Same-sex marriage will hurt families, society

By BishopHarry R. Jackson Jr., Special to CNN



Editor's note: Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. is senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, and founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC). He shares his thoughts on traditional marriage in "The Black Pulpit," a weekly series of opinion pieces that explores faith in the black community. CNN's "Black in America: Churched" premieres October 14.

(CNN) -- The institution of marriage is unique. It is the one institution that binds women and men together to form a family, and this serves broad societal purposes.

In California, a U.S. District Court Judge last week overturned Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act. It was passed in November 2008 by California voters to recognize "only marriage between a man and a woman."

The majority of Californians, including two-thirds of the state's black voters, have just had their core civil right -- the right to vote -- stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his views on the state's people.

The implicit comparison Judge Vaughn Walker made between racism and opposition to same-sex marriage is particularly offensive to me and to all who remember the reality of Jim Crow. It is not bigotry, it is biology that discriminates between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.

A marriage requires a husband and a wife, because these unions are necessary to make new life and connect children to their mother and father. Judge Walker's decision will not stand the test of time and history. Congress and the Supreme Court must act to protect all Americans' right to vote for marriage.

Advocates of making same-sex marriage a legally recognized right claim that this will have no impact on traditional marriage -- that it can peacefully coexist alongside traditional marriage. On the contrary, it will have profound impacts. It will create a conflict for people of faith (and nonreligious people as well) who fervently believe in traditional man-woman marriage and the law.

The Bible is so clear in its support of heterosexual marriage there is little need for us to go through an exhaustive definition of biblical marriage versus the types of unions allowed by law today. The Scriptures say in Genesis 2:24 that a man is to leave his family and cleave to his wife.

This concept is repeated in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7. All the scriptures in the Bible concerning marriage presuppose heterosexual marriage.

We can teach our kids that there are important spiritual and societal reasons to believe in traditional marriage and oppose same-sex marriage. But if same-sex marriage becomes legally recognized across the country, our kids will be told that gay marriage is a civil rights issue and that those who oppose it are akin to the racists of history who opposed interracial marriage and supported slavery.

We can teach our children at home that marriage is between a man and a woman, but our children's public schools will teach them that marriage includes same-sex couples. Both would be "equal marriages" under the law.

What might this look like? In Massachusetts, where a ruling legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, kids in public schools are reading books depicting same-sex families. At a California charter school in 2008, kindergartners' parents objected when a school newsletter alerted them to "National Coming Out Day;" a parent told a local ABC-TV affiliate that a teacher at the school screened a film to kindergartners the previous year showing gay families.

These kinds of ill-advised social experiments may produce a host of unexpected consequences. If gay marriage is allowed, the nation will soon begin to experience an increased degradation of the nuclear family -- resulting in fewer kids being raised by both a mom and a dad.

Beyond that, those of us who believe in traditional marriage and are in a regulated profession -- such as counselor, physician, attorney or accountant -- and act in concert with our beliefs, may be vulnerable to losing our professional license and our livelihood.

We can be a religious charity faithfully fulfilling our mission by serving our community, such as by providing adoption and other services, but if we refuse to provide those services to a same-sex couple, we have the choice of abandoning our beliefs or ending our mission.

In 2003, Adoption.com was sued by two California homosexual men, who claimed illegal discrimination because the agency refused to serve homosexual couples. The agency lost the lawsuit and no longer serves adoptive parents in California.

An even more substantive danger lies in the consequences of gay marriage on the next generation. Redefining marriage redefines family. Changing the concept of family will change both the definition and the pattern of parenting.

What will the landscape of America look like if same-sex marriage is legalized across our nation? Social scientists report what most Americans have always known: Both boys and girls are deeply affected in biological and psychological ways by the presence of their fathers.

If the American family loses the presence of the birth dad in the home, there will be huge consequences to the growth and stability of the next generation of children in that family.

For example, repeatedly, scholarly studies focused on adolescence show that early onset of puberty in girls is associated with negative psychological, social, and health problems including depression, alcohol consumption, and higher teenage pregnancy. An eight-year study of girls and their families showed that a father's presence in the home, with appropriate involvement in his children's lives, contributed to daughters' reaching puberty at a later age.

Despite the incredible adaptability of children, our entire culture should advocate for family structures that promote the most positive environments for coming generations.

In addition to fighting the marriage redefinition, leaders from all sectors of our culture, including our churches, must work hard at improving heterosexual marriages. Counseling, modeling, and interventions are needed to help ailing marriages. Both battles must be fought if our families, which are the incubators of future societal greatness, are to be protected.

Let's set our sights high. Let's not fall victim to the circling argument of our opposition. We simply need an army of bipartisan leaders to strategize, organize, and prioritize the protection of marriage.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

 
 

 
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINIO...ge/index.html?hpt=C2
Reference:
The majority of Californians, including two-thirds of the state's black voters, have just had their core civil right -- the right to vote -- stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his views on the state's people.

The implicit comparison Judge Vaughn Walker made between racism and opposition to same-sex marriage is particularly offensive to me and to all who remember the reality of Jim Crow. It is not bigotry, it is biology that discriminates between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.

Not being a "religious" person myself, I really don't have an opinion on the "religious-based" perspective of this issue and I'm not sure whether I agree with the good Bishop's opinion on that or not.

