Crossing the Line

Is Gay Marriage Really About Civil Rights?

By Michael Gentry

There's a line that shouldn't be crossed — a crucial point of no return — a place marked by God saying: "If crossed, beware of imminent danger." Yet among key leaders in the black community, on the issue of same-sex marriage, that line has all but disappeared.

Recently political debate on same-sex marriage has surged across America; and has gained disturbing momentum among black leaders, after President Obama became the first President in US history to publicly endorse such unions. Since his announcement, the issue has the African-American community at odds with one another. But what makes matters worse is the political dissension from black leaders against the opposing view of the black Christian church.

Yet those leaders, including the President, Al Sharpton, Dr. Michael E. Dyson, and Gen. Colin Powell (just to name a few) as well as most members of the NAACP purport to be Christians. So is Christianity in general, and the black church in particular, "homophobic" or are the proponents of gay marriage simply biblically incorrect on this issue? Before answering this critical question it is important to first put rest — once and for all — the chief misconception used to justify same-sex marriage, which is that it is a Civil Rights issue.

After President Obama made his historic announcement on May 9, 2012 on that same day, I along with other campaign subscribers received an email from him where he said in part, "What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens."

As reported by Newsone, Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement where he said in part, "As leaders in today's Civil Rights Movement, we stand behind President Obama's belief that same sex couples should be allowed to join in civil marriages. This is a view that we concur with, because as civil rights leaders we cannot fight to gain rights for some and not for all."

In an article written on liberal professor, author and gay rights marriage activist, Dr. Michael E. Dyson was quoted saying, "Black people do not have a copyright on civil rights insurgence." And he called those who oppose same-sex marriage, "sexual rednecks." This week, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, voiced his approval of Obama's support of gay marriage.

And finally, as reported by, the NAACP passed a resolution on Saturday, May 19, 2012, endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right and opposes any efforts "to codify discrimination or hatred into the law" [sic]. In this same article, NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, was quoted as saying, "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people."

As well-intentioned each of these individuals are in their comments, they all need to be reminded that nowhere in the Bill of Rights, or the 14th Amendment for that matter, are gay people excluded from the rights provided therein to all citizens — including the right to marriage. As US citizens, homosexuals have the same legal liberties as heterosexuals; and to say otherwise is simply not true. Yet no citizen, gay or straight, has the unrestricted right to marry whoever they want.

Incestuous marriages are prohibited in this country, and in most cultures, no matter how much the parent and child — or brother and sister — love each other; and regardless if they are of legal consensual age. Polygamy is also illegal in America, as is marrying the husband or wife of another person as long as they are still married to someone else. And, a person cannot marry a child (pedophilia) nor can they marry "man's best friend" (beastiality). In other words, the right to marry and the restrictions thereof are shared equally by all citizens.

Moreover, despite the fact that same-sex marriage is only legal in six states — plus DC — as shown in the 2010 US Census Report, there are over 600,000 same-sex couples in the United States; of which more than 131,000 consider themselves married, even if they were legally married or not. In the states where such marriages are legal, there are less than 26,000 same-sex marriages (tally column 8); which means the other 106,000 across America either married illegally, just "say" they are married, or got married in states where it's legal then moved to other states.

The point being, nothing is stopping same-sex couples from marrying except same-sex couples themselves; because if the remaining 469,000 unmarried same-sex couples really wanted to get married they could. The fact that nearly 80% of same-sex couples in this country are not married speaks volumes; in and of itself, and has absolutely nothing to do with Civil Rights, Human Rights or their legal right to do so. Gregory Koukl, President of Stand to Reason, summed it up best:
"Same-sex marriage is not about civil rights. It's about validation and social respect. It is a radical attempt at civil engineering using government muscle to strong-arm the people into accommodating a lifestyle many find deeply offensive, contrary to nature, socially destructive, and morally repugnant."

Image Credit: Christa Lohman; "Marriage is a civil right"; Creative Commons

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Published on 6-21-12