This excellent article on what ex-gay men can teach us about marriage got me thinking. These thoughts are not fully developed, but I offer what I have in hopes that someone might be able to correct or add to them.
Our culture’s highest value seems to be inclusion—no matter what, we must love the other. This is why it opposes soteriological exclusivists who teach that believing and following Jesus is the only way to be saved. How can it be loving to tell the other that their religion is leading them to hell? Of course, we would reply that it would be unloving not to, but we understand where they are coming from.
Our culture violates this principle of inclusion on the subject of sex and marriage, for they insist on the right of homosexuals to love one who is the same. Gay spouses exclude the other, the one who is different, and instead love the one who is very much like them. And so when gay marriage supporters identify their cause with the civil rights movement, we may reply that they are the ones committing the same mistake that the racists made (I’m not accusing them of racism, just explaining why they shouldn’t be allowed to put us on that side).
The brilliance of the homosexual lobby is that they have papered over this fact and managed to persuade a rising majority of Americans, and the majority of the Supreme Court, that their commitment to loving the one who is the same is itself a form of otherness, simply because it is unique. And because their unions stand out as different, they deserve the toleration and even support of the rest of us.
I wonder if it might be worthwhile to point out that their otherness is not other enough, but is simply an attempt to make a virtue out of loving the one who is most like them. This hardly seems inclusive enough for the 21st century, and maybe we should say so.
Note: I realize that the best marriages share common values, such as religion, how to handle money, and raise children, but it should also be obvious that gender is more foundational than any of these. A person can change their religion or spending habits easier than they can transform their gender. I would add that these shared values are particularly needed to bind together those who are different in gender.
Apparently homosexuals also need something to bind them together. According to a Slate magazine article in yesterday’s Grand Rapids Press, half of all gay men cheat on their partners with their partner’s permission. So gay sex may not be as binding as its supporters want us to believe.