However ... I do agree with him as it relates to his perspective of this as a "civil rights" issue and the comparisons made to racism.  If it really is determined to be a "civil" issue .. then why not accept it being handled by democratically "civil" ways ... i.e., the vote of the majority of Californians ... or Americans, period?? 
The majority of Californians, including two-thirds of the state's black voters, have just had their core civil right -- the right to vote -- stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his views on the state's people.




Awwwwww..................poor baby!



This is a lie. And a vicious one at that. Divide and rule.




Nobody has had their right to vote stripped from them.


(Well, there are folks who have, but this idiot trivializes that issue with his silly nonsense.)



Whiney, whiney victimology.
Last edited by ricardomath
Reference:
Nobody has had their right to vote stripped from them.

Hmmmm ... they said the same thing about all those residents in the several majority-Black counties of Florida who claimed they had been disenfranchised during the 2000 election after their votes were thrown in the trash for undisclosed (and unproven) irregularities caused through no fault of their own (malfunctioning voting machines).

I'm not sure what having the "right" to vote is good for if your vote will not actually be  counted as something meaningful.  But ... after our history ... I guess we should just be glad we can go to the polls without being shot dead for it. 

And the people of California should just accept the fact that having an opinion is one thing ... but having that opinion respected (by people who actually asked for it, no less!!) is definitely another.
Reference:
These kinds of ill-advised social experiments may produce a host of unexpected consequences. If gay marriage is allowed, the nation will soon begin to experience an increased degradation of the nuclear family -- resulting in fewer kids being raised by both a mom and a dad.

How sad and pathetic. It’s inane drivel like this that is used to keep people in their place whether they are black, gay or whatever. White racists howled when the Supreme Court deemed laws against interracial marriage were unconstitutional and said marriage between the races (black and white –since that was their major concern) would mark the end of the white race. Miscegenation would destroy white culture and a new race of half breeds would drag the white gene pool into oblivion. It didn’t happen!

This Negro’s bigoted ramble and pseudo-psychosexual and sociological heresy is no different than the air raid sirens the White Citizens Counsel were extolling in 1967 against Loving vs. Virginia –“It’s the end of the white race!”  Bishop Harry Jackson (and those who think like him) would have no problems denying people their rights to a legal relationship (marriage) simply because he disagrees with their choice of a marriage partner.

Same-sex marriage is about equality, not religion

O.C. Allen, Special to CNN




Editor's note: Bishop-elect O.C. Allen III is senior pastor of The Vision Church of Atlanta, and founder of The United Progressive Pentecostal Church Fellowship, an alliance of faith leaders and churches. He shares his thoughts on why marriage matters in the "The Black Pulpit," a weekly series of opinion pieces that explores faith in the black community. Next week: A view from a Buddhist female priest. CNN's "Black in America: Churched" premieres October 14.

(CNN) -- I am a product of the "The Black Church." It shaped me into who I am today: a Christian pastor aware of God's amazing grace and love.

When I announced I was gay, the church limited that grace and love. Although I had no doubt that God loved me, I discovered that God's love and the church's love can be two different things.

To be Christian is to be inclusive of people who love one another. This is why I support same-sex marriage.

As a pastor, I have counseled countless heterosexual and homosexual couples, and have observed that no matter the race, background or sexual orientation of the couple, a healthy relationship requires commitment, genuine respect and mutual love.

Though my partner and I had a commitment ceremony in 2003, and obtained a marriage license this past July in Washington D.C., we learned that marriage is more than our religious convictions and our commitment, but also about laws that will protect us.

Marriage equality is not about religious rights, but the right to equal benefits. At the end of 2003, the U.S. Government Accountability Office identified 1,138 federal provisions where marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights and privileges.

These include next-of-kin hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent; automatic inheritance in the absence of a will and inheritance of jointly owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship. These benefits allow all marriages access to the social and emotional supports that can produce healthy families and communities.

I affirm the role of religion in our society. But no matter how powerful religion is, in the United States, the laws of the church and the laws of the government are intentionally separate.

Another view from the pulpit: Same-sex marriages will hurt families

In 1968, 73 percent of Americans disapproved of marriage between blacks and whites. Then, it was argued that interracial marriage would hurt families and dismantle societal structures. In 1967, the Supreme court ended race-based restrictions on marriage in Loving vs. Virginia.

Today, support of interracial marriage is stronger than it has ever been. So is support of same-sex marriage. Like interracial couples, gay couples are seeking equality under the law, asking their government for these rights, not individuals, or religious bodies.

If same-sex marriage is about love and religion is about love, then in this debate, love must go both ways. We must not be hateful in our disagreements over marriage. Verbal and emotional abuse should have no place in our sacred places of worship. The pulpit should not be used as a place of abuse even if one disagrees with same-sex marriage.

Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in his 33 years of life. But in Mark 12:31, he did emphasize, "...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." The apostle Paul said: "Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another." I wonder what the debate over same-sex-marriage would be like if we applied this basic scripture?

True equality can begin when we see others as we see ourselves. I believe there is room to disagree, but just because we don't agree on my legal rights does not mean I am not entitled to them.

The gay community must also learn how to love those who disagree with them. If heterosexual couples and gay couples could see their commonality, equality would not just be the law of the land, but it could be a new law for humanity that governs our fragile future.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of O.C. Allen.

 
 

 
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINIO...it/index.html?hpt=T2

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