Love, Not H8

Sometimes, when we’re watching an old film, or listening to classic rock, my husband will wistfully say, “I wish I had lived during the sixties.” To which I always respond — not I. In the 60′s, life was peace, love, and The Beatles for some. For others, it was Motown, protests, fire hoses, and hatred. And I always remind my husband — we probably would not have gone to college together and shared those free love good times. Also, it would have been illegal for us to be married up until 1967, when Loving v. Virginia finally struck down miscegenation laws. In the year 2000, the state of Alabama became the last state to repeal its law against mixed-race marriage. In the year 2000!

I am still so proud that America saw beyond race and chose the man I considered to be the best candidate — Barack Obama — to be the next President of the United States.

His victory sends a huge message to the world, that America is indeed a country of tremendous opportunity and promise. The struggles of folks like the Lovings — and Barack Obama’s own parents who surely faced judgment for their relationship in their time as well — have paid off in visible and real ways. We have come so far in terms of civil rights, and this past election was proof of that.

But in terms of equal rights, I believe that this country just took a real step backwards — in Arkansas, where a law passed to prevent unmarried couples from adopting or serving as foster parents, in California with the passage of Proposition 8, and in my state of Florida where Amendment 2 passed. As someone who’s in a marriage that would have once been deemed illegal, I find the parallels between this country’s attitude towards interracial marriage and same-sex marriage to be dismaying and disheartening. And I am not alone — the late Mildred Loving felt the same way, and spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage before she passed away this year. “I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry… That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about,” she declared.

Growing up in the Caribbean, I think I’ve heard just about every argument against homosexuality, every derisive slur, every religious condemnation. Sometimes it feels pointless to argue against people who believe insane things, who act like somehow being gay makes you less of a person. All I can do is assume that they didn’t grow up around gay people. They didn’t have gay relatives or friends. They couldn’t have — otherwise they’d understand that being gay is not a choice. It’s not something you wake up and decide to be, to be shocking or edgy. It is who you are born to be, same as I was born to be a black woman. They would understand that gay, straight, black, white, Latin, Asian, whatever you are – people are people, with the same emotions and needs that we all have.

Seeing the subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination that my gay friends and relatives have endured has had an effect on me. It’s made me jaded towards the “religious” arguments against homosexuality.

I can’t fully understand how someone could call themselves Christians, or spiritual, or “good people,” and say that they believe in a loving and just God, but then simultaneously pour down such fire and brimstone judgment on others because of their sexual orientation. It reveals stunning hypocrisy, in my view.

I have noticed that those who condemn homosexuality tend to pick and choose their Biblical verses very carefully. The verses chosen always come from The Book of Isaiah, or Kings, or Leviticus. Very seldom do these folks consider Matthew, chapter 7 verse 12, the Golden Rule, in their arguments — “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Or John chapter 8 verse 7 — let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

I guess these people consider themselves to be without sin, and therefore capable of judging others. But to be really real with you — I don’t believe religious arguments should even matter in this arena. In a country that purports to embrace the separation of church and state, I honestly don’t get how the California Supreme Court decision that recognized same-sex marriage in California as an equal right could be overridden. It is disturbing and scary to me that the rights already granted to the citizens of California could even be taken away, even by a popular vote. I can’t imagine how it would make me feel, if Loving v. Virginia was somehow, someday revoked.

Marriage is such a special commitment. But according to information at DivorceRate.org, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. There are drive through wedding chapels, so if you’re wasted and whimsical in Vegas you can make two bad decisions at once. I’ve known people — Catholics, mind you! — who have had two or three divorces. We watch and cackle at reality television competitions that steer couples towards the altar and end with a rose ceremony — and often, a ring and an on-bended-knee proposal of marriage. So it makes me laugh when straight people say things like marriage is sacred, when it’s been made into such a mockery by so many.

Then you’ll hear arguments like, “I don’t have a problem with gay people, let them be together… call it a civil union, just don’t call it marriage.” Why not? I don’t believe that allowing same sex couples to get married in any way diminishes my own marriage. How on earth would granting the right of a man and another man, or a woman and another woman to be legally joined, affect me? Quite simply, it doesn’t.

I agreed completely with Keith Olbermann’s special comment on Prop 8. I thought his passion was palpable, his words eloquent, and his meaning clear.

I believe that love is love. And people are people. I believe that if two consenting adults love each other and want to get married, they should be able to.

In the meantime, the Proposition 8 movement is provoking expression from wonderful and unexpected sources. Brilliant comedian and former Afrobella of the Week Wanda Sykes had spoken out humorously about gay marriage before, in her stand up special. But because of Prop 8, she is now one of very few black celebrities I can think of who has come out of the closet. Wanda just revealed that she herself has a wife. And I bet they are an adorable couple!

In Wanda’s own words: “Gay is not a choice. That’s like telling me I chose to be a woman, I chose to be black…I am proud to be a woman, I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay. Now let’s go and get our damn equal rights!

Anna Quindlen’s great Newsweek essay, The Loving Decision outlines the similarities, and reveals the inevitiability that someday soon, there will be a Loving vs. Virginia for same sex marriage. It’s only a matter of time. Someday, it will seem crazy that same sex marriage was once deemed illegal. Someday. In the meantime, we’re in for more protests and anger, heartbreak and struggle, here in America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I am not a blogger of color alone in lamenting the passage of Prop 8 and Amendment 2. Jack and Jill Politics, Pam’s House Blend, Incredible Juju, Racialicious, Acts of Faith, That Girl Has Issues, Noctuary, and Simply Fred Smith all did wonderful, informative, eloquent posts examining race and it’s place in the passage of Prop 8. They are all worth a read. And FYI, I got the photo above from this pro-same sex marriage Facebook group.

I expect this to be the kind of post that provokes comments with vastly differing opinions. Please feel free to express yours, but I ask that you remain respectful in doing so.

What are your views on this very hot button issue, bellas and fellas?

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Comments

  1. Girl I couldn’t agree more. I”m so glad you shared your thoughts, esp. with a Caribbean background. Being here in T”dad, it’s hard sometimes having gay friends or holding sexual equality views, as there is so much condemnation and fundamentalist thinking. LIke you I also hope and believe that it is all just a matter of time.

  2. TriniGourmet, so glad a fellow Trini is speaking out! I was just talking to my brother who was telling me about a really nice new bar, and how it’s a shame because everyone says it’s a gay bar so nobody wants to go to it! SMH at that ignorance. I can’t wait to come down so I could go and have a drink there. Great to hear from you.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful and insightful post. You really hit the nail on the head with this one. If I typed all that I have to say, you would be reading a novel. But let me just say this. I am a woman, I am black, I am a lesbian and I am Christian. The only thing I willingly chose to be was the latter of the 4.

    While I have blogged on this as well. What boggles my mind is that people claim that a civil union is the same (in legal rights) as marriage, but let’s see how many people would opt to give up their marriages for “civil unions”.

    Thank you for your support and keep up the great blogging.

  4. westindiangal says:

    Bella, during slavery the Bible was also used to justify slavery and now it’s being used to justify H8. I think it’s scary that we live in a time where we see rights being taken away. This is reflective of the outgoing administration’s legacy. I mourn for what has happened to this forward thinking country and I hope that we will rebound.

    I live in San Francisco, and it’s great to see the level of involvement in attempting to overturn Prop 8. I don’t understand how people can’t see this simply for what it is, someone’s right to live just like you and me.

  5. As a black woman and a Christian, I am hurt that they overturned the right for gay marraige. You love who you love! Equal rights took a step back on that one! How can people have the audacity/nerve to dictate an emotion. I believe man has & continues to twist the Bible to use for his own selfish purposes. I just do not see God in denying people the right to love!

  6. Great post bella. As a women of Caribbean descent, multi-racial, and in an interracial relationship, I know exactly where you’re coming from. It amazes me the changes that happen in our country that people seem to forget about. At one point, women weren’t allowed to vote. Today, no one would think to stop a women from going to the polls. At one point, interracial and intercultural marriages were illegal, and today they are more accepted and legtimized by law. Someday, homosexuals will be able to marry, and it won’t be such a controversial subject. Marriage should be a right, not a heterosexual privilege.

  7. It appalls me that people actually voted for discrimination. That’s basically what it was. I agree with you Bella, how does gay marriage affect straight marriages? It’s like they think their marriage is going to be less valuable because a gay couple can get married. You are right–people have such short memories in this country. I would be angered if my right to marry anyone I choose got taken away, so I can empathize with how gay people across the nation must be feeling. I didn’t choose to be straight and I don’t think folks choose to be gay either.

  8. I have totally turned away from religion. Religion is responsible for so much pain and misery in the world. The passage of Prop. 8, with the Mormon Church backing it, is another example of the pain the religion causes.

    I believe in God but I want nothing to do with anyone’s religion.

  9. Great post friend! I feel passionately about this one. I am also in an interracial relationship, and it was that relationship that allowed me real insight into what we must do to win this struggle. My girlfriend’s mother, a Korean-American, remarried to a Caucasian guy from Alabama who was stationed over there. When I met him, I was sure that he’d be very open-minded considering the generation in Alabama that he came and moved against in his interracial marriage. Alas! We were in a discussion about the same-sex marriage issue and he, a stringent Evangelical Christian, began Biblically informing me about the threat of s.s.marriage to marriage and how happy he was that it was outlawed on Nov. 4th in those states. What a mind-bender! From someone who struggled against the marriage stigma himself!

    Once I wrapped my mind around that position, I realized that the “religiosity” of our society is the real source of our problem. Please note that I say “religiosity” not in mockery of religion itself, but only in its tragic, absurd distortion. Unfortunately, the path towards equal rights to our gay brothers and sisters goes through that religiosity, cause religiosity has a vote. And no state is inoculated from such hate. As it were, even the bastion of liberalism that is California is subject to such hate. I am actually of the mind that this movement can be won first in the churches, only then to spill over into the public domain. This is an issue of Spiritual Identity to so many people, despite it’s nonsense. It is that identity that must be changed. Until that happens, people like my potential future father and law (sigh) will continue to see this issue as a Biblical choice between good and evil. It’s so easy and attractive for them to see the gay lifestyle as a sin. They have Old Testament verse and the intoxicating comfort that comes with “at least I’m not breaking THAT rule”. This is a struggle not only against bigotry, but also against the corruption of the true message of Love that lives within the message of Christianity. Convince people – at church – that Matthew 7:12 is what it’s all about, then you have a voting block powerful enough to write a new civil rights amendment. High hopes, gotta have em.

  10. Like Wanda said, “if you are against gay marriage, don’t get gay married!”

    My folks are from the Caribbean and I understand what you mean about the homophobia. Maybe the younger generation will be more open minded.

  11. Great info here. But I still stand on the belief that just like all the other choices in the world sexuality is a choice not given at birth. I am not agaisnt homosexuals and respect them just like all other human beings. But I do not agree with wrapping that decision under the same category as race. Above all gifts God gave us is FREE WILL. We create the life we live.

  12. classy and natural says:

    Hi bella a very good post but I have to disagree. To compare the gay marriage with civil right is completely wrong. I am an African American woman that’s not a choice that’s who I am. If I want to I can marry a woman that’t my choice. Civil rights and the gay marriage arguement cannot hold up. I have many gay friends and nothing against there choices however if that’s the lifestyle they choose then why should they be given the same rights as a straight couple. We can argue back and forth about this but this country was built on christian principles. Yes those same principles were used to enslave us. But there is no mistake what the bible says about gay relationships it clearly states that God is against them. He does not hate the person but he does not like what they are doing. So in closing I am not without sin and I am not judging but when I voted against Amendment 2 it was through much prayer. I have to stand behind my christian beliefs.

  13. Miss Bella, you are right, this is an extremely hot button issue, its sad that it even has to be an issue and its not going to go away and at the same time it can’t be hushed and left to the side. Especially in my country, you can be killed for being a homosexual and trust there are plenty of people down there living with their partners, keeping the relationship quiet is their protection.

  14. CoilyFields says:

    Bella and sisters,
    I guess I will be the first to dissent with the above opinions. I am a christian and am an avid proponant of reading the bible for all that it is worth. That means not picking and choosing which verses and chapters that I will embrace or decide are outdated.

    With that said. Homosexuality is a sin. It is grouped with a host of other sins that are done within our own bodies including adultery and fornication.

    The word of God says in the old and new testaments that homosexuality is a sin against God. Period. And he says that his word is the same yesterday, today and forever. He also says that no one should add nor take away from his word. That means that there are no updated revisions concerning homosexuality and He does not need to be second-guessed.

    The problem is that people have used the word of God for their advantage and the disadvantages of others. The Bible does not support slavery, racism, hate, nor cruelty. Many of these things occured in the Bible but if you read it you will see where God objected to them all but allowed us the freedom of choice along with the consequences that followed.

    If you truly read the word of God, he says what is right and what is wrong and then proceeds to tell us not to judge one another but to love each other as ourselves. That does not mean that I have loved your sin into something right but that I love you despite your sin just as I hope you love me despite mine.

    The Bible says that no sin is greater than the other so if we are pouring out unconditional love it should not matter if that sin be lying, murder, homosexuality, or pride. But loving that person does not mean that the abovementioned things are no longer against God.

