Greg Oyan: Preserving the institution of marriage

Otto Tielemans

Gay marriage has become one of the largest modern battlegrounds in social politics.

Traditionally, Democrats fight for gay rights, while most Republicans oppose granting marriage and the benefits associated with marriage to homosexual people.

Gays and lesbians have successfully achieved marriage rights in California and Washington in less than a month. To me, this revelation is not in the least bit desirable.

I find marriage to be a sacred institution between a man and a woman. Men and men don’t mix. Women and women don’t mix. The Bible clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman, and if homosexuals aren’t happy with domestic partnerships or civil unions that is tough luck.

Ephesians 5, Genesis, Malachi, and many other books in the Bible clearly state or infer that marriage is a sacred relationship between a man and a woman. There is little doubt in my mind that gay people really do love each other. I won’t justify their love, because I don’t believe it is biologically, or ethically just. However, I would be a fool to not recognize that homosexuals are under the belief that they are in love and attracted to their partners. That said, there wouldn’t be any stopping homosexual couples from wanting to live with one another as significant others.

The trouble that I have with the whole thing, other than the very notion of homosexuality in the first place, is that gay people are now fighting to be “married.”

The dictionary.com definition of marriage is as follows, “The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.” The very definition of marriage affirms that it is a special bond between a biological male and a biological female. It seems wrong to me that homosexuals seek to extend a long-standing tradition such as marriage to include those it was not meant to include, especially since the exclusion of homosexuals was on purpose.

California’s hotly contested Proposition 8 that was voted on in November 2008 confirmed that a majority of Californians did not want gay marriage allowed in our state. That proposition was overturned about a week ago by a federal appeals court panel. Why the heck do three people have authority over voting Californians? How could Proposition 8 be unconstitutional? 

It seems like a straightforward proposition to me. Basically, the question Proposition 8 aimed to resolve was: can homosexuals get married or not? California answered with a resounding, “no.” Now, regardless of the November 2008 vote, the United States justice system is saying, “too bad, yes.”  

That is not fair, nor a responsible political maneuver. Proposition 8 should be voted on again later this year, but it seems as though the United States Supreme Court will pick up the case instead once good Republicans and Christians alike oppose the overturn of Proposition 8. 

I’m glad that the overturn will be opposed, however, I think for the fairness and legitimacy of the entire process, Californians and other Americans should vote in their respective states regarding the matter.  Now, don’t get me wrong, gay people are human beings, and they deserve basic rights just like everyone else. So how should we distinguish the guild lines of an intimate homosexual bond from that of marriage?

Homosexual people need some sort of partnership other than marriage to satisfy people in regards to the legality of the union, and personally gratify the partners.  I think that civil unions are appropriate for gays and lesbians.  Since marriage is a religious practice as well as a legal status, it is important that the religious importance of marriage is preserved, and because civil unions don’t infringe upon that preservation, they should be encouraged for homosexual couples across the state and the country. 

Also, the benefits given to married men and women should be applied to civil unions to include the many tax, medical, government, and employment conveniences given to married pairs.  I don’t see any problem with gay people having those rights and being able to live happy lives together.  I think they deserve what married people receive as a result of being married, and other than the title of “married,” they can still be in a “union,” together. 

It doesn’t seem hard to satisfy the values and ideologies of both sides of the fight.  Maybe I’m wrong and naïve, or both.  However, seeing as the debate is largely active in California and Washington as of late, it is pertinent to the dispute that reasonable solutions to the problem be proposed, and this was simply my take on things.  I realize that I could get some flak for speaking out against gay people, yet I say with confidence and fidelity that I honor their rights and desires as best I can, and wish them the best of luck no matter the outcome of this civil rights battle. 

Still, I will not sway from my initial stance that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman, and that the term marriage must not include the relationship between two people of the same sex.

Click here to read an alternate opinion by Foothill senior Matt Zinik.

What do you think?