Why do I believe in marriage inequality?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

Edith Windsor, the lesbian whose gay marriage + inheritance rights case was taken to the United States Supreme Court in March 2013, said something very interesting in an interview: "[Marriage] is a magic word, for anybody who doesn't understand why we want it and why we need it—it is magic." [1] Right there, Ms. Windsor hit the nail on the head. She pinpointed the precise issue that is at stake in the entire gay marriage and marriage equality debate. There is only one problem with what she said. She used the wrong word to describe marriage. Marriage is not "magical." Rather, marriage is "spiritual."

Marriage is God's invention. Every time the Bible mentions marriage, a male and a female is involved. Genesis 2:24 is the first mention of marriage, and it describes marriage as a man leaving his parents and cleaving to his wife. In New Testament passages that teach about marriage, it is explicitly identified as being between a man and a woman (1 Corinthians 7:2-16; Ephesians 5:23-33). Marriage is a spiritual bond between God, a husband, and his wife.

Gay rights advocates want the word "marriage." Why? Because it gives the appearance of legal legitimacy to their lifestyle. It appears to make homosexual unions as legally valid as heterosexual marriages. This is why gay rights advocates will not be satisfied with homosexual unions having all the same rights and benefits as heterosexual marriages. They want the word. Why? It's magic.

Calling a homosexual union a marriage is an attempt to legitimize the illegitimate and legally sanction the spiritually unsanctionable. Perhaps homosexual couples would feel better about their relationships if they have use of the term marriage. Why are they so desperate for a word? Perhaps because, deep down, they know homosexuality deviates from nature (Romans 1:26-27). Whether they believe in God or not, how can they not know, in their heart of hearts, that God exists and that He is not pleased with homosexuality (Romans 1:18-27)? Having the government stamp the word "marriage" on their relationship is nothing but a Band-Aid. And once the "magic" of having the term "marriage" fades, they will discover the Band-Aid to be a woefully insufficient covering for their wounds.

The recent verbiage switch from "gay marriage" to "marriage equality" is nothing but a semantics distraction. It is simply an attempt to make it harder to be opposed to the issue by attaching a positive word to it. A gay union is not equal to a heterosexual marriage. It does not matter if the government legislates it or if society overwhelmingly supports it. Marriage is God's invention and only He gets to define it.

Other than for the purposes of discussion, I do not even use the term "gay marriage." To me, asking someone if they support gay marriage is like asking someone if they support round squares. A gay union can never truly be a marriage because it goes against the very definition of the term marriage.

Also, it is extremely frustrating to hear marriage equality described as a civil right. Precisely what right is being withheld from homosexual couples? Most states already have some form of civil union legislation that gives homosexual couples virtually all the same rights and benefits as heterosexual marriages. If it was simply a matter of rights, privileges, and benefits, the vast majority of Americans, including Christians, would acquiesce and grant those rights, privileges, and benefits to homosexual couples. But the "civil right" they want is the use of the word "marriage." African Americans, in the true civil rights movement, were fighting for far more than a word.

Why do I believe in marriage inequality? Because I believe God created marriage, and I believe that only He has the right to define what it is. A homosexual union will never be equal with a heterosexual marriage. It does not matter that our governments will eventually stamp the term "marriage" on homosexual unions. It will still not be a marriage in the eyes of the only Person who can truly define it—God.

1. Gay marriage case's Edie Windsor: marriage 'magic', Associated Press (March 27, 2013).

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Published 4-24-13