Homosexual advocates and their many sympathisers have used the clever slogan of “marriage equality” to advance their cause. They argue that same-sex “marriage” is simply an issue of equality for homosexual “couples”. But traditional marriage and homosexual “marriage” are far from equal.
- The union of a man and a woman is sanctioned by God himself. The union of two men or two women is prohibited by God.
- Marriage is the only moral outlet for sexual intimacy. Homosexual “marriage” is an illegitimate outlet for sexual intimacy.
- The former is generally a fertile relationship bearing offspring. The latter is a sterile relationship.
- The former is the bedrock of society and civilisation. The latter is destructive to society.
- The former, in the majority of instances, lasts for life. The latter is prone to failure.
- The former swears to fidelity. The latter is often based on mutually-agreed infidelity outside of the relationship.*
- The former is made up of two different, yet compatible people, who fit together perfectly like a hand and glove. The latter is made up of two of the same.
- The former engages in acts that are natural, safe, enjoyable, bonding, guilt free and can lead to the creation of new life. The latter engages in acts that are unnatural, that frequently trouble conscience, that are highly risky, and often result in physical damage and infections ranging from irritating to lethal.
Attempting to redefine marriage
On 11 August 2015 Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Liberal/National Coalition voted 66 to 331 to effectively scuttle an attempt to pass a Bill in the federal parliament to legalise same-sex marriage. Christians across Australia breathed a collective sigh of relief that the Prime Minister and a clear majority of Liberal/National MPs upheld the traditional definition of marriage.
But, had backbencher Warren Entsch, Communication Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Education Minister Christopher Pyne, Attorney-General George Brandis and other pro same-sex marriage Liberal and National MPs succeeded in forcing the matter to a vote in parliament, and ultimately changing the Marriage Act, doing so would not have altered the reality that what the parliament then called marriage would have been a sham, and not true marriage at all.
It is God who defined what marriage is at the beginning of human existence, and thousands of years later his Son Jesus Christ reaffirmed the nature of marriage when he stated, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’”2 The government may corrupt the definition of marriage and confuse the population, but it cannot alter reality. Two homosexuals or two lesbians living together will never constitute true marriage at all.
Harmful to children
But this doesn’t mean that legalising same-sex “marriage” will not have a profoundly negative impact. It will be highly destructive to children in same-sex households.
Homosexual “marriages” will result in children being raised without either a mother, or a father. Homosexuals insist that two men can raise a child as well as a mother and a father (i.e., mothers are unnecessary), or that two women can raise a child as well as a father and mother (i.e., fathers are unnecessary).Of course, common sense tells us that this surely cannot be, and many studies and personal testimonies confirm that children do best when reared by both natural parents.
Heather Bar-wick, now married with a child, describes the heartache she endured being reared by two lesbians. “I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy,” she said. “I ached every day for a dad… another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.” Describing her feelings of loss, she said, “My father’s absence created a huge hole in me …Same-sex marriage withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not.”3
Instead of expressing sympathy for Heather, homosexual activists attacked her, claiming on one website that she “spit on her gay parents”4 because she used her personal experience to defend traditional family values.
Even if a child’s basic physical needs can be met by a homosexual or lesbian couple, what of the child’s moral and relational needs? Professor Gerard Bradley of Notre Dame University writes, “The proper rearing of children concerns their moral education by experience and example. The enduring reproductive union of a man and a woman establishes a world of valuable relationships that same-sex households can only mimic. In the marital household we find a nexus of interwoven relationships—husband and wife, mother and father, father and daughter, mother and son, brother and sister, etc.—and all the moral obligations and opportunities these relationships imply.”5
A homosexual “marriage” where one partner assumes the “other” role and tries to be the father that she is not, or to be the mother that he is not, is a counterfeit that will never make up for the absence of a genuine mother or father. Children deserve better. They deserve nothing less than to be reared by their natural parents in a loving, stable and enduring relationship sealed by marriage vows.
What is being advocated by homosexual activists is an extraordinarily reckless social experiment where children will be treated as commodities. Katy Faust, also raised by a lesbian couple lamented, “Our cultural narrative becomes one that tells children they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.”6
Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, published a research paper in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research that sought to answer the question, “how different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?” When asked about this in Christianity Today, he responded, “Among other things, they [the adult children] are more apt to report financial and employment difficulties, to finish less schooling, feel more ambivalence about their family experiences while growing up, smoke more, have more run-ins with the law, and report more sexual partners and greater victimisation than those children from biologically intact, stable marriages.”7
Harmful to the Church
Homosexual demands will not cease if same-sex marriage is legalised. Life Ministries has faithfully opposed homosexual advances for over 30 years in Australia. In 1989 when legislation was introduced to decriminalise sodomy, which Life Ministries opposed, we were told that homosexuals simply wanted to be free from the risk of prosecution. In 2002 we were told that all that homosexual couples wanted were equivalent rights to married couples, but not marriage itself. Now we are being told that if same-sex marriage is granted in law churches will be free to abstain from performing same-sex marriages.
