Despite flying high over the Obama win last week, my heart was heavy watching the votes come in for Proposition 8. I have a hard time understanding how people can take away rights from others. Especially when quoting scripture. I consider myself a Christian and this doesn't jibe with my beliefs.
There's a wonderful essay on this called: Proposition 8: "It is written, but I say unto you" by John Seery. He says:
The offended religiosity claims to be based on Scripture. It all boils down to a couple of passages in Leviticus, and maybe a few scattered comments in Paul's letters. To take those passages seriously, however, one today must read them selectively and tendentiously while ignoring their clearly antiquated aspects. I don't see any way around it. If a man lies with a male as with a woman (Lev. 21:13), then that "abomination" requires that they both be put to death--along with the death penalty for adultery and other offenses. If the "Yes on Prop. 8" folks are sincerely convinced that Leviticus requires them to oppose same-sex marriage today, then why aren't they following Scripture more rigorously and calling for the death penalty--not only for homosexuality but also for heterosexual adultery? I just don't get how one can be actively incensed by one line of Scripture but then be completely oblivious to the very next line. If you're a literalist and you believe every word in the Bible is God's revealed word, then you have no exegetical right to pick and choose which passages in Leviticus matter to you today and which don't.
The word marriage is an important one ...to each and every one of us. Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, African Americans had to drink out of their own, separate water fountain. They were considered "beneath or less than" their fellow Caucasian Americans. Here, you can have water! But, you are not clean or pure enough to drink from our fountain.
Is this not the same in considering Proposition 8? Here, you can have a commitment ceremony and some legal rights, but NO you can not have OUR marriage. You are not pure or worthy enough to take our word marriage.
And...you might be contagious. Yes, there are many people out there who still think that homosexuality is a choice. Oh, YES. Who in their right mind would choose to be gay in America? No one would choose to be gay in our society today. Being gay means discrimination at the very least, and at worst... It's been 10 years, but doesn't anyone remember Matthew Shepard?
This is what it comes down to for me. Proposition 8 is a violation of our human rights. We may have elected an African American President last week, but our fight for equality in this country is far from over.
For further reading, please check out Cheri from Blog this Mom. Her posts on gay marriage and Christianity here, and what we can do here.
Also, Tootsie from Vintage Thirty did a post on Proposition 8 here.