Friend One, exported from a Facebook exchange on same-sex marriage, "Sorry for not being clear earlier. Of course we need rules, laws, and the like. The point I was trying to make was based on the assumption that gay marriage was legal. If we have equal rights, than I can choose whether or not to participate, I can choose to belong to groups who may or may not participate, and so on.
To be honest, my position is largely based on my own experience. I have several friends from the GLBT community. These are all people who are gay in the same way you and I are straight. It is not a choice for them. But it ends there -- beyond the fact that they desire a partner of the same gender, they are the same as you and I. They are not bad people. They are not committing a crime by being together. And in the example of my friends, having them marry would give us all so much more to celebrate. Why would we want to restrict their rights? Why would we go out of our way to change our laws to exclude this group of people from being able to marry? If any given Church decides not to recognize gay marriage, then they do not have to.
You made a point in one of our earlier discussions that incest and polygamy are illegal, so gay marriage should also be illegal. To me, that illustrates our difference in opinion. If you group gay marriage in with incest and polygamy, then unfortunately I do not know of a way to explain why it's different other than to just say "it's different.""
I find it very interesting to assume that homosexual marriage is legal. The fact that a debate is occurring disproves that point. I would appreciate a definition of the "right" being restricted. I shall assume it is the right to marry the person I love, something which is already severely restricted in law. I can marry the person I love provided that person is: over the age of consent, not related to me closer than second cousin, and unmarried. Of course, I must be over the age of consent and unmarried as well.
Friend, your assertion, that I may join groups which choose to participate or not, is not one that is shared by the majority of the "same-sex marriage" movement. When the governor of New Hampshire said he would veto same-sex marriage legislation unless it included explicit protection for churches, he was ridiculed by the bill's proponent. When the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage was a right, the Catholic Charities adoption program was forced to close unless it placed children with same-sex couples in direct violation of Catholic teaching. I believe that you and I would both be indignant at the idea of a group discriminating against couples based on their inter-racial status, and the "same-sex marriage" movement is using all the same civil rights legal precedent to frame the issue. It follows, therefore, that organizations will be forced to accept same-sex marriage or be closed.
I have not called anyone a "bad person." No person is a bad person, however, their actions may be bad. I decry anorexia, not anorexics; drunkenness, not alcoholics. I was friendly with a priest while I was in high school, he was a nice guy. In my experience, he was a normal guy except that he was a attracted to adolescent boys. Why should their love be illegal? Wouldn't we have more to celebrate if they weren't forced into a closet? Clearly, I am not arguing to legalize pedophilia but my experience could have led me astray if I didn't know the truth.
"Why would we go out of our way to change our laws to exclude this group of people from being able to marry?" The fact that no reason is given, as to how same-sex marriage is different than polygamy or incest, exactly captures my concern. Why do we exclude anybody from marriage? Because marriage means something, something which began to be eroded by no-fault divorce and is further eroded by ignoring the difference in the sexes.
I have tried to present my response as best as I can, Friend. Thank you for the thoughtful exchange. I hope that we can continue in all civility.