    As far as a seperation between Church and State, the meaning of that is usually taken out of context. The “founders” intended that the State not be controled by a church and vice versa, it was not intended to promote a communist society where religion is not allowed in politics. NO ONE leaves their values at the door when they enter the public or political arena. Whether you say your values are based on a particular religion or your own made-up ethics, your apply them to every situation that you encounter. No one is objective in the way that people believe the absence of religion allows. We have all decided what we think is right or wrong and we would not want to live in a society that has no sense of right and wrong.

    Marriage was the first institution God created and he did it between a man and a woman. And later he specified that it was to be between one man and one woman only. He does not approve of divorce either. So do not let the sins of people discredit the word of GOd. No one is perfect and none of us can cast the first stone but really read that passage in the Bible about Jesus telling the men that he who is without sin to cast the first stone. He shows mercy to the woman caught in adultery but then tells her to go and sin no more. This passage does not justify her sin, it condemns the harsh judgements that we may be prone to casting.

    My love for my fellow man or woman is not diminished because they are homosexual. It is my goal to draw them with love. Being a Christain, I am soooo not perfect, but I cannot support laws and policies that go against the word of God. Those include abortion, hate, and same-sex marriage.

    There will always be people who misrepresent what it means to be a Christian and love one another. The Bible says they have a zeal of God but not according to knowledge. meaning they can recite the law but they really dont understand it or apply it correctly. But being a Christian is about a personal relationship with God and should not be contingent on the actions of people.

    I hope I have explained myself well. It is not my intention to confuse or offend but to uphold the will of God as He has declared it to be. Love…

  15. CoilyFields says:

    Opps! I’m not the first anymore, after typing that long repsonse!

  16. This is such a touchy issue, being a christian myself I know the Bible says it is wrong. I used to give the argument that Leviticus says we should not eat meat but we do now. However, my uncle pointed out to me that the meat issue was amended in the new testament and the issue of homosexuality was still denounced I think in about 2 or 3 places in the new testament. Cos some Christians, myself included, believe that we live under grace (new testament) and not under law (old testament).

    With that being said, I am very sad that proposition 8 was even brought to the table for discussion or voting. If same sex people getting married does not affect your daily bread or way of life I don’t see why you should tell people who they should or should not marry. That should be between them and God.

    Also for everyone that has doubts about Christianity, we can all agree that over the years people have used religion to do some downright evil things just know that it’s an individual thing which stems largely from greed. I have a lot of friends who are Muslims and I will never say they are terrorists just because of their religion.

  17. NaturallyMe says:

    Miss Bella, I love your website, but of course I have to strongly disagree. As a Christian it pains me to hear people misinterpret the bible. The Bible never condoned slavery; however it acknowledges that it was a practice. Slavery in the Biblical times was not based on race or nationality. People sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts, or provide for their family. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were slaves of someone else. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their master. There were specific instructions on how slaves were to be treated (note: Deut 15:12-15, Ephesians 6:9). Not only that, but Jesus condemned those who were mistreating their bondservants. So when I hear the people say that “well the bible was used to condone slavery (referring to the Africans being kidnapped and forced into slavery), so it can’t be used to condemn homosexuality,” it lets me know that sometimes even people who call themselves Christians don’t read their own bible

    In regards to the same sex marriage issues that are steadily being promoted by the media and then being lined up with the civil rights movement is just shameful. Homosexuality is not and identity, but a behavior and a sin, just as stealing, killing, adultery, being judgmental, and etc. However, the wickedness of it is that now we are being told that it is not. I can’t condemn anyone, because I fall short and have sinned. However, I wouldn’t dare tell someone that my wrong is right and that everyone should see it as so, even if I try to wrap it in a blanket and call it “love”. Some things are not natural, and even small children can see that. Jesus taught us to love everyone, but he also told us who would not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matthew), and homosexuality was one on that long list. Some of the things which I have done, and have had to repent for.

    Not only that, marriage was ordained by God – between man and woman. The fact the people now want to redefined marriage and reshape it for their own benefit is a mockery. Let the voices of those who voted against same sex marriage be heard. And let’s pray for our nation because we are in time of strong moral decay.

  18. I wrote about this on my own blog, too. For me, it doesn’t matter what your personal feelings about gay marriage are. The point is, people should not be able to vote on another group’s civil right(s). That is just wrong. ESPECIALLY on the basis of religion. Everyone is not a Christian. This is what separation of church and state is for.

    Also, people against this need to hear from normal, well-adjusted children who grew up with gay parents and tell them that gay marriage ruins the sanctity of marriage. I bet they couldn’t.

    If marriage is so sacred, why not ban divorce? I just cannot get down with taking away someone’s civil right to marry and enjoy the benefits. If you are not in the marriage, it does not affect you. Period.

  19. It takes courage to speak out on issues and for that I commend you Bella. This is a no brainer for me. I support gay rights. Period. They pay taxes no? So gays should be able to have an ex-husband or ex-wife just like everybody else.

    To deny people the right to marry is give them second class status as tax -paying citizens. There is a separation of church and state no? Is that not the law of our land? Then why are some folks insistent upon using the Bible as a tool of oppression? Homosexuality isn’t any more of a choice than being Hetero. And even if being gay were a choice do you think folks would really choose to be gay? With all of the ridicule, ostracism, hatred, rotten eggs and apples that are thrown your way daily?

    C’mon people.

  20. All I want to say at this point is I’m glad to see both sides of this discussion displayed in a civil and passionate manner. Thanks to all (so far) for not advocating hatred for anyone, but rather giving your own opinions. Thank you also, Bella, for being brave in your own opinion and allowing this forum to exist.

    peace…

  21. See…I find it interesting that we talk about choice and free will in religious terms, but in a secular argument about laws and policy are so quick to legislate the behavior and “choices” of others. Why can’t we be consistent? For those who want to thump Bibles, please realize that the truth is a “two edged sword” and many of you are going to get cut. Using what the Bible defines as sin to determine what is law implies that we can help God judge. Besides, many of the things our laws forbid are not condemned by the Bible…and so we can skip over the historical context, let me give an example. Help me out those who are well read when it comes to the Bible, are slavery or polygamy sins?

    I am so amazed at the role the Mormon church has played here. Forget their history of polygamy and the miniscule splinter sects that practice it today in defiance of their church. Forget their history of persecution and flight to Utah. Let’s talk about today. Let’s talk about the discrimination and marginalization Mormons face socially and politically (especially within the Republican party). The irony of a marginalized group (even a relatively privileged one) supporting the marginalization of others is not a coincidence and part of me wonders why we still play these games after all these years.

    I still don’t get how it is okay for children to sit in group homes or at orphanages when there are families willing–no, happy–to take them in. I won’t scare you with what’s “really real” in our foster care system, but how many of the people who take the greatest care to legislate who is “fit” to be a a good parent or to define what a family is actually adopt or take in foster children? I bet the stats would closely mirror the stats Michael Moore collected when he surveyed Congress to find out how many of their children were in the military when we declared war against Iraq.

  22. I’m reminded of the words of the late Nina Simone: “You don’t have to live next to me, just give me my equality!”. If you don’t care for gay people, that’s your prerogative. But I don’t think anyone has the right to vote or decide for another group, what is right for them. And I believe this is a civil rights issue; sure, you make the choice regarding who you love, we all do. However, your sexuality is an innate part of your being, much like being black or being a woman; that’s not a choice you make. It’s just who you are.

    And since when did one’s marriage become defined by what happens between two other people? It’s interesting how people are up in arms about gay marriage but if they’re so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, they should be throwing a fit about the divorce rate in this country.

  23. Thanks for this great post. I hope the day comes when people can marry whomever they want, and I hope that day comes soon. I too was raised in a Caribbean environment where homosexuality was condemned, but it never felt justified to me. I just couldn’t understand what the big deal was. I also agree that being gay is NOT a choice. Dating people of your same sex is a choice, but actually BEING gay is not.

    For those who say homosexuality is a sin, what do you propose these people do? Sexuality cannot be repressed, it will come out no matter what. All that would happen is gay people would wind up married to straight people, all the while still harboring homosexual desires. I’d rather a world where people can be themselves. Sorry, but I’m not trying to be anyone’s beard.

    As for religion, topics like this remind me of why Christianity is not the right path for me.

    P.S. I would have picked the 70′s over the 60′s, bad fashion notwithstanding. We finally had our civil rights, women’s lib, birth control, etc.

  24. HaitianRoots says:

    I have to say that I disagree with some of your comments on today’s post. yes, i am a christian, and i do not apologize for that. i will not take total offense on your views about christian, “good people” because i am thinking you were not speaking about the christians that truly have a relationship with Christ. what i’m trying to say is that the world is full of sin, and as a believer you are to hate the sin and not the sinner. i do have family members that are gay, i’ve interned for a gay man, everyone of them know’s that i don’t agree with the lifestyle, but i will not judge you for how you live. that is between you and God. because in God’s eyes, we all fall short, BUT He has given us a tool (the Bible) to help us see where we fall short and calls us a believeres to hold one another accountable. unfortunately, some people take holding someone accountable the wrong way. therefore becoming judgemental and self-righteous. if you are my friend and i see that you are doing something that you shouldn’t be doing (ex: cheating on a spouse) i am called to speak the truth in love.

    i would also like to add, that i know of several people who CHOSE to live that lifestyle. and in that same group of people, there are those who made up in their mind that they didn’t want to live that way anymore. i can’t speak for those who feel that this is how they were when they came out of the womb, i can only speak from what i know/whom i know.

    my purpose is to not offend anyone. and i think it is wonderful that God has created us with hearts that can get so passionate about things. i’m very passionate about marriage. and i agree that this society has made a mockery of it. the divorce rates are so high not because marriage isn’t sacred, it’s because people don’t understand why it is. some don’t understand its purpose and because of their ignorance, treat it in such a manner that devalues it. It’s like looking at a picture on the wall, and thinking “i guess it’s okay” walking away not realizing that you were looking at a DiVinci.

    so please, bella, i am not a person that thinks that i am without sin. i am not asking God to open up heavens doors and send fire upon all those who are gay; or to those who commit murder, or are addicts, or those who have premarital sex…no, my only prayer is that we can see each other how God sees us and ask him to point out the things that we need to get rid of in our lives that holds us back from having a true (non-religious)relationship with him.
    i don’t want to judge others because of my beliefs, and i don’t others to judge me becaus of my beliefs. i understand and hear your frustration and your passion about this topic and it for that reason i will not be offended about your comments about christians/believers in general.

  25. HaitianRoots says:

    sorry for the typos

  26. The Miami Hearld had an article in todays paper about a gay man trying to adopt 2 boys who he’s taken care of for the past 4 years. He can’t adopt them because it is against the law for gays to adopt in Florida. However, convicted felons and drug abusers can! The states argument is that the children can be influenced by the gay lifesyle and grow up with issues. Why should two kids be deprived of a good home because the state disagrees with ones lifestyle? Will the kids have more issues than the majority of kids who grow up in the households of straight parents? I doubt it. I don’t think the government has any right to dictate who you can marry and who should be able to adopt children. Everyone has a right to love and be loved…whom ever they choose.

  27. This was a good post Bella, I totally disagree with you. Our country was built on Christian values and the constitution has always seen marriage as a union between one man and one woman; as does our Lord and Savior. When God said to Adam and Eve “go forth, be fruitful and multiply” well that’s something that only male/female can do.
    I don’t judge anyone for a lifestyle that they have chosen to live; only God can do that. I love my gay friends for they who they are but it doesn’t mean that their lifestyle is right with God.
    The Old Testament scriptures are the foundation for the New Testament scriptures. They go hand in hand. I admit it can be sad to hear some people quote scriptures out of context. But the God’s word is just what it is and many times people get offended by the Word, but God’s Word is the TRUTH.

    God is loving God, but HE (like our parents) will punish us when we do wrong. Romans chapter 1 talks about the wrath of God, when the people began to live outside of His will. Ps 81:12 says So I (God) gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Remember God gives us free will (the right to chose). Doesn’t mean that He approves but we all have the right to choose. Yet we must know that no matter what chooses we make, good/bad, there are consequences.

    Romans 1:26-27: For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.
    This passage is unique it is the only place in the Bible that specifically refers to same-gender sexual behavior.
    BOTTOM LINE HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN.

  28. I think some folks need to check themselves.
    Not everybody subscribes to their religious hocus pocus, or the terminology of “sins”. Telling people that you love them anyway because “we all fall short” is a crock. You DID make a judgement against gays if you decided not to agree with their civil rights. It’s not up to any Bible fanatic to tell others what their shortcomings are. Muslims can do the same thing to them. Christ didn’t denounce gay people. Anyone who has a real “relationship” with him would know that.

  29. All I can say is that I feel you, Bella. I feel you really hard on some of the things you’ve said.
    I’m glad everyone can come out and respectfully give their opinions, so here’s mine:

    Not everyone in America shares the same religious beliefs. Religious beliefs have no place in legislation. No one has the right to decide/undermine/judge other taxpayer’s rights. If they are good enough to pay taxes/fight wars/vote/everything else, they are good enough to get married.

  30. CoilyFields says:

    To answer a couple questions.

    1. Yes, Polygamy and slavery are sins. As I stated before, they are in the Bible but God does not condone them. For example, One of the wisest men on earth King Solomon was a polygamist and God reproached him for it and in the end it led to his demise.

    2. Some people may be born gay, for others it is a choice. But being born that way does not make it right. The Bible says that We were all born in sin and shaped in iniquity and that there is no good in the flesh but that we must be transformed daily by the renewing of our minds.

