There is a recent movement in the legislative body of New York state to legalize same-sex marriage. And amidst all the hubbub, many people are asking, why shouldn't two men or two women who love each other have the right to get married? I will attempt to give a clear perspective on this issue through Scripture and plain reason, and show why gay marriage not only does not deserve to be legalized, but is in fact as big of an oxymoron as has yet been conceived.
First of all, what is marriage? Who has the right to define it? The answer is God, since He established the first marriage in the Garden of Eden, as we read in Genesis 2:18-24
18 Then the LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him. 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper [s]suitable for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,
This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called [v]Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
This passage was later cited by Jesus Christ when He answered the question of divorce, asserting that what God has ordained, no man has the right to overrule. Thus, this and other passages affirm the fact that God, and God alone, has the right to say what is or is not acceptable in marriage. Among His statutes on the matter are that no one should marry a close relative, an animal, an unbeliever, or someone of the same sex. Such things are abominable to God.
Genesis 2, as well as other passages, affirms another truth: that marriage is a covenant entered into before God. Marriage without God is like a table with only two legs, and those at the corners on the same side.
So then, if marriage is a matter of divine authority, why does the government offer such benefits for it? Why the tax breaks and other perks? Because marriage provides an indispensable element of society: family. Married couples, if they follow the natural course of things, have children and thus provide more citizens to a government. And it follows studies as well as plain logic that families where the Biblical model for family (i.e. a father and mother honoring their marriage covenant and behaving in a manner consistent with their God-given responsibilities to their children) will be more likely to raise honorable, responsible citizens (is it any wonder that the breakdown of the family has gone hand-in-hand with increasing crime)? It's also worth noting that the same benefits cited in the argument over marriage are available to unmarried people, so the legal perks are an academic question anyway.
Thus it is evident that gay and lesbian couples, in addition to living in a manner contrary to God's definition for marriage, give no compelling reason for being entitled to the perks offered to heterosexual couples. In the first place, they obviously can't produce children on their own. And even if they adopt or utilize artificial insemination (this last obviously in the case of women only), they do not provide a balanced family and suitable role models for children, which require role models of both sexes behaving in the proper manner towards each other in order to thrive. Moreover, gay couples as a rule do not honor any kind of commitment, whether legislative or Divine, to remain faithful to one another. A study titled "The Male Couple" covered over a hundred of the "most stable" male couples and was itself produced and published by a male couple, a psychiatrist and a psychologist respectively. In their findings, they concluded that sexual fidelity was "the rule among heterosexuals" and "the exception among homosexuals. Exception indeed, for out of the numerous pairs they studied only a miniscule percentage had remained exclusive to one another, and of those who had been together for more than five years (also a minority even among the group of the "most stable") NONE had maintained sexual fidelity. Zero. Nadda. Not one. This clearly goes against the clause in wedding vows about keeping only to your spouse.
Now granted, not all straight couples, married or unmarried, live up to their word either. Some are distressingly open and cavalier about their infidelity. But the fact remains that gays clearly are not willing to play by the rules.
Now if I remember my history correctly, both the church ordained by God in the first century AD and the United States of America share something: In order to join, you must contribute and you must play by the rules. 2 Thessalonians clearly says that "if any man does not work, he should not eat." (this verse obviously excludes those unable to work such as the sick or crippled, as many times the Bible speaks glowingly of those who minister to such out of Christian love). Even the apostle Paul, who of all people had the right to require support for his ministry, went out of his way to avoid personal gifts even though he carried many to struggling churches, and made his own living as a tentmaker in addition to his ministry to the souls of all who would listen. And if a territory wishes to become one of the United States, they are expected to be able to contribute to the well-being of the United States as a whole. Moreover, in the early church members were expected to abide by certain Godly standards - earning their keep, charity toward one another, abandoning idolatry, and yes, abstaining from any and every form of sexual immorality. Those who refused were said in 1 Timothy 5:8 to be worse than unbelievers (the verse specifically refers to those who would not honor their responsibility to their families). Similarly, when predominantly Mormon Utah wished to join the United States in the mid-to-late 1890's, the government laid down the law and said that the Mormons would have to give up polygamy (I think it's worth noting that the Mormons folded like origami at that, but I'll leave that be for now).
Now we have another group wanting in on the benefits offered by our government. But unlike the Mormons of 1896, they refuse to play by the rules. They want the government to change rules older than our country, older than civilization, to suit a minority who want benefits and ultimately will not contribute much of anything. They've already driven things into such a state that I could literally be fired from my job, at the YMCA (founded as the Young Men's Christian Association and still committed in our mission statement to honoring and teaching Christian principles), for saying these things. Show me the justice in that.
For once in recent history, I would say that the Bible and the American Law can only be in agreement here: If you want in on the club, you've got to follow the rules.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.