our country is systematically denying a large minority of its rights. Marriage isn’t just a ceremony and a commitment, it means being protected from dozens of different hardships, from adopting children to visiting a dying loved one to expenses. A gay woman might have to fight to keep her child, just because the child was adopted in her dying lover’s name. Yes, that has happened, and it will happen again. Can you imagine losing your lover and then having to fight to stop the state from taking your child for no reason at all?
That’s just one incident. There are many, many more. If you don’t believe me, just read Ed Brayton’s fantastic blog, Dispatches From the Culture Wars. It seems like he reports a story of anti-gay violence or hatred every day.
And if you think that gay people deserve it, that they’re not really people, then you sicken me. We’re all people, no matter what sex you’re attracted to. The only people who truly deserve to be treated as though they’re not human are the ones who would treat others that way. Because when you really think about, one of the worst evils you can do is to deny someone their humanity, and that’s what the anti-homosexual bigots do.
I hope that we’ll move past this, and that we’ll continue to move away from the bigotry that has plagued humanity for so long. I believe that, as Richard Dawkins puts it, the moral Zeitgeist will continue to shift. If it doesn’t, well, then we’re all screwed.