    If you believe in God you must believe in the power of deliverance and he has said that he is faithful to forgive all of our sins. He provides us with redemption and the ability to turn away from those things that do not please him. Of course it will take diligence and practice, just like quitting smoking. Some can quit cold turkey, and for others its a process. There may still be temptation out there but if we stay close to God and not put ourselves in the way of temptation we need not live outside of his will.

    3. Why care if its not you?
    Christians are called to righteousness and our love and character are to positively effect the world around us.

    Those things that are at first anomolys may be gradually accepted as norms in society. As a Christian, one of our highest callings is to raise christian children. It becomes harder and harder to guide my child in the right path when she is surrounded by sin that society calls normal. For example, sex outside of marriage is a sin. And society has gradually claimed it to be ok, natural and expected. The moral decay has become so pervasive that people now contemplate giving contraceptives to elementary and middle schoolers. Now I must begin even earlier protecting my child from these temptations. And my love for my fellow men and women would not allow me to see them go astray and not say anything.

    We do not live in a vacuum. The laws and practices in one state or group of people will eventaully effect us all.

    I want the world to be the best and most loving place it can be and I believe that Gods will for all of our lives will reveal our greatest destiny.

  31. Soul Cookbook says:

    Love this discussion.

    I am not a religious person (haven’t been to church in years) and I couldn’t quote biblical cripture or anything like that.

    However, I understand why voters voted to protect the definition of marriage. I think it is important to remember, while we’re all caught up in the emotion of the issue, that the amendment in California was strictly a free-speech issue. The freedom of the majority to DEFINE what marriage is.

    For centuries we have know marriage as being between one man and one woman. In the past people of other races were not allowed to marry but their unions still fit the popular definition of marriage. The violence and hatred that stems from interracial relationships was used as an argument to prohibit them. Even today, despite interracial marriages being legal under the law, they still account for a large percentage of divorces and IR couples face a lot of discrimination. Not allowing people of other races to marry had more to do with quelling violence and “keeping the peace” than the relationships themselves.

    Gay marriage is totally different. Marriage is the foundation of society. The purpose of which is to provide stability for citizens and if those citizens choose to have children, those children will grow up with two parents of the opposite sex – each providing a biological benefit to the child. Study after study has shown that children do best when they are raised by their biological parents. Even adoption isn’t the most ideal circumstance for children. Of course if a child is facing starvation or violence any loving environment is better, but ideally each child should grow up with both his or her actual parents. This is SCIENTIFICALLY the best way for a society to function. And while many people choose to not marry or have children, it is the goal for most citizens.

    The government has a resposiblity to protect its citizens and elevate the most rewarding lifestyles over all others. Heterosexual marriage and children is the most rewarding and beneficial lifestyle for a society. This is not religion, it’s just fact. Married people with children live longer, are more financially stable and tend to be happier. They in turn can purchse goods and services to keep up an economy, tend to not use and abuse drugs, and don’t have bastard children that are not taken care of. Again, I realize many married heteros with kids are not perfect, but that doesn’t mean that the married, hetero w/kids lifestyle isn’t the ideal. It still is the most rewarding lifestyle for a society. So the government needs to protect this because they benefit directly.

    Once we start redfining and denying what is ideal, you start to get into trouble. For a society to maintain itself it needs to have a birthrate of 2.1. In most ocuntries where they have legalized gay marriage, the birthrate has gone way down. And those populations have been replaced (like in Europe) by people that tend to be vehemently against homosexuality (muslims).

    If homosexuals want to committ to each other (which I think is great) and have a wedding I am all for it. But the governement should be allowed to promote the most ideal lifestyle for its citizens because it is their job to protect ALL of its citizens and maintain order and a standard that willl ensure the country continues to prosper. Part of the reason we are in the troubles we are in is due to the decline of the nuclear family (single parents or two very absent parents).

    I am not for discrimination, but I am for stability and prosperity. Government-sanctioned Marriage is not a right, it is a privlege. One that some may take for granted, but it still is a privlege.

  32. This is not the United States of Christianity. Everybody comes out of the shadows to tell us what their book of fairy tales prescribes, but nobody asked you! We have a separation of church and state in this country. That’s hard to wrap some brains around, I know. Legislation doesn’t come from the pulpit.

    “Being born that way does not make it right.”

    Even if the God y’all supposedly love made people that way? Wow, if that’s not an agenda, I don’t know what is. They’ll even doubt the Almighty One to spite the gays. LOL.

  33. HaitianRoots says:

    afrobello, i’m not sure if you indirectly directing your comments toward me, but i don’t think that name calling necessary. and when did saying we all fall short become a crock? and when does believing in religion have to be belittled? i don’t think that’s fare. is that not a judgement from you?

    the scary and sad thing about this topic is that it leaves people on both sides of the fence, calling each other names, and telling strangers about who they are and whether they have a real or fake “relationship” with Christ. Subjects like this make it hard to say “hey let’s agree to disagree without being disagreeable”. in the end both groups of people end up being hurt and offended and there is not resolution. we will all be judged by our actions. not everyone who believes in the Bible will actually do what it says…this goes back to all falling short. NO ONE IS PERFECT. i’m not the one to start wagging my finger in anyones face. we all have an oppinion, and everyone will always have a justification for their actions whether we agree with it being right or wrong.

  34. To all the so-called Christians that have commented and used their religion to bash LGBT folks and justify their exclusion from marriage based upon your religious beliefs; keep the following in mind.

    The bible has been re-written and translated and tinkered with an untold number of times.

    In the past the bible has been used to justify slavery, women being the property of their husbands and burning people at the stake.

    All of you protestant Christians should also keep in mind that the religious demographics of the U.S. are changing and changing fast. In just a few short years you, Protestants, will no longer be the majority. Catholic Christians will be the majority. When this happens, if we as a nation, continue to use religion to enact laws, will have the Vatican dictating what you should and should not be able to do.

    And looking even further into the future, Islam is the number one religion in the world. So expect to adhere to Sharia Law based upon the Qur’an at some point as well.

    I suppose many of you will start acknowledging the separation of Church and State once your religion is a minority religion.

  35. And one more thing: for all of you that keep saying the being gay is a choice let me ask you this, when did you decide to be heterosexual? Tell us all about the conversation you had with yourself when you decided this. I really want to hear it.

    Common sense would tell most people that it would be very unlikely that people would choose homosexuality considering that gay people have such a hard way dealing with discrimination and violence aimed at the LGBT community. In some countries people are killed by law for being gay. And in some countries like the U.S. LGBT people are killed for sport.

    Even if you are a religious person, that shouldn’t preclude you from having a little common sense.

  36. smh… Afrobella, thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful post. It is so uplifting to hear your voice and the voices of other supportive sisters on this topic. Being raised in the black church, I have had the time of my life dealing with my sexual orientation. I KNEW I was gay from a very young age. This was certainly not a choice; never in my right mind would I have made a choice like that in the type of community I had to deal with on a daily basis. I have been condemned to pieces, belittled, heard the “Adam & Steve” sermons, prayers against lesbianism, been laid hands on, counseled, you name it. I struggled back and forth through high school, wished it away, prayed it away, everything. Church had always been a peaceful and supportive place for me and I grew up dependent on that love so when given the choice between my sexuality and my faith, I chose Christianity hands down. And I tried and tried to become someone I was not until I realized I hated myself. I hated my religion. I was insanely confused although I was sure on one thing. I was still gay.

    I asked God to teach me how to love. I figured if I could start with his greatest commandment, everything else would fall into place. Coming from my Christian background I believed that if I loved him first (because I found it much easier to love a perfect being than to try and love myself) then I could learn to love me next, and finally I would learn to love someone else.

    I am still on that journey. And I do love myself now. And I accept myself regardless of whether or not anyone else does. And I’ve also learned to love someone else. And SHE is an angel. And WE are happy.

    But the scars of religion still remain. I am still in limbo about who or what I believe because I can’t grow in a mindset that asks me to hate myself in the name of loving the Creator of Love. It just does not make sense to me. To this day I carry all of that baggage and although my family is still very much Christian, even when I go to church with them, a part of me is not there. And the part of me that is there doesn’t want to be (lol). I think that strong Black Christian Lesbian women like Tami are AMAZING. I admire your strength. Because I know how hard it is. I am considering seeking out a church in my area that is more open minded but my mind has so many scars…

    I wonder if I would one day have the courage to try to explain this to the many ministers and churchfolk who tried to help me “change”. Would it change their minds? Would they even care?

    [[Whew]] That was long I know. But thanks Afrobella, this is one place on the web {and in the world} I feel it is ok to just be me =)

  37. HaitianRoots says:

    Soul Cookbook, thank you for your thoughts. i have to say that i’m in agreement.

  38. I know this is off on another tangent and I don’t want to start an argument, I really don’t… but to the person who says “marriage is the foundation of society”– Hrunh? (*said in Scooby Doo voice*) So I guess unmarried people regardless of sexual orientation are useless to society at large unless they marry and procreate? Should they all be shuttled off to monasteries and convents? What about people who marry and choose not to have children–are they not following God’s will?

  39. Soul Cookbook I agree with part of your argument. However there are some things I have issues with . You said that, “Married people with children live longer, are more financially stable and tend to be happier.They in turn can purchse goods and services to keep up an economy, tend to not use and abuse drugs, and don’t have bastard children that are not taken care of. ” Are you referring to just heterosexual people or people in general? Aren’t homosexuals people too? Married homosexuals would not be able to do any of the above? Its been said that most homosexual couples tend to be more well off and better educated than some heterosexual couples. At least that’s how I see it living here is S.Florida. Also, I doubt the population in the U.S. would decline if homosexuals could marry. In Europe the population has been on the decline for sometime, thats without the instiution of gay marriage. I do agree that marriage is a privlege, a privlege that should all people should have. Regardless of sexual orientation.

  40. I do not people people should be able to vote on others civil rights. We would still be slaves if that were a common practice.

    I find it fascinating that some people, Christians included, fixate on certain “sins” such as abortion and gay lifestyles, but there is no comparable uproar to divorce, gluttony, or sloth.

    In my opinion, some people find it easy to fixate on abortion and homosexuality because they consider those sins that they would NEVER partake in. Thus, it makes it easy for them to throw the stone of judgment. Why? Quite simply: It makes them feel better about themselves and the sinful things they do every day to cast stones at others.

    But, I bet if a law passed that only two plates can be used per buffet at Shoney’s because gluttony is a sin, there would be people protesting from coast-to-coast.

  41. Soul Cookbook says:

    @ Niki

    I was the one who said marriage is the foundation of society. Yes, that is the truth. Every study that has been done on this issue, and even if you bump studies and just look at societies that are the most prosperous, heterosexual marriage is PROMOTED BY TH AT SOCIETY. Meaning things like tax breaks are given to people that are married and have children. Why do you think the government gives you a break on taxes and gives you credits when you have children and are married? The gov’t HATES to give away money. But they do this to ENCOURAGE people to get married and have a few children. This is because the traditional, nuclear family is the most likely to contribute to society in a positive way. I am not saying that single people don’t because they do in their own way. But in terms of the economy, military service, education, security, home ownership, etc. Married people with children are less likely to committ crimes, default on loans, need gov’t assistance, etc.

    And single people after a certain age do become a drag on society unless they have a good amount of money and a good job. Sorry, this is just fact. If you don’t make enough money to pay federal income tax, you are a drag on society. Most high crime neighborhoods are made up of unmarried people. Most cities with high rates of STD’s consist primarily of unmarried people. Marriage is a stabilixer, whether you want to believe it or not. And despite the media’s goal to destroy marriage and make it obsolete, it still is very relevant and will always be.

    And I never said ANYTHING about religion. My thoughts are religion-free. I do not use religion to justify anything.

  42. I agree w/ you totally Bella. Excellent post, you’re presenting this in a thoughtful heartfelt way to get some good dialogue going here.

    @Nina,Bohemian Bookworm & Get Togetha, I’m with you.

    Another thing that I’d like to add is, once you start trying to pick & choose which rights you give/withhold from groups of people for ANY reason, that is a VERY slippery slope & one where it becomes all a matter of interpretation. You don’t want to go there, cause where does it end? Who’s to say who’ll be next on the chopping block, so to speak?

    Secondly, what difference does it make whether someone chose to be gay or not? It’s a matter of CIVIL rights, I don’t care if they chose their lifestyle or they were born that way, it in no way diminishes their right to equal access & protection under the law. They’re citizens, they pay their taxes just like you & I. It isn’t fair to take someone’s civil rights away even if you don’t understand or agree with the lifestyle they’re living.

    And to those of you quoting Scripture, religion shouldn’t be a factor in this. Please, dig a little deeper into yourselves. I mean, you’re saying that you don’t “hate” gays, but…. that still you think they’re wrong somehow & therefore shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else. Regardless of whether you hate them or not, ultimately, you still don’t think they’re entitled to the same rights under the law as you are because they’re gay, so…you’re just as complicit as the rest of these folks, levels of hate notwithstanding. Compare that to how many White folks back in the Jim Crow/pre-Civil Rights movement loved their Black nannys, maids, servants, etc, trusted us to cook their food, run their households, raise their children & whatever else, but…still felt that Blacks didn’t possess the mental capabilities to vote & be entitled to live/work/go to school anywhere they wanted. How is that different? They used to use the Bible also to justify keeping us in our places… Just because those White folks didn’t flat out “hate” us didn’t make their oppression of us any less harmful, because ultimately, since they felt superior, they felt entitled to keep us as a people locked into a much lesser way of life.

