In Asheville (NC) the tradition of Marriage may have just been altered beyond comprehension. Some people are screaming that they just want equal treatment. But with marriage, people are given a privilege, not a right. But many consider Asheville a bump in the road and an exception to the rule. It’s been said that up to 12% of Asheville’s population is gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual. Many of those cohabitate. Does that mean if they were granted the privilege to “marry” as so many other couples do (one woman and one man), all problems would disappear because they were treated equally?
On 2/22/11, the City of Asheville approved a resolution that would “allow same-sex couples to share fully and equally in the familial rights and responsibilities of civil marriage”. But what does that really mean?
An easy interpretation of the resolution is it’s legal to “marry”, or to form a recognized union, with someone of the same sex. The resolution also included a city preference list for homosexuals. Interpretation: “The City of Asheville would be openly discriminating in favor of homosexuals in employment.” That would be making homosexuality a “civil right”. The Constitution, Declaration, or even a dictionary writer ever called homosexuality a civil right.
The next day, Obama’s Department of Justice proclaimed it no longer defends the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against any additional lawsuits. DOMA currently defines and protects marriage as the union of a man and a woman for all federal reasons. Because of this administration’s decision to abandon its duty to defend the law of the land, it may now be up to the new Congress to guarantee that marriage is defended from redefinition.
To the dictionary writers who know the word matrimony, the definition has been changed. Instead of “the formal and religious word or spiritual bond established by the union”, it has come to mean a temporary union between wife and husband that can be dissolved on a whim, or just a decision.
This resolution in Asheville changes that again, however. Now two women, or two men can be “married”, and can receive the same benefits as a husband and wife. But there is no stopping point. What if an adult wants to marry more than one spouse? Their offspring? Their beloved dog? Their cat or parakeet? One can think of many perturbations of this concept.
Marriage is a privilege, never listed as a right in the Declaration, nor the Constitution. Many privileges exist, and as long as certain obligations are met any two people (of different sexes) can marry. Almost always it involved only one woman and one man, they each had to be a certain age, had to agree to marry, they couldn’t marry a close relative, they couldn’t have a communicable disease, and for many they have to be open to having children. The last time one checked, homosexuals could not have any children themselves. Proliferation is not the reason they married.
One might ask if this resolution would allow the City of Asheville to start marrying same-sex couples, as San Francisco did in 2004. What about forbidding employment discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation”? It sounds like this challenges the freedom of speech for non-homosexuals already implicated and given by the 1st Amendment.
It has been claimed there is 3x the gay cohabitation in Asheville than the national average. Is that claim attempting to make us believe that if something is done more frequently at one location than other locations, it’s likely the right thing to do? And if the majority of people believe these actions are in direct conflict with gay people’s beliefs, are they necessarily wrong? If these measures are passed and accepted, where do we go from here?
Bottom line, true Christians are a very tolerable people on the whole. Most simply allow the transgendered group their own space, and live with any action this group usually does. But when one of the Christians’ time honored beliefs is attempted to be changed by other groups, they get fairly bent out of shape about it. It seems so may “alleged” Christians are OK with Jesus telling people to love everyone else, but have completely forgotten when He told Mary Magdalene “Go, and sin no more”.
Kevin Roeten can be reached at [email protected].