I wrote the below article on the “Protect Marriage NZ” Facebook page but they disabled the ability for other users to write on their wall and thus destroyed my post. I’m re-posting it here for all to see.
It is almost certainly true that marriage did first originate within religion as did many aspects of human society. Over time, marriage has had many different laws. People of different faiths were not allowed to marry. People of different races were not allowed to marry. Up until relatively recent history, a marriage could only be ended with death. These laws have all been changed in the interests of equality and human rights.
Personally, I believe that the bible does not teach that same sex marriage is wrong. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know the only references to homosexuality are Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. I’m not a fan of Leviticus but if people are going to live by it, they should live by all of its rules and not treat it as a pick’n’mix. Which means no clothes of linen and wool mix (19:19), no shaving (19:27), no touching of a female during and for a week after her period (15:19-20), no tattoos (19:28), etc. These days most men shave specifically for their weddings. It’s actually possible to break all 4 of those rules that I just mentioned in a modern Christian wedding.
Even if you don’t agree, there are other religions and even other forms of Christianity that certainly do. You would not try to stop any heterosexual couple from marrying because they have different religious beliefs so why would you do it to any other couple. Under current law, a man and a woman, both of no religious belief or affiliation, can marry. There isn’t a requirement for religion to be a part of their union so why should the rules of any specific religion apply in any other marriage?
Some claim that marriage is about procreation. What does this say about those who are infertile or choose not to have children? Should those people also be denied the right to marry? Is marriage really about nothing more than one penis and one vagina? Or is it about love and commitment?
Others go further and claim that homosexuality is unnatural and should be stopped. But nature shows us that homosexuality is completely natural and actually quite common. Being gay isn’t a lifestyle choice, it’s a part of who someone is. You can try to make them feel bad about who they are and punish them for feeling love, but you can’t change it.
When the Civil Union Act was passed there were claims that it would lead to all sorts of evil but the only thing it has bought is happiness to thousands of loving and committed couples. The Marriage Equality bill would have the same effect. Similar laws have already been passed in Argentina, Norway, Canada, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa, Iceland, Sweden and in several USA states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont), and there has been no negative effect in any of those areas. (See: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/what-has-happened-since-new-york-state-legalized-g )
I’m straight and one day I’d like to get married. But while there is no equality in marriage laws, I could never bring myself to do it. How could I be happy getting married with the knowledge that other couples who are just as loving and committed could not do the same. Restricting marriage to heterosexual couples doesn’t protect marriage, it weakens it.
I’ve covered a lot of points, but none of them really matter. There’s only one issue and it’s about what’s right. Nobody will stop you from marrying because of their religious beliefs and it’s not right for you to stop somebody else from marrying because of yours.