    And as a Los Angeles, CA resident, as a straight Black woman, I was very dismayed at the passing of Prop 8. I think it’s horrible & flat out hateful & discriminatory. Thanks in part to Cali’s effed-up proposition system, the ease of which things can make it onto the ballot here. The system needs an overhaul, I can tell you that….

    Now, I understand some Black folks’ knee jerk reaction when this issue is compared to civil rights, but that is correct comparison.

    Bottom line, to deny gays the right to get married is a violation of their civil rights. Period. Why? Because being married automatically provides a certain level of protections & “respect” that other relationship unions just don’t receive in this society. There is a certain “legitimacy” automatically afforded to married couples. Look at how the Arkansas law stops unmarried couples from adopting, so does that means that the folks in civil unions will now be among the ineligible?

    Historically, issues of this importance haven’t been decided by the general population anyways, it usually comes down to the courts/law system, as it should. There are some cases now in court here challenging the legitimacy of Prop. 8′s passing, so maybe they’ll make some headway here.

    I know there’s talk of putting another proposition on the ballot in 2010, to repeal this Prop. 8, but sad to say, I don’t have much confidence in the ability of people as a collective to do the right thing here at the polls regarding this volatile issue.

    Because, quite frankly, I think if we’d left civil rights & interracial marriages to the whims of the gen. population, Bella, it would STILL be illegal in some states for you & your boo to be legally married, & we Black people might still be waiting to overcome!

    Sorry I’ve gone on for so long, but this issue bothers me. When I saw the crushed look on some of my gay friends’ faces on Nov. 4, I just couldn’t bear it. It hurt to look at them. Royally sucked.

    Okay, now I’ll shut up.

    Peace.

  43. LOL @ Femmejoli :) I agree!

  44. Soul Cookbook says:

    @ NikkiJ

    “Are you referring to just heterosexual people or people in general? Aren’t homosexuals people too? Married homosexuals would not be able to do any of the above?”

    I am only referring to hetero couples because they fit the standard definition of marriage. Of course homosexuals are people, I would never claim otherwise. My point was the governemnt has an obligation to promote the most ideal lifestyle for its citizens. Homosexuality, while it is not a choice, is still not the ideal. Why would the government equate heterosexual marriage with gay marriage if one is clearly more beneficial to society. And yes, the fact that heterosexual couples can have children automatically makes their unions more beneficial. They can directly, without the aid of anyone else, make new citizens that they in turn can raise with each other. Anything else is more complicated and requires more money and oversight. Look at the cost of the child welfare system and all of its complications. Any society would want to limit the use of foster and adoption systems.

    So while I completely agree that gay people are just as important and should have the same rights as anyone else – I am not going to say that gay marriage provides an equal benefit to society. It just doesn’t by nature. This doesn’t mean that gays should be discriminated against or face violence or anything like that. But it does mean that the gov’t can draw a line in the sand and say this (heterosexual marriage between one adult man and one adult woman) is what we will sanction. Anything outside of this we will not.

  45. Thank you so much for this post. I agree with everything you wrote here and couldn’t have stated it better myself.

  46. Honestly, there are so many more pressing issues in our society that indicate “moral decay”, and I find it interesting that people would choose to ignore those in favor of something that probably that no effect on their lives. It worries me that in the year 2006, 21% of all kids under the age of 18 were classified as living in poverty here in the US. There are so many starving kids out there, kids who are being sold into child slavery sex rings, divorce rates are going through the roof, and we’re still debating on how other people should live their lives?

    I can’t understand anyone who says that being homosexual is somehow a choice, as if we all consciously make the decision of being heterosexual. If you want to use religion to justify your reasoning, more power to you. However, it should also be noted that there people out there who actually DON’T believe in God, and therefore, should not have anyone’s beliefs imposed on them, especially if they’re a law-abiding citizen. Like someone else said before me, if they pay taxes, serve our country in Iraq, own property,vote, etc.. then who are we to infringe on their rights? It’s a shame how some people can be so blind to the multiple forms of oppression so many of us face on a daily basis.

  47. Soul Cookbook says:

    Also, to the people who keep saying that if we left civil rights up to voters where would we be -I’d say probably in the same spot if not better off.

    It’s funny how the American people, when left to their own free will, voted to elect a black man as President. But we assume that those same people would vote to send us back to slavery or whatever other analogy is used by people wanting to pick and choose when to “let the public decide”.

    it’s also funny that forced integration led to blacks being re-segregated which still exists to this day. So even when you brow-beat people to accept something, they still have a way of getting around it (redlining, anyone?). We just had a supreme court decision last spring that basically said that race cannot be used as a determining factor in school assignments – so essentially schols distrcits can continue to be segregated and black students will continue to attend low performing, sub-standard schools. So this glorious court that you all are hoping will overturn the will of the people may not be so glorious in the end.

  48. Amen. You’re preaching to the choir in this corner. As a black woman (who also happens to be in an interracial marriage), I haven’t forgotten my history. I, for one, would never have wanted to go through what an African-American living in the fifties and sixties might have gone through just to go to school or get a decent job. Nor would I have wanted to go through what Ms. Loving went through just to be with the person that she loved.

    People like to romanticize the past like everyone had it great and we always had the same opportunities. That’s why I’m a firm believer in progress and change and not being afraid of it. Personally, I would think that the recent anti-gay amendments are unconstitutional and I hope they get challenged and defeated. You cannot and should not be able to dictate how someone else runs their life…just like you don’t want anyone (especially the government) involved in yours. I remember my joy at Obama getting elected being a little tempered by the fact that all those “anti-gay” amendments passed. We’re in 2008 people–not 1958. My hope is that, if our generation doesn’t wake up and come to its senses, that our children’s generation will. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, their right to have their marriages recognized by the law and have all the benefits that come with that is THE NEXT CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. We’ll be seeing a lot more marches and demonstrations across the country just like we did with for African-American rights until the country comes to its senses.

  49. Ditto on ‘legislation should not come from the pulpit’. The founding fathers knew to separate church and state for that reason. For that same reason, I don’t think that ‘some’ should get to impose their religious views on ‘others’ and the ban should never even have been up for the public to vote on. Imagine if their had been a nation-wide vote on whether to give black people the vote or not back in the day. Scary, huh?

  50. @ Soul Cookbook–so according to your logic, I guess me, at the ancient age of 33, who has yet meet the man of my dreams, marry and have children either needs to marry the first fool who asks or shoot myself in the head at age 40 because I will be a “drag on society” living in some hovel, shooting drugs and having unprotected sex, robbing all the good married folk? LOL Thanks for providing me with a chuckle for the day.

  51. HaitanRoots, CoilyField, DblDee and all my Christian sisters, here is some scripture for y’all…

    Matthew 19: 3-12
    3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4″Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    7″Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    This passage points out a few things to me:
    Jesus and Moses were against divorce, Jesus called it a sin, adultery. But yet they did not stand in the way of people who felt that they needed to get a divorce.

    In that same vein, why should we as Christians oppose other people’s wishes? Yes I get that it is incredibly hard to raise children in a society that makes pre-marital sex and other sins okay, but it is not impossible. You are a living testament that it possible because you still believe in it, so why do you think that people being able to get spousal health insurance, tax breaks etc* will stop you from raising your children by providing them with all the tools available to you as a christian?

    *It may sound trivial, but it is one of the many reasons people want to get married.

  52. I couldn’t care one way or another, but I do not agree with this being compared to the Civil Rights Movement. Even if I wanted to…I couldn’t hide being black, BUT if someone that is homosexual decides they don’t want anyone to know they are gay…no one will know. So in a sense…they do have a choice on how their lives can be lived. When a person sees me…they see that I am a Black woman and there isn’t a “closet” big enough to hide that. It is what it is…

  53. Soul Cookbook says:

    @ Niki

    When did I say that people should just marry for the sake of marrying? I said that heterosexual marriage for the purpose of child bearing provides the greatest rewards for a society. Period.

    But please don’t pretend like the “spinster” isn’t a very real stereotype. So is the “lonley old man”. I am not saying there is anythingwrong with you not being married, but there is a reason why non-married people pay higher taxes, have a harder time getting approved for loans, etc. It is because our society VALUES marriage because it stabilizes people. That doesn’t mean that people who aren’t married aren’t stable, but if you follow trends with things like alcohol and drug abuse, abortions, prostitution, and other “ills” that affect a society negatively – there is a large percentage of people that have never been married or are divorced.

    When you have other people depending on you, you tend to do better. Isn’t that obvious?

  54. HaitianRoots says:

    @ ceecee, i do believe that everyone should have civil liberties. everyone should be able to have healthcare, etc. if you reread my comments, i never actually said that i wasn’t in agreement with that. my apologies for not being clear.

  55. @ Soul Cookbook
    I feel really complelled to say this, because I live in Canada where gay marriage has been legal since 2005. Full marriage. Not just civil Rights. I’ll just respond to what you said though.

    “I was the one who said marriage is the foundation of society..heterosexual marriage is PROMOTED BY TH AT SOCIETY. Meaning things like tax breaks are given to people that are married and have children.”

    In Canada, tax breaks are given to all married/common law couples with children. All of them. Hetero/homosexual. And out of all the industrialized countries in the world, Canada has one of the lowest public deficits. Because it’s not that the family has a mom & dad & two kids. It’s because the family has children. Tax breaks for people with children aren’t to foster heterosexuality in society. It’s to help children grow in good homes. A child’s development is independent of a parent’s sexual orientation. How many straight kids with straight parents do you know that think abouttheir parents getting it on all day?

    “And single people after a certain age do become a drag on society unless they have a good amount of money and a good job. Sorry, this is just fact.”
    Actually, if you’re worried about people being able to contribute tax dollars, you should then be all for the gays and gay marriage. Gay men (on average) make about 28% less than their counterparts. And if we’re looking at this from a secular, economic views, we all know then that wage differentials harm the economy. With people making less, they are spending less and paying less tax dollars. Also, to get married, you must pay for a miarriage licence. Disallowing (is that a word?) gay people from getting married=lost taxation revenues. And of course, then they have the actualy wedding ceremony. Excpet they can’t, since they can’t get married= more lost taxation revenues. And so on and so forth.

    “If you don’t make enough money to pay federal income tax, you are a drag on society.”

    Actually, if you make income, you pay income tax, so this is, with all due respect, a moot point. As soon as you make more than $3,000 you pay income tax. And most adults that don’t live in adject poverty make more than $3,000.

    “Most high crime neighborhoods are made up of unmarried people. Most cities with high rates of STD’s consist primarily of unmarried people. Marriage is a stabilixer, whether you want to believe it or not.”
    The crime and poor health of these neighborhoods isn’t cause by people not being married. It’s cause (for the most part) by crime and lack of education. It’s again, not having a mom and a dad that they are stable. It’s because they have access to education and don’t live off of a minimum wage job.
    Also, I quote a reecent (2003) study done by the Centre for Law and Social Policy done on exactly what you were talking about, I found: “While the increased risks faced by children raised without both parents are certainly reason for concern,
    the majority of children in single-parent
    families grow up without serious
    problems. In addition, there continues to
    be debate about how much of the
    disadvantages to children are attributable
    to poverty versus family structure, as well as about whether it is marriage itself that makes a
    difference or the type of people who get married.”
    I found it here: http://www.clasp.org/publications/marriage_brief3_annotated.pdf

    ” And despite the media’s goal to destroy marriage and make it obsolete, it still is very relevant and will always be.”
    This statement actually confuses me. Isn’t gay marriage the promotion of marriage, rather than it’s destruction?

    “And I never said ANYTHING about religion. My thoughts are religion-free. I do not use religion to justify anything.”

    I hope I didn’t either. :D

  56. * also, since I live in a country that does allow two consenting adults to tie the knot, I should also point out that nobody elses marriages have been affected by these unions. Our society has not fallen apart. Our government is not poor. The roads are still being built, children are still going to school, and all is generally the same. Except we have more equality…or perhaps that’s the wrong way to say it. Maybe I should word it liek this instead: we have a borader definition of equality.

  57. Compassion goes a very long way. Unfortunately, I believe it to be harder than love to give.

    I’m still trying to figure out what the issue is. Is it the word marriage? For some, yes. Or is it being able to receive benefits and rights as in heterosexual relationships?

    Having been married and since divorced, I said I would never marry again. A civil union sounds good for me. But I do believe that the same rights you give a spouse, should be given to a partner. Marriage shouldn’t be the deciding factor in that. It’s love.

  58. From Melia

    “I couldn’t hide being black, BUT if someone that is homosexual decides they don’t want anyone to know they are gay…no one will know.”

    That can’t be your best argument. What we call ‘the Civil Rights Movement’ will probably soon be known as the ‘First Civil Rights Movement’. As people of African decent, we do not have some special hold on that phrase. I believe the ‘Second Civil Rights Movement’ will precisely be gays having to demand equal rights as opposed to waiting around for people to do the right thing.

  59. Soul Cookbook says:

    “Tax breaks for people with children aren’t to foster heterosexuality in society. It’s to help children grow in good homes.”

    With all due respect, Grace, while Canada and the US may be similar in a lot of ways we are still different countries. In America we have a ton of gov’t sponsored programs for people with children that aren’t married. You can get plenty of assistance as a single parent to ensure your child doesn’t grow up in abject poverty. But for the individual parent, there is no benefit – because the gov’t would still prefer for you to be married.

    “The crime and poor health of these neighborhoods isn’t cause by people not being married. It’s cause (for the most part) by crime and lack of education.”

