The lawsuit involving a Michigan gay man suing two Bible publishers and the California court ruling on same-sex marriage has really made me mourn the loss of two important aspects of our culture:
1) The Loss of Dissent: With the court ruling on same sex marriage, I fear we’ve lost the ability to dissent and the freedom of speech that comes with it. What used to be a great liberal ideal has now been relegated to the dustbin of history. The New Mexico wedding photographer discovered that fact when she decided because of her religious beliefs to turn down a request to photograph a gay wedding. She was sued and has now lost the case. So now, legally it’s apparently impossible to dissent from the issue because of personal morality, values, or religious beliefs. The problem is that there are intellectual and reflective arguments on both sides of the issue, but now, when it comes to this issue, dissent is illegal. If the government can force us to act contrary to our moral and religious values on this issue, it can force it on any issue. The paradox is that the very value the gay community has always championed – their right to live their lives according to their dictates – has now been denied to the rest of us.
That has certainly opened to door to lawsuits like the one in Michigan. After all, if we can’t dissent from believing same-sex marriage is not in the culture’s best interest, then what do we do with all those pesky religious beliefs and the preachers who teach that stuff? We’ve got to get rid of those as well. Will the gulags not be far behind?
2) The Loss of a Definition: After literally thousands of years, we’ve lost the definition of the word “marriage” from our vocabulary. The word has always been used in reference to the core unit of a man and woman and the ability to procreate. But now, that definition doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not an issue of gay couples being able to live together, share benefits, tax status, or have a family unit. But by co-opting the word “marriage,” they haven’t expanded it’s definition, they’ve eliminated it. I’m not against same-sex couples of any kind living together legally and with financial and government benefits, in the same way two aging grandmothers should be allowed to live as a family with the retirement benefits, beneficiary benefits, and hospital access that means. But I fear to change the very definition of the word marriage is a far greater loss that we realize.