And this, too, Governor

I know why you speak of rights, fairness, and equality whenever you make your case for same-sex marriage. Just 20 years ago, your side was losing the debate. Then, like a struggling business or a losing sport’s team, you repackaged yourselves. Rather then portraying homosexuality as a deviant and promiscuous sexual minority, you began presenting yourselves as mainstream citizens in search of equal treatment. The outlandish “gay parades” were spectacle (still are), but they weren’t creating sympathy or generating votes—after all, cocky men in leather and drag queens aren’t very appealing.

You then changed the words, too. It was no longer an issue of “preference”—that implies a person making a choice to be gay. Now its labeled “orientation”—a word that communicates gays are born not made; that it is simply genetically who they are. The plan worked. The movement ceased being about sordid sexuality, it became one of rights—civil rights, actually. Just as women were denied the right to vote and blacks were deemed second-class in the previous century; the face of the movement became “normal” men and women who were treated unfairly and simply wanted the same rights as everyone else. And it’s hard to argue against someone’s civil rights—this is America. It is why same-sex proponents now enjoy the momentum.

I’ve also noticed you have sugared your position by saying you will provide “opt-outs” for churches; not forcing pastors to perform same-sex unions. But isn’t it against the law to arbitrarily opt-out of civil rights legislation? Regardless of one’s opinion, real civil rights are the law of the land. Skinheads have their opinion, but if they discriminate, they are breaking the law—period. You either don’t see the inconsistency in your “opt-out” logic or you do. I suspect you do. Just as denouncing homosexuality from the pulpit may soon be construed as “hate-speech”; you know the courts will eventually erase the “opt-outs” for Bible-believing pastors. You’re an attorney; maybe you even have a copy of your movement’s “play-book”—the one that lists the step-by-step strategies your side has employed to get to this point. I’m sure there are more chapters in it, too.

Some politicians say this is personally such a hard issue for them to decide—something about seeing the arguments of both sides. When argued as a civil right, it is difficult to oppose same-sex marriage. But it’s not about rights. It’s ultimately about the right of God to define His institution. Which He has done clearly: marriage is between one man and one woman. It is why same-sex marriage has nothing in common with women’s suffrage or blacks sitting in the back of the bus. It’s all about whether we believe God gets to decide the matter or politicians do.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

January 12, 2012


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