    Actually, it is caused by a decline in the nuclear family. Most neighborhoods in America that are high-crime consists of single unwed women and their children. Look at the South Side of Chicago – they have one of the lowest rates of marriage out of any urban city. Same with a lot of other places like South Central Los Angeles and Detroit. When criminals know that there are not a lot of non-violent, stable men living in an area they are more likely to set up shop. Why don’t people run drugs out of homes in upper middle class neighborhoods? Because most of the families there are nuclear, in-tact families. There isn’t as much pressue on “survival” so more attention can be paid to maintaining law and order. So yes, crime is a result of the breakdown of the family. Why do most people turn to crime anyway? For money. Why are they poor? Because there is typically only one income in the household. Why? Because Mom and Dad were not married which made it easier from one to leave. And lack of education, again, is a direct result of poor family structure. When one parent has to put all of their efforts and energy into just maintaining, it is easy for education to be overlooked. Plus a lot of kids from single parent homes just want to earn money to get out of poverty. Spending time and money on an education isn’t as attractive as just going out and trying to make it happen. Sacrificing your early adulthood in class after class vs. making a quick buck to help make ends meet? So the lack of education in these areas is still connected to family structure.

    “While the increased risks faced by children raised without both parents are certainly reason for concern,the majority of children in single-parent
    families grow up without serious problems,”

    What exactly do they define as serious? Because I look at the rates of rape and molestation in the black community due to single parents leaving their kids with wayward relatives or stragers as a serious problem. And they did agree that it is reason for concern, not that it was OK. A paycheck does not replace a mom or a dad.

    “This statement actually confuses me. Isn’t gay marriage the promotion of marriage, rather than it’s destruction?”

    No, because gay marriage is not marriage. It is redefining the word to fit an agenda. And I never said that gay marriage would destroy marriage, I said the media is trying to destroy it. They have an agenda because the more uneducated, lazy, insecure, liberal-minded people there are, the more money they make. So by waging a war against marriage, which they have been doing for decades, they can indoctrinate an entire generation with the idea that marriage is worthless, antiquated and oppressive for women. None of which is true.

    :)

  60. Soul Cookbook says:

    @ Kweenie

    What exactly is doing the right thing? People voted for what they believed in. What exactly is the gay community owed here? I voted No on 8 because I didn’t like the fear tactics the other side was using but since the ban I have begun to regret my vote.

    This is bigger than just the rights of homosexuals. What about the rights of Christians to practice their religion and believe what they believe? I don’t classify myself as a Christian, but if I did I would fear for my rights to freedom of religion. Churches are being harassed simply because they chose to exercise their base and had people donate money. People are being blacklisted simply for their views. No one went out and beat up gay people or busted up their ceremonies or torched West Hollywood. People simply took their right to vote (which black people didn’t always have) and simply voted what they believe.

    So for the gay community to now act as if they have been robbed of a right that some judges decided to give them is a little indignant, if you ask me. I don’t care what you do in your private life or who you love or why. Most people that support traditional marriage don’t hate gay people and some even have gay friends. They just feel differently about what constitutes marriage. Not love, just marriage. Not sex, just marriage. Not the ability to walk down the street and hold your partners hand, just the word “marriage”.

    And for those thinking that it’s “just a word” and therefore should be no big deal, you’re wrong. “Nigger” was just a word too. But we all get pretty heated wehn discussing who can or can’t say it or whatever. Words have meaning and you can’t just arbitrarily change the meeting to fit your need.

  61. Wow. I was reading some of the responses. What can I say that hasn’t already been said. I do hope that whatever side of the fence you are on, you can see the others point of view respectfully with your hearts wide open.

    BTW, I do support Prop 8.

  62. I really don’t understand the opposition. Seriously, how would the passage of Amendment 8 affect opponents’ lives?!

  63. @Soul Cookbook. I appreciate the objectivity, analysis, sound reasoning and looking at both sides. Thank you.

  64. @ Soul Cookbook

    I am terribly saddened that you say that people weren’t getting assaulted for being gay or supporting gay rights. You should reallly go here: http://coilhouse.net/2008/10/22/youtube-brings-on-the-great-prop-8-debate/#comment-10105

    and then scroll down to the comment where one of the writers of the blog tells the story of being, well, assaulted.

  65. gypsydancermacaholic says:

    Just because one person’s religion dictates that being gay is a sin does not make it law. I don’t believe in that God or religion so why should that God and religion dictate how everyone lives. There is more than one religion out there and for some of us there is more than one God. People are born gay, it is not a choice. Who would choose to be ostracized and belittled and hated and discriminated against? And a civil union is NOT the same as a marriage nor does it give you the same rights w/o the title. I know first hand that it doesn’t. I don’t understand why so many people chose to discriminate and yet say that they are just following the bible. That is a cop out! If a gay couple gets married it does not change my straight marriage one bit! I am still married. Gay people are PEOPLE too, just like any other minority, why shouldn’t they have the same HUMAN RIGHTS as the rest of us?
    I live in SF and am furious that friends and family who are dear to me have suddenly lost a right because of ignorance and close mindedness.
    Does “love thy neighbor” only apply if your neighbor is straight?

  66. @ Soul Cookbook
    You said that after a certain age, if a single person doesn’t have a good job or money they become a drag on society. So a person’s worth is determined only by how much they can financially contribute to society? There’s no other meaningful contributions that a person can make? Well I guess that’s the Western Capitalistic view.

    Also, you keep saying homosexual unions are best for society, but where is the comparison? Which society is made up mostly of homosexual unions? There simply aren’t THAT many gay people.

    Of course for survival of the species, there must be heterosexual relations. However, the vast majority of humans are straight. Has anyone considered that homosexuality could be nature’s form of population control?

  67. I am a lesbian. I just had a huge argument with my mother about prop 8 yesterday. It is amazing how a woman that claims she loves me is against me, her child, having equal rights. That is the most painful thing to endure, but is speaks volumes about society as a whole. I hope none of you are subject to being hated because of who you love. It is not a feeling that can be described.

    My mother is by no means a religious person, except when she wants to condemn me to hell for my “choice”. Her argument went further in details of how she wishes the gays didn’t exist and we should not throw it decent people’s faces. I think that is reflective of alot of people’s attitudes. ” I don’t like it so it should not exist.” That is much of the problem. You do not have to like me, but why hurt me.

    The religious argument does not hold water. The US is NOT a theocracy. This country was founded on the principles of religious freedom. Yes, the constitution was formulated on the basis that religion and government are sepearate.

    Furthermore, the role of representative government is to reflect the will of the majority IF is does not trample the rights of the minority.

    I have never felt a want or need to change anyone’s mind about homosexuality. But once you infringe on my right to have equality, that is where the problem exists.

  68. @ Grace – Thanks for some actual FACTUAL insight into this topic.

    @ Soul Cookbook –
    I’m not even going to address the numerous examples of both plain misinformation & you using your own opinion as fact in your increasingly self-contradictory posts. My fingers can’t even type that fast & I don’t have that type of time.

    You’re entitled to your opinion about what environs would be most beneficial to form a stable “nuclear family”, but overall, I find that you’re not that well informed about this subject in the legal sense, beyond what you feel it SHOULD be about.

    Case in point:

    ” that the amendment in California was strictly a free-speech issue. The freedom of the majority to DEFINE what marriage is. ”

    WTF?! I mean seriously?! Did you even vote in Cali or are you just making this up?! Cause I’m looking at my voting booklet right here in front of me & under Prop 8, with choice #114 meaning a Yes vote & #115 meaning a No vote, it states that Prop 8 “eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry.” I quote, verbatim, “Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man & a woman is valid or recognized in California.” It’s right on the ballot, plain as day for all to see.

    This is not a “free speech issue”, this was an actual change to the state’s constitution to eliminate the rights of SOME of its people based on sexual orientation. And that is just plain wrong. I don’t care how you feel about it on a personal level. It is discrimination. It is a civil rights issue.

    And also, it is totally different from an issue of free speech. How can you even compare the two?!

    What you keep arguing & throwing up examples about, this whole gov’t having an interest in promoting hetero marriage as being the most optimal situation premise, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Prop. 8 & similar amendments are about taking away FUNDAMENTAL rights every US citizen is entitled to. UNDER THE US CONSTITUTION, man!

    You can feel however you want to feel about the right & wrong of it all or your varying degrees of comfort with the idea of it, but it still comes back to a limitation on a group’s fundamental rights. (BTW, SC, who told you marriage is a “privilege”? It’s a right, anyone at the age of consent can get married. It’s a right, not a privilege. Even Death Row inmates can get married.)

    And this is where the “glorious” courts will come in, & probably, hopefully, overturn this shit. If not in the California Supreme Court, then in the US Supreme Court. The Court first & foremost has a responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of ALL of this country’s citizens.

    And no, that may not mean that everyone will just embrace the concept of gays marrying & like it, but so what?! Every change takes time to get used to, one day, this will be a total non-issue.

    It’s only a matter of time. Gay people had the right for the past 6 months to get married here in California & I’m betting not one person’s life was affected detrimentally by them exercising their constitutional freedoms, can I get some co-signing from any Bellas in Massachusetts or Vermont? Connecticut? Has the earth crumbled & caved in in any of your states since gay marriage was legalized there?

    So for all of you that have a problem with it, you need to educate yourselves & keep this in the proper perspective. No one should have the right to just summarily take away the rights of someone else. No one.

  69. Interesting comments. I do feel that CoilyFields hit the nail on the head and put things in perspective.

    People often huff and puff at the thought of someone adhering to their religion and christianity gets bashed all the time and those who do not follow often will say …but does not your faith mean you should be doing abc d xyz…still I believe in God’s word and only HIS word and not that of man. The Bible is a tool but you need to have a relationship with God to truly understand His word and his view.

    People have mentioned slavery but no where in the Bible is race mentioned. The passages used to justify slavery did not even support slavery and those people who lied on His word will have to answer to God. I personally cannot understand why the colour of my skin should be spoken of in the same light as someone’s sexuality whether that be by choice or not. No matter what I am part of the race that I am born into. It is stamped in my DNA

    I am in the uk and they brought in civil partnerships. I just feel that marriage should be left as is, between a man and a woman. to redefine it will only add to further moral decline. Gay folk can have their own union. But that needs another name. Also what about those who are co-habiting will they get the same rights too. will those who have children but living seperately get the same rights too.

    Many religions agree when it comes to homesexuality. My church teaches that we are not to hate people because of their sexuality choices. Though understand as a christian what God teaches. This can be done without bashing.

    I am sure you will find other religions and countries where there is no tolerance whatsoever yet people blame christianity. Have that conversation God.

    Just do you
    But know that if you believe in God and have faith and choose not to adhere to what he says it is only HE who you will answer too, not any man.

    There is nothing wrong with religion. The problems only occur when people pick and choose bits that suit them.

    Is it such a problem to have a different name as they have in the uk. I am sure it is the sanctity of marriage that people voted for. statistics are statistics and can be used like any written text to prove or disprove any point

    Blessings to all of you

  70. oooh just spotted a typo

    it should read ..Have that conversation with God

  71. @flygirl72 would there be an issue if the union was given a different name instead of marriage. the only reason why i ask is that in the uk the whole emphasis prior to the civil union partnerships was on allowing gay couples equal rights to married straight couples.

  72. @ Kweenie

    Since you quoted me…surely you read my first sentence. I said I don’t care one way or another.As for my “best argument”…I have no argument on this because it is of no consequence to me. But to as what you refer to as the “first” Civil Rights Movement…check your facts…the movement of the 60s was not the first…and this current one that many are fighting for will not be the last. Love who you want, but just don’t expect everyone to agree with it. Be easy!

  73. I didn’t realize your hubby was white. I’m in the same boat as you and I just….I can’t imagine not being free to love my boyfriend. He’s stubborn and trying at times but I love him deeply. For it to be illegal to love him……..that’s sickening.

    We as a country took two steps forward and four backwards.

  74. “I find it fascinating that some people, Christians included, fixate on certain “sins” such as abortion and gay lifestyles, but there is no comparable uproar to divorce, gluttony, or sloth.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is so so true! Why aren’t people pouring millions to help mend broken marriages? Why are priests and pastors marrying people who are on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th marriage? Isn’t divorce a sin? Isn’t eating shellfish a sin (I don’t know a Christian who has turned down shrimp)? Isn’t wearing garment with 2 different materials a sin too?

    Why the all out fight against love? As a Christian, I hear the anti-gay marriage stance often enough to know that these people are not being the light of God. We have gotten to the point where people run away from God because of Christians and not towards Him. Some are hiding their own hate-filled agenda’s behind the Bible. What fruits are we producing? How are we showing the same love and compassion that Christ taught by hating others?

    We are all sinners, saved by grace. No sin is greater than any other sin. Wasn’t it Jesus who said, he without sin, let him cast the first stone? Wasn’t it Jesus who said before you take the speck out of your neighbors eye, pull the plank out of yours? Wasn’t it Jesus who said “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” And again, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, that you do to Me.”

    We are we so quick to point fingers and cite false and grossly incorrect “facts” to prove a point that is mute?

    Instead of trying to be God, more people need to be trying to be like God (his traits, love, kindness, compassion, etc…) and the world would be a much better place.

  75. 71 comments and counting – I was expecting some responses but this is encouraging. And good. Yes – good because at least we’re discussing things civilly and sharing opinions and trying (TRYING)not to judge. This is a tough one, and it is difficult to present an opinion that doesn’t automatically polarize the opposite side. So to HaitianRoots, CoilyFields, Soul Cookbook, SoFrolushes – I respect you for stating your opinions. Obviously we disagree on several fundamental points, but I am glad you are here to speak your piece.

    Also, SoFrolushes, I just saw that Elton John agrees with you – he is content to have a civil partnership, and thinks the word marriage will forever be the stumbling block for this struggle.

    And again I will reiterate – in a country that promises freedom to its citizens, and believes in the separation for church and state, these propositions and amendments will not stand. They will eventually be legally overturned. Same sex marriage will inevitably have its own landmark supreme court case. And because the arguments against gay marriage are all ultimately steeped in religious reasoning, someday marriage between two consenting adults of any gender will be recognized as legal in the United States. It is only a matter of time.

  76. I think gay marriage is going to become a reality here in the United States… and if you don’t want a gay marriage, be in a hetero one. Gay or straight, don’t cheat and creep around. And if you don’t want to get married, be single and stop sleeping around with whomever. Keep your legs closed for your own health and safety! Can I just say that I’m waiting for the protests on HIV rates in our community and on where the money for HIV prevention actually goes?

    That said, I was not a fan of Olbermann’s special comment on the issue. He had some good points but when he brought slavery and interracial marriage into the mix, I wondered, just who are you talking to, Keith? I think he’s great but it seemed like he fell for the lie that it’s black folk’s fault that Prop 8 passed and he was trying to chastise black people.

    I was called two days before election day by a No on 8 supporter who said legalizing gay marriage was the modern day equivalent of ending slavery. We all have our opinions but I think it’s a racist and wholly inappropriate comparison. I actually wondered if it was a Yes on 8 person trying to target black households and anger us into voting no because it was such a problematic comparison. AND I’m still waiting for the comparisons to the Jewish experience in the Holocaust but I think I’ll hear crickets before THAT gets voiced

    Now I’m reading people’s blog posts where they’re saying that marching in a Prop 8 protest is like people marching in Selma. Oh really? Because dogs were chasing you? Because the Klan came and terrorized you and set your property on fire? Those sort of comparisons show a lack of discernment and an inability to understand what slavery and Jim Crow really entailed. And I love how people are all over the Loving case but why is it that there aren’t more interracial gay relationships? Why do I have my friends talking about the “white” gay bar and the “black” gay bar? Civil rights issue of our time? Because racism is over? Because my sons and millions of other black children don’t still attend de-facto segregated schools? I’m not going to engage in “Oppression Olympics” but I’m not feeling that comparison.

    It’s also interesting to me to have had so many gay friends who have denounced marriage as a culturally conservative relic of a bygone age, and have said that it’s a piece of paper and nothing else, but now that we’re older, they want to get married! Maybe they just mocked it back in the day because they thought they could never have one. I don’t know. It just makes me chuckle a little bit.

    In any case, I think the name calling on both sides (sinner/bigot homophobe/sodomite) has got to end. If you have issues with religion, don’t use gay marriage as your platform for telling folks why you think the Bible is a fairytale, and if you think gay people are sinners that are going to hell, say a prayer for them instead of holding up some sort of crazy sign that makes you look like some sort of weirdo.

  77. I hear the refrain of Rodney King(bless his heart) ….Can we all get along?

  78. Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake. Why aren’t civil unions acceptable? Same-sex couples would have the same rights as married spouses, tax breaks, property rights, adoption rights (in CA), etc.?

    I don’t know anyone (in their right mind) who opposes civil unions.

    However,if someone values marriage primarily as a religious union in the eyes of God, a sanctified sacrament that is a testament of faith, with state issues such as property ownership coming secondary, they are not going to support gay marriage.

    I don’t disagree with that. Just as you wouldn’t want someone imposing their religious beliefs on you, you can’t impose your disregard for their beliefs of them.

    Finally, I know I sound like Sean Hannity (ugh) but laws prohibiting same-sex marriages also prohibited sibling marriage and polygamy. Are you prepared to lift the bans on those marriages also?

  79. Get rid of state/gov’t sanctioned marriage.

    Everybody gets civil unions.

    You want to get married? Go to the church of your choice. Stand before your God and your community and affirm the tenets of your faith.

    But if you want the social status, legal rights and economic benefits that come with a declaration of a life partnership, then civil unions for everybody, gay, straight, whatever.

    Problem solved. No hand-wringing about The Gays forcing you to choose between equality and faith. No losing sleep about threats to the sanctity of marriage.

    But that’s an idea that makes way too much sense for any momentum to ever gather behind it.

    Required viewing:
    http://freeheld.com/

    And @BlackHoney, are you really going to compare partnerships between two consenting adults to the pathology and abuse of sibling marriage? Word?!?

  80. Why does sibling marriage have to be abusive? If two consenting adults realize the implications of their actions and have decided to live with them, who am I to suggest that they shouldn’t be together.

    Is it really any of my business?

    Would it be yours?

  81. Hey sofrolushes,

    yeah, it would still matter, although I guess I could pose the same question to you. Because isn’t this question of semantics, civil union vs. marriage, really at the root of this much bigger problem?

    Why do some of you not care if it’s called a civil union but you do care if it’s called marriage? If it is the same rights involved, why not just call it what it is & always has been called? Marriage! A rose by any other name….

    Why does a person calling his/her same-sex partner their husband or wife indicate, as you put it, “further moral decline”?

    But look, what I have a real problem with here, is the readiness of so many of you to deny fellow citizens their fundamental rights based off the fact that from a religious standpoint, you disagree with how they’re living. That is just plain, flat out discrimination, and playing with fire, to boot. Justify & hide behind religion all you want. You should just own up to the fact that it’s more because of your own personal biases & opinions on the subject that you are so ready to throw the rights of someone else under the bus in the name of God & the Bible or whatever else you want to try to blame it on but your own prejudices. Because there were plenty of religious & devout people who went to the polls & voted no to restricting rights, no matter how they felt about the topic morally.

    It’s about upholding the law of the land.

    @DJStylus, interesting idea, but you’re right, it makes too much sense, anyways, if that happened, what then could us heteros have over the gays? No, no, gotta keep an upper hand some kind of way, eh?

    @BlackHoney, wow, you’re comparing two consenting adults in a same sex union to incest…er, showing our true colors dear…

    @Los Angelista, I hear you & I agree that the No on 8 people made a lot of mistakes in their campaign execution prior to the election. However, I don’t think we should take their comparisons to our own civil rights struggle literally, tit for tat, blow for blow (now, the slavery comparison, that’s a first, even I woulda had to check them on that) It should be taken more in the context that civil rights are being violated.

    And I too, have been furious at various media outlets who were so quick to blame Cali’s Black community (where we account for less than 6% of the overall population) as the reason that Prop 8 passed. Especially bloggers like Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic & Dan Savage. I’m going to YouTube that Olbermann piece…

  82. islandgirl550 says:

    Bobby Kennedy said in 1968 that a black man could become president in 40 years. Well, looky, looky, it happened! 40 years ago Americans would not have voted for a black man, thankfully most of those bigots died off. Gays will have the right to marry, I say, in less than 20 years. It will be my generation to do it for them. We just need to wait for some people to well…you know…

    The Rev. Al Sharpton said one time that we need to stop worrying about what people do in their bedrooms and worry about if they have food in their kitchens.

    I am straight but want to say to my gay brothers and sisters, civil rights for blacks didn’t come easy or all at one time. You guys will win this battle…if that pretty blue electoral map is any indication, you just have to have hope.

    Now, since I’m 34, single, and have no children I’ll just drop dead.

  83. My point is shouldn’t you allow consenting adults across the board to marriage if they wish? If an adult brother and sister want to marry, let them. (Seriously, did ya’ll see that BBC America special?)

    If a woman want to marry two men, let her.

    It’s a private matter between consenting adults.

    (And I’m not being sarcastic)

  84. This too shall pass! Gays will get their right to marry and it will be legal in all fifty states.

  85. I am a natural bella who, for a time, considered herself bisexual before questioning my same-sex attractions, which I began to have in my early 20s. That said, I *do not* believe homosexuality is a choice. I didn’t choose my feelings. But I did choose whether or not I’d act on them and my choice was not to. In hindsight, my attractions made sense.

    I had a f-d up relationship w/ my Dad, was sexually abused as a child and always thought men only wanted to sleep with me or abuse me. Women were safer. I’m NOT saying all women who identify as lesbians/bi have been abused nor that it’s a precursor to being gay. I think there are many, varied reasons why people identify of gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered. I’m just saying that’s what happened to me. After realizing what the root causes of my attractions were, I learned how to deal with them and, very long story short, they greatly diminished. Today, I don’t define myself by my temptations but who I am in Christ.

    I’m sure many of you will think what I just wrote is total crap and think I’ve been brainwashed by the religious nuts but I came to that decision after a long and winding road. And if we’re all quoting Bible verses, while the Bible does say that he who is without sin shouldn’t cast the first stone, it also says

    However, I also think that it’s a double standard that if someone decides to come out of the closet it’s ok, but if that same person decides to question homosexuality, it’s automatically called “hate,” or “repressing those feelings,” or “religious brainwashing.” I agree, Bella, that in the past (and unfortunately today, still) the church has treated the gay community like crap and that was, and is, completely against the teachings of Christ. And the church has been wildly hypocritical, with scandals and judgments galore. And that is unfortunate. But the church isn’t perfect, and I feel many people who consider themselves followers of Christ (because really, the word “Christian” means so many things to so many people), have come a long way in regard to this issue, and treat people of all orientations, etc, with dignity and respect.

    Simply saying you disagree is not hate, which is why I don’t get the comparison to the civil rights movement. While gays have been persecuted in the U.S and abroad, and I have and will continue to support my gay friends to speak out against such persecution, I DO NOT “hate” them.

    “Hate” is turning the hose on people. “Hate” is hanging gay teens, like they do in Iran. Hate is turing the dogs on people, as they did in the 60s; hate is not being allowed to express and opinion or vote, like they did to blacks. Hate is burning crosses on lawns and being forced to sit in the back of the bus. Disagreeing is not hate.

    Gay marriage will one day be the law of the land and at this point, I’m indifferent about that. So for me it comes down to this: allow me, and others who espouse traditional views of marriage, the right to an opinion and allow those who want to question homosexuality the right to do so. You may think I’m completely crazy, but just as I would never invalidate someone else’s experience, gay or straight, do not invalidate mine. That is true tolerance.

  86. Pearlsrevealed says:

    Wow! It is clear that there are 2 views being expressed on this post: the Judeo-Christian nuclear family/moralistic view point and the humanistic “as long as it feels good and ain’t hurting nobody” civil rights view point. These mindsets have been at odds from the beginning and there will never be a compromise. We can only hope to agree to disagree and treat each other with respect.

    The big question for America is ‘which ideal will prevail?’ The social implications of leagalizing same sex unions is that this lifestyle will be taught to our children in public schools as normal behavior when it constitutes a small part of the population. To some this is teaching tolerance. To others this is an attack on their faith and opens the door for grouse darkness & the judgement of God on this country.If children are taught in kindergarten (this is already happening in Conneticut) that this is normal, it will teach tolerance but can also influence them to experiment with the lifestyle out of pure curiosity.

    Thank God (yes God) we live in America and can express our concerns and shape and re-define our world. The europeans who established the gov’t were protestants so the laws that gave us this unprecedented freedom of speech was based on christian values. In fact, laws are not created in a vacuum. All governments are established upon the morals/religion of the majority or the group with the most fire power. LOL

    Hmmmm…O America, we the people are at a fork in the road. Which path will we take? Can we survive the consequences of our actions?

  87. Why is it that all the intolerant folks on here are the ones asking that their opinions be tolerated? All your posts start off nice, then the big “buuu-tt…” comes into play… LOL…

    And Alina, thanks for your definition on what you think “true tolerance” really is, but I beg to differ. True tolerance would be to recognize that this is a country whose gov’t is (supposed) to be based on separation of church & state, therefore, your religious beliefs/personal hangups shouldn’t be allowed to play a role in taking away from a group of people access to a fundamental right in this country.

    And when people start using these “traditional” views, as you put it, to vote to deny fellow citizens equal protections under the law, then it crosses over into an area just as sinister & intolerant as all those other examples of “hate” you ticked off. How did you gauge that anyway? What makes some forms of hate qualify more than others in your book? You don’t have to use no dogs & hoses to cause other people to catch hell, you know.

    To me it is a matter of civil rights. I couldn’t care less how folks feel about it or want to opine about it on a moral/personal level. I understand & respect that is going to vary from person to person. On that, I agree, you can feel however you want.

    Oppression is oppression & we all suffer when we start picking & choosing who gets access to basic rights like this. It’s not good for anyone.

    If we start picking at the loose threads on the edges of this fabric, just watch how quickly it will unravel on us all, trust.

  88. Oh beautiful afrobella… alright so I have many angles for this one. I am a Christian, two of my sisters are lesbians and my soon to be spouse is white. God loves us all despite our sin, and we are to love each other as ourselves. I do not judge, and I hope that through Christ they receive and believe, but only God calls those to him. I love your articles, but I believe you should ask the questions and seek the answers instead of making the false assumptions. Check the reference (the Bible) for all of your answers, not pieces. You wouldn’t do such a thing if it had to do with a cosmetic product now would ya.
    All I can do is pray that Gods will be evident in my life and that I am able to shine on the people around me. He will take care of the rest.

  89. I agree wholeheartedly with you Bella. But this is a bone of contention in my household. My husband is South American/West Indian and the issue of gay rights brings about arguments everytime. The tone of those conversations remind me of how simmilar yet different we are culturally.

  90. I cannot believe that people think that an ancient text is the arbiter of modern life. How dare anyone assume their decision to live by a book which is full of inconsistencies, holes and downright madness be the final word on how all citizens should live. If you choose to live your life by the book so be it. Does your god demand that you slavishly follow the book? Are you not allowed to exercise your free will and tell your god he is wrong?

    And pardon me for disagreeing with the notion that America was built on Christian principles. Um from what I have read it was the exploitation of many groups of people which built America.

  91. Great discussion, even though it caused a lot of folks’ hackles to get raised. Maybe in a couple of days we need a “palate-clensing” post on eyeliner or something LOL Keep up the good work, Bella. Lesser bloggers would’ve shut this thread down long ago or not even allowed the discussion to take place.

  92. I believe in God. I attend church, I have a personal relationship with God. I believe God has given us our sexuality.
    If God in his infinite Wisdom gives us something and we believe that God doesn’t make mistakes, then how can being gay be this horrid sin? Your sexuality was given to you by God.
    I never decided to be straight. I never thought today I will be attracted to men. I just am, so how can we assume it different for a person in a same gender relationship?
    I used to be insulted when Gay people compared this to the civil rights of African Americans in America. Then Ellen DeGeneres said.” Its like they told Black people they were separate but equal. And they were not equal and you could tell .” So its not a about people looking at me and seeing I’m black as apposed to you have to tell people you are gay. Its about being denied the rights and privileges given to other citizens based on a bias.
    Finally if the church is against gay marriage, there is nothing we can do about it now. HOWEVER marriage is not purely a church / religious thing in America many people get married in the court only. SO it has become something for citizens, and to deny a citizen a right or privilege given to other citizens based on anything is discrimination and wrong.

  93. ditto on that to monie and mochachoc! I think it to be totally unfair that religion can have an effect on this. Makes me extremely mad! Just because someone believes their morals to be right does not make it just!

  94. The arguement that homosexuality is a sin is a weak arguement. This country is supposed to function as church and state seperate, yet the two seem to be best friends. Don’t force your religious views on the people of the country, it is OPPRESSIVE. According to the Christian religion, women could be seen as the origin of sin. What if there were laws that made it impossible for women to be independent beings and make their own decisions because they are a threat to the morals and ethics of Christianity? Think about that the next time you quote God and the Bible as a reason to OPPRESS homosexuals.

    I applaud people who have a strong and healthy relationship with God and/or any other religion, but Christianity is not MY religion and my life does not revolve around the Bible. The same can be said for nearly a fourth of the people in this country. Why make laws that only cater to Christianity?

    Also, using religion to oppress a group of inidividuals gives religion a bad rap. Religion should be used for good, not to oppress, punish or ostracize people. What kind of message are you sending about Christianity by doing the latter?

    Great discussion going on here and I appreciate all of the views being shared.

  95. Bless you CoilyFields! Well said with love.

  96. if you ask anyone their opinion on an issue they are going to come at you from their own frame of reference, using their own moral compass. when prop 8 was placed on the ballot and people voted for and against it, while there is a separation of church and state, people used their own moral compass in making their decisions on how to vote. as long as there is a majority christian society and this vote is open to their opinion prop 8 will not pass. we all hold to the tenet that the “voice of the people is the voice of god”. if you want true separation of church and state, let an impartial system (judicial, legistative, etc) be the arbiter…failing that, we will need to wait till the us is not largely a christan nation…

  97. Why not call it a civil union? The color of your skin is not something you choose but who you want to spend your life with is. Do you also support NAMBA? How about the man down the street that wants to marry his dog (it’s his best friend after all)?
    How far will these equal rights go? There was a time when you believed free enterprise was selling herb on campus? Will you share the same views when your inter-racial kids go off to college? How about when those same kids are treated differently because of their latte skin color?

  98. muslimahlocs says:

    i find the comparisons between the struggles of people of african descent against slavery, mob violence in post-reconstruction america, jim crow, lynching, segregation, environmental racism, and so on and the challenges that gays encounter to be historically inaccurate, insulting, ignorant, ill-informed and unlikely to yield any sort of meaningful coalition between blacks and gays, not to mention among the black gay community and the larger gay community. such comparisons are intended to diminish our exeperiences as the descendants of enslaved africans. as noted above @ los angelista, where are the comparisons to the holocaust or the internment of the japanese?

    and although i have not checked the statistics lately, i do not recall a period in american history when gays were randomly rounded up and lynched en masse as was the case with blacks in america.

    further, some have commented about the struggle for interracial marriages however have failed to note that people of african descent also had to struggle for the legal right to marry intraracially. let us remember that “jumping the broom” was all that black folks could do for centuries before people of african descent obtained the right to legally marry each other.

    also, limiting the discussion to christianity and homosexuality reflects a lack of acknowledgment for the existence and practice of the many other religious communities that exist in america. your comment may have read better as follows:
    “I have noticed that those [Christians] who condemn homosexuality tend to pick and choose their Biblical verses very carefully.”

  99. I live in Canada and same-sex marriage has been legalized here since July 20, 2005. I was so happy to see California jump on board, and feel sick that Proposition 8 passed. I think it was Ellen DeGeneres who said something along the lines of how terrible it was to leave the rights of a minority up to a majority. I couldn’t agree more with her. I was shocked that it was even put up to popular vote after the California Supreme Court’s decision.

    I believe in God. I have always considered myself Catholic, though a “liberal” one at that. I am fascinated by religion in general and enjoy learning about the history of religions. However, I struggle a lot with the stance the Catholic church, like so many other religions, when it comes to homosexuals, and gay-marriage in particular, because I don’t agree with it. I wish there was a religion I knew of which accepted gay-marriage, because I would feel more comfortable in that church than in one which misuses the name of God to condemn others. Gay-marriage does not hurt anyone. So what’s the big deal? You worded it perfectly when you said that it makes you laugh “when straight people say marriage is sacred, when it’s been made into such a mockery by so many”.

    I hope one day in the very near future gay people will be allowed to MARRY, not simply enter “civil unions”, and that eventually people will be able to look back with shame when they see the foolish, ignorant way their ancestors acted.

  100. Gay marriage has nothing to do with Christianity, and for those who try to mix the two maybe they should know what exactly they are dealing with, on both sides. A Christian church doing same-sex marriages… trust me that church will not last very long..and it is just as hypocritical as the idea of such marriage.
    I understand if people fight for the right they are entitled to, but it is different than if someone makes up the lack of some rights and takes the role of a victim. And also God’s law is not civil law, they are very different.

  101. muslimahlocs – you are correct that I didn’t address other religious views on Prop 8; I focused on the fact that this country’s most apparent supporters of the traditional marriage agenda are Christian. Every argument I’ve read and report I’ve seen thus far has focused on the Bible’s response to homosexuality, and how that has influenced the opposition to same sex marriage. And also, I wrote this from a very personal perspective, so my response speaks to my own views based on my experiences.

    This wasn’t intended to be a reported analysis of religious responses to same sex marriage throughout America. This is how I feel about Prop 8, plain and simple. I am learning a great deal from everyone’s responses, and I’d like to hear more of your views based on your experiences and beliefs.

  102. This is a very insightful post, Afrobella. You bring up a touching argument for this side of the conflict. However, I’d like to give a point of view on the other side of things.

    Yes, I am a Christian and I am against gay marriage but I am not against gay people. I respect people regardless of their own sexual orientation. However, in my mind, I can not call gay marriage “marriage”. The solid definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. And,overall, marriage is not a right, it is a privilege. In order to enjoy this privilege, the couple needs to fit in the definition of marriage, the union between a man and a woman. All the arguments concerning discrimination would be valid if marriage was a right, but there are boundaries. We don’t allow close relatives to marry, and we don’t allow polygamy. I am sure all these relationships involve love of some sort but they are not allowed to be legally married because of the boundaries.

    Although this point of view seems to be taboo in my immediate surroundings (like my school), I feel this is a safe place to express my opinions.

    Thank you.

  103. classy and natural says:

    Bella, I am disapointed that just because you don’t believe in the bible, you would call it a book of fairytales. It is a book that alot of people live their lives according to. I have seen it transform many people. So it is not a book of fairytales. You want us to respect your opinions you should also respect the opinions of your readers.

    Our founding fathers of this country were christians they prayed and talked to God daily about what to do with this country. Our money says in God we Trust. The pledge says “one nation under god”
    The following passage is from the bible translated to the NIV version
    1 Corinthians 6:9 (New International Version)

    9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

    This is not just talking to homosexuals it is talking to anyone who practices in immoral behavior according to the word of God.
    Many of our judicial laws come straight from the book of Deuteronomy.
    The bible also speaks about our nation rising up against the word of God

    Daniel 7:25: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
    The message version says

    Then he will blaspheme the High God, persecute the followers of the High God, and try to get rid of sacred worship and moral practice. God’s holy people will be persecuted by him for a time, two times, half a time.

    The bible speaks about not polluting the land, about how we should treat animals, money issues, and how we should be employers and employees. Many of these our founding fathers believed and practiced.
    Now everyone does not have to believe in the bible that is between you and God. But the bible also says every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. My soul is to precious to live my life like he does not exist. Christians are called to be the salt of the earth. That means making decisions that alot of people don’t agree with. We are not her to appease mankind. We have to make sure God is pleased with us. I prayed before I voted against Amendment 2 here in Florida. I am told in Proverbs “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own understandin in all my ways aknowledge him and he will direct my path.”I prayed about who to elect president and many other ballot issues.

    In closing we all need to respect each other and agree to disagree. The issues were voted on and the people have spoken. That what makes this a democracy. You may not like my beliefs but you are still called to love me as a person. I have many gay and lesbian friends I love them dearly should they be allowed to get married according to the laws of God? I believe no. But they are still my friends. I am called to draw them with love and everytime a door is open I do say the word of God. And alot of them ackowledge that they know it is not right but their hearts are in it. That’s why the bible tells us “To guard our hearts with all dilligence for out of it flows the issues of life”
    Everyone be blessed and respect each other.

  104. I didn’t know Wanda way gay :) I never assume that anyone is until I really have a reason to. Everyone things I’m straight and ha, wrong :)

    I wish everyone could just work on being content in their own lives and allow others to be content as well. The way to do this is to allow everyone the same rights. It’s crazy that people toss in religion regarding prop 8 and they don’t throw that in anywhere else regarding society..I mean there’s a lot of shady things going on in the world and people are putting their effort towards who shouldn’t be able to get married? Why not focus your energy on feeding impoverished kids, assisting domestic violence victims, the elderly, etc??????? I really feel like typical religious folks need to wake up.

  105. You’re right religious folks need to wake up and stop throwing bible verses that they believe condemn homosexuality at people while ignoring verses that speak of love, God’s redeeming grace and how we ARE ALL sinners saved by grace. Just like everyone else, there are gays who are Christians and those who are not. Yes, you can be gay and Christian. Everyone is so quick to condemn, isn’t this why the Bible says before you go to judge another pull the PLANK out of your eye before you reach for the speck in another’s?

    Do none of these scriptures apply?:

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. ~ Romans 8:28-30

    We cannot come to God and love Him unless He has first chosen us.

    For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will — to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. ~ Ephesians 1:4-6

    We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. ~ Romans 8:22-23

    Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:11-12

    Gee, look how many times the words love, grace and compassion were mentioned. I am all for gay marriage. As marriage is two people confirming their love and devotion to each other before God. This is not for man to decide, this between the couple and God. As black people, how quickly we forget that slaves (who were considered property) were also forbidden to marry as were mixed couples in 16 states. Let’s not talk about re-definition of marriage, as we had to redefine marriage in order to allow HUMAN BEINGS to enjoy their basic rights. Some heterosexuals are doing a good job of destroying the sanctity of marriage all by themselves…just think “Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire”. A marriage based on money not love…where is the public outrage against these types of marriages? Let’s not even talk about divorce…

    Give me a break people, if you don’t like gay marriage don’t have one.

  106. classy and natural – I encourage you to reread my post. I never called the Bible “a book of fairytales.”

  107. classy and natural says:

    The bible tells us to love. God is Love. For god so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. He did that for the everyone.
    The bible says all have sinned and came short of the glory of God.
    But it also says be ye holy for I am holy. Everyday we christians should strive for holiness. Do we miss the mark yes. A saint is just a sinner who fell
    down and got up. The bible also says you can’t serve to masters. God loves all homosexuals! However, He hates the deeds of homosexuality because they are sinful

    9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

    This clearly states God does not condone homosexual behavior you can try and say God is love and judge not for you won’t be judged but that is clearly in black and white God does not condone it.

    Mark 16:15: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

    God tells us to go out and teach his word. We cannot just lie down and say its not our business. God teaches us to love one another. That means if i see the person that I love doing something wrong I need to say something. Whether it be with my vote or my voice.

    And Barak Obama who is our great President-elect another Christian does not believe in same sex marriage. That was one of the reasons I voted for him. It is a democracy and we vote people in who line up with our beliefs. I am not judging anyones lifestyle I voted according to what I believe. That’t democracy the people have spoken.

  108. classy and natural says:

    bella this is the post I was referring to

    This is not the United States of Christianity. Everybody comes out of the shadows to tell us what their book of fairy tales prescribes, but nobody asked you! We have a separation of church and state in this country. That’s hard to wrap some brains around, I know. Legislation doesn’t come from the pulpit

    I apologize that I did not understand your post. All I seen was book of fairytales and I know this is a debate about christian beliefs and same sex marriage.

  109. Classy and Natural — I finally understand your confusion. I didn’t say those words, that post was made by the ever-eloquent “afrobello,” who is one of few gentlemen who regularly reads and comments here on the site.

    Thanks to you all for sharing your differing perspectives as peacefully and intelligently as possible. Over 100 comments and no angry name calling! I haven’t seen a discourse this civilized almost anywhere else. You guys rule!

  110. also, Classy and Natural — Barack Obama disagrees with the word marriage, but he supports civil unions and spoke out against Prop 8. Please read:

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1051404.html

  111. is bella and afrobella not one and the same. i’ve been using those names interchangeably. how unobservant of me.

  112. mochachoc – maybe that’s my bad, I should be consistent. When I am at home, my log in is “bella.” When I am at work, it’s “afrobella.” And “afrobellO” is a whole nother person who I haven’t been so fortunate to meet yet.

  113. classy and natural–

    a typical gay “clobber passage you quote”; however, if you research “homosexual offenders” as its translated you will find that Paul lists many activities that will prevent people from inheriting the Kingdom of God. One has been translated as effeminate, or sexual perverts. The original Greek text reads malakoi arsenokoitai. The first word means soft; the meaning of the second word has been lost. It was once used to refer to a male temple prostitute. The early Church interpreted the phrase as referring to people of soft morals; i.e. unethical. Since Martin Luther, it was interpreted as referring to masturbation. More recently, it has been translated as referring to homosexuals . Each translator seem to take whatever activity that their society particularly disapproves of and use it in this verse.

    If we go over to verse 14 in this same chapter you will find that Paul also said “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church”.

    Does this mean that women should not be able to be pastors or even Sunday School teachers? I don’t think so, but if we take this text as-is without looking at the rest of the Bible and it’s historical and linguistic context then it would appear that women had no right to speak, preach or prophesy in church (which would contradict what Paul goes on to say).

    Let’s say being gay is a sin, but if no sin is greater than any other sin then what we saying here? Didn’t Jesus himself speak against divorce? Yet, there is a 50% divorce rate. It’s a sin! I haven’t heard of a pastor who has refused to marry people on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th marriage. Why the all out rally against same gender loving people? And not divorce? Or other sins?

    You mention one of the reasons you voted for Barack is because he does not believe in same-sex marriage…but if I read your posts correctly you would vote against it (same sex marriage). The difference is Barack realizes that simply because he doesn’t agree with something, it doesn’t make it his right to deny others their rights.

    There are pastors who are saying that voting for Barack was a sin because of his stance on abortion. Again, in the debate Barack said that no one is pro-abortion, but women should have the right to choose.

    I know you are sincere in what you say, and by being willing to converse about this shows a level of wanting to understand. But at the end of the deny, it is not your right to deny my right to get married anymore than it is my right to deny yours. Call gay people and their “sins” what you will and point to whatever Bible scriptures that you feel calls homosexuality a sin in God’s eyes. But at the end of the day, love is love and God is love. And yes, only He can judge.

    Preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but don’t tell someone they should change first or be free of sin before they come to Christ. The Lord said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Don’t put prerequisites on people coming to God. He calls people as they are, he is not like man who requires people be perfect before they accept you.

    I am not perfect, I am a sinner saved by grace, I am black, I am a woman, I am a lesbian and I am a Christian. I am not an accident, my love for my partner is not against God. I am saved not because of anything I done or will do, but because I believe in Jesus and have professed him as Saviour with my mouth. Because Jesus was the lamb who died for my sins, I am saved by God’s grace. And nothing, not what people say or think will separate me for the love of God, ever, period.

    And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of His glory. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14

    I do; however, believe there needs to be a separation of church and state. If we are defining marriage as a God-sanctioned institution and allowing atheists who don’t believe in God to get married…then isn’t that also against God too? I guess to extend the logic of the religious anti-gay marriage argument, wouldn’t we need to stop atheists and other non-believers from getting married as well? Just a thought…

  114. classy and natural says:

    Bella Obama opposes gay marriage but does support civil unions. But he also says it should be left up to the individual states. Florida and California have both said they oppose it.

    Obama had previously said he opposes same-sex marriage but that each state should make its own decision

    I am not trying to deny anyone there right to live the way they want to live. But when I go in to vote I vote according to my beliefs. It just so happens alot of people who are not on this board agree with me. Marriage is a holy instituion in front God. That’s my belief. I have nothing against homosexual relationships but I have strong moral convictions. Obama believes in civil unions. That’s diffrent than marriage. This allows couples to visit each other in the hospital and have benefits as a married couple, however it is not a marriage.I see nothing wrong with that. Marriage is godly and holy that is my belief.

  115. ” In the year 2000, the state of Alabama became the last state to repeal its law against mixed-race marriage. ”

    0_o ?????

    learn something new every day.

  116. Whoa. 115 comments. Forgive me if I repeat anything that’s already been said.

    Thank you for speaking out, Afrobella.

    This is one issue I always struggle with, being raised a Christian woman. On one hand, my baptist upbringing taught me that homosexuality was wrong (along with fornication, but… well… you know). But on the other hand, I was taught not to judge other people. And I have a number of gay and lesbian friends that I love dearly, and though I may not fully understand their sexuality, I can’t bring myself to condemn. I often wonder… where does that leave me as a Christian?

    This is why I can’t pick a side on the marriage issue. I understand it’s a sacred institution… but I also understand that it’s a sacred institution that’s been dragged through the collective mud as of late. You mentioned sham reality show marriages. I also think of marriages of convenience, marriages for money, polygamous marriages… and I’m like, well heck, sanctity be damned.

    My closing argument is always… if we’re really create tougher domestic violence laws and make adultery a felony. Because those things destroy far more families than two women (or men) deciding to spend the rest of their lives together.

  117. SORRY!

    That last graf should read…

    “My closing argument is always… if we’re really want to protect the sanctity of marriage, let’s create tougher domestic violence laws and make adultery a felony. Because those things destroy far more families than two women (or men) deciding to spend the rest of their lives together.”

  118. Pearlsrevealed says:

    Wow! What a hot topic.

    Though I agree with CoilyFields and Classy and Natural I must also commend Tami, Veronica, and CurlyChronicles for also speaking my heart.

    Though I am a Christian concerned about the judgement on our nation for allowing abortion and gay marriage, I believe our lazy, materialistic, uncompassionate American (so-called) Christian political pundits has shown a lack of concern for the other things that concerns God.

    The rabid greed on Wall Street that led banks to sell houses with those adjustable rate mortgage loans which led to the mortgage crisis.

    Domestic violence…When evangelist Juanita Bynum got a beat down from her pastor husband, she got very little sympathy from many christian elite.

    The neglect of our children. Poverty, poor education, no health care for many working and middle class children. This country produces the bulk of the world’s pornography which destroys marriages.Pollution and the adulteration of our food supply. There are scriptures to support all of these issues.

    Also, I must add that to everyone who thinks that bible is full of holes and inconsistencies, please read it for yourselves. I recommend New American Standard (NASB)translation. A Hebrew-Greek Keyword or a good study bible version of the NASB will give more insight into the history and culture behind the scriptures. The Amplified Bible is also great to use as a reference bible along with any other translation you may use.

    The people of the book were not American or westernized. It was a Middle Eastern culture that was and is vastly different from our own. Also keep in mind the following points as you study.

    1. God’s ultimate purpose is to reconcile man back to Him after the fall of Adam and Eve.
    2.The Law of First Mention– as ceecee illustrated with Matthew 19 that God’s original intention gets obscured by man to satisfy his own desires. Put more weight on the passage of scripture that first introduces a topic.
    3. Jesus’ death on the cross does annul somethings but not everything. Homosexuality did not get the green light after the cross so did stoning others to death for their sin.
    4. The body of Christ is filled with imperfect people. When we start practicing love en mass then maybe the lost will be completly healed, delivered and set free to live a godly life with ease.

  119. I’m sorry but the Bible and other religious texts were written in an age when people had little understanding of how the world works. Allow me to quote Heinrich Heine:

    “In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind old men as guides.” (in God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens)

    I am heartned by the Christians who have said that they cannot find it in themselves to deny gay and lesbian people the right to marry if they so wish. It seems to me they have acknowledged that if we are to truly live in a democratic society we cannot (indeed must not) allow our private beliefs to hinder the civil freedoms of others.

    Tami put it succinctly when she asks why are religious people ok with atheists, the divorced, and so on marrying but not homosexuals. It makes no sense.

    I don’t understand what happened in California but the result confirms to me that there are some things you simply can’t trust ‘the people’ to get right. We must defer to reason.

  120. Some religions do joyfully and prayerfully perform gay and lesbian marriages–many Quaker churchs, reformed Jews, Unitarian Universalists, and more. These churches and the ceremonies they perform, and their understanding of the Bible are being discriminated against by the state. That’s also a first amendment violation–against those churches.

  121. hopefully someday ppl will wake up and realise religion is just another form of control that requires that they never think outside the box and never question life or their true emotions.
    i dont conform to anything that makes no absolute sense to me. its my mental freedom.

  122. Hello Afrobella. I don’t agree with gay marriage and voted against it for 3 reasons.

    First, I think that there should be a complete seperation of church and state. The institution of marriage is purely religous. Before religion was introduced, two adults decided to stay together and do thier thing. I think that everyone should have civil unions done at the court house and then have the right to have their own marriage/ commitment ceremony/ whatever they decide. I am married and while I technically got married when my husband and I signed everything at city hall, we did not begin our marriage until after the wedding.

    Secondly, I am a Christian. The scriptures clearly speak against homosexuality.

    My final reason is biological. The main reason two adults decided to live together before religion introduced marriage was to raise children. A gay couple cannot reproduce naturally with one another.

    I think that gay advocates are fighting for the wrong thing. Focus on a true seperation of church and state- not on marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Civil unions should be for everyone and they should be changed so that they may be honored in the entire country instead of state-by-state.

  123. L is for... says:

    honestly, i agree with ALMOST everything you’ve posted. and Mildred Loving was an inspiration for…well, love.

    But the subject of marriage is a complex one. Marriage is not just a legal union. Its also a social and religious one as well. Socially and legally i believe that gay or straight, every couple should have the same rights. But religiously, you cant possibly force a religion to change its rule or else you face a whole different issue.

    I think in a way i may fall under the “call it a civil union, just don’t call it marriage,” group but its so much more than that. legally, yes, they should be husband or wife respectively.

    then again, prop 8 AND the defense of marriage act both sound a bit fishy to me. excluding one group of people from rights that others have access to no is not just unfair and unconstitutional, its illegal.

    but i think differently. i don’t fall under the “100% yes” nor the “100% no” category. but if we all listen to each other we can find common ground and create a law that insures that those in love and gay have the same privileges and rights awarded to those who are straight.

    i agree with Nicole above, esp that ‘Focus on a true seperation of church and state- not on marriage.”!!!!!!!! so true.

    i think that once religion is seperated from the situation (religion not faith), then i think everyone would support gay marriage or at least civil unions.

  124. I love the intelligent conversation on this issue going on here.

    To people who say being gay is a choice you are wrong. You are born gay you don’t decide to be gay and stop saying you support their right, BUT… there is no but. You either support them fully or you don’t.

    Anyone who says being gay is a choice is ignorant and/or bigoted and those of us who get this need to point that out every time someone tries to play this game.

  125. Bella,

    I just read this post an thanks so much for mentioning my blog. This is really an area that Black people are falling behind on – but I feel it’s a generational issue like the scars they still carry from Jim Crow and Civil Rights. Those that support Gay Rights need to take more care in how they frame any argument that would diminish that. We’ve come so far and still have a ways to go, but we’ll get there eventually.

  126. I am glad someone mentioned the lack of discussion about other religions. I had to call my cousin to see what Islam said about homosexuality. Personally, I am not invested in this argument one way or the other. I have gay, bi, transgendered friends, and I think they should have the same benefits heterosexual couples have. I guess I have 2 frames of reference when making judgments the one that doesn’t care what two people do as long as it does not affect my money and the one that looks through life as a Christian.

    As a Christian I understand that God does not want us to sin. He wants me to stop fornicating and talking about people. I know what I am doing is wrong in God’s eyes. I may have been born a gossiper, but in order to be pleasing to God I have to fight the urge just as my promiscuous (hetero) friend needs to fight the urge. I wish I had the sermon my pastor gave about judging others. I believe he said it was the Christian duty to tell another Christian that what they are doing is not pleasing to God. It’s not about judging but helping others build their relationship with Christ.

    Now the me that does not care as long as it does not affect her pockets, believes that couples who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together and have equal protection should be given that right. It looks like they are going to have to take their fight to the Courts though and make this an issue of contract law.

    When issues like these are placed on the ballots people are going to tend to base their opinions on whatever guides their moral compass so those spouting people need to separate their religion are going to have to get over that b/c it’s not going to happen. It does not make it right, but many allow their spirituality to guide their daily decisions. I feel more comfortable giving people the option to make their own decisions.

    It’s a very fine line to walk. As Christians we are charged with bringing people towards Christ but I also respect the rights of others to live how they feel best suits them.

  127. I have to admit, I could not concur with you in 100%, however it’s just my personal opinion, which certainly could possibly be wrong.

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