Labor leader Bill Shorten recently moved a resolution at the ALP National Conference that will strip away the current conscience vote from Labor MPs on same-sex marriage after the 2019 election.8 We are being assured that churches will be free to abstain from performing same-sex marriages, but if a Labor government denies its own MPs the right to act according to conscience, can we really believe it will allow churches such a right? Will pastors be prohibited from reading certain portions of Scripture? Will they be forced to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples or face prosecution? “The City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, ordered Christian ministers to perform same-sex weddings under pain of 180 days’ imprisonment for each day the ceremony is not performed and fines of $1000 per day; some British MPs have threatened to remove the marriage licences from clergy who fail to conduct ‘same-sex marriages.’”9 Why will not similar things happen in Australia if same-sex marriage is legalised when there are already many examples of it happening elsewhere?
Rodney Croome, director of a same-sex marriage support group, recently advocated that Australian Catholic Bishops should be taken before the Anti-Discrimination Commission for defending the natural definition of marriage in a pastoral booklet entitled, “Don’t Mess with Marriage”. Croome claimed that “The booklet likely breaches the Anti-Discrimination Act and I urge everyone who finds it offensive and inappropriate, including teachers, parents and students, to complain to the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner.”12 Croome’s bullying tactics are an appalling attempt to dictate what Christians can and cannot say about marriage.
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, speaking weeks before the US Supreme Court redefined marriage said that it would “change everything in the culture, including churches, schools, businesses, the military and family.” He then asked, “Who knows where it will end?”10
Maggie Gallagher, the cofounder of the National Organization for Marriage and senior fellow with the American Principles Project stated, “Homosexual advocates have no interest in a ‘live and let live tolerance’. After redefining marriage, the next thing on their agenda is to redefine Christianity.” Christianity, she said, “will enter a new phase, as a hated minority group.”11
Low view of marriage
It should be noted that those who are advocating same-sex marriage often hold to a particularly low view of marriage. Many have rejected it themselves, instead choosing to cohabit with multiple partners, or to live in de facto relationships. Some have openly rejected marriage, claiming it is a conservative, middle-class, misogynistic institution where women are subjugated. But now, all of a sudden, many have become advocates for homosexual marriage, treating it as the new “gold standard”. What an irony that those who previously had no regard for marriage are now championing it!
Betrayal at the political level
Many political leaders who are supporting the drive for homosexual marriage were raised in traditional homes with their biological mothers and fathers united by marriage. They enjoyed the immense benefits of being reared in stable and loving homes. But, sadly, now they are conspiring with less than two per cent of the community in an attempt to force radical social changes upon this nation. Same-sex marriage couldn’t possibly pass into law in Australia without the betrayal and collusion of our political leaders, who are turning their backs on marriage and children.
Betrayal at the Church level
Sadly, a growing number of church leaders are also now advocating same-sex marriage. Some have betrayed their flocks by abandoning the biblical teaching on marriage, family and morality in favour of a new, secular amorality.
Rob Bell former evangelical pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan speaking in defence of same-sex marriage said, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs – I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”13
RC Sproul responded to Bell’s downgrade in theology by stating, “What Rob Bell thinks of gay marriage, I’m not concerned about. What the Bible says about it, that’s the truth. The immovable, unshakeable truth, that will still be here and still be true when Rob Bell’s body is rotting in his grave, and unless he repents, when his soul is just beginning to suffer the wrath of God for all eternity..”14
Tony Campolo, who claims to be a staunch evangelical in an article entitled, “Tony Campolo: For the Record”, writes, “It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversations and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.”15 Why such emotional turmoil when supposedly abandoning a cruel and erroneous interpretation of Scripture for a truthful and more compassionate one? Perhaps his feelings of anguish were the natural response to rejecting the plain teaching of Scripture when it describes homosexual behaviour as unnatural, degrading and indecent.16 Or perhaps his anguish arose from blocking his ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, retired as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996, said at a UN-backed pro-homosexual rally, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.”17
Closer to home, a number of Australian Christian leaders have explained why they now support same-sex marriage.
Rev Bill Crews, a Uniting Church minister in Sydney said, “In a secular and non-discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple.”18
Rev Rowland Croucher of John Mark Ministries in Victoria, said, ‘’How can I, a heterosexual who’s been very happily married for 50 years, tell anyone else they don’t have the right to form a loving, committed, lifelong union and enjoy the fruits of marriage as I have done? Marriage is not a club to be restricted to some. Like the Gospel, it is a blessing to be shared.”19
Even some ministers within evangelical denominations are promoting same-sex marriage. “When a couple want to be part of the institution of marriage, when they fully accept the same rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat marriage with the respect it deserves, why should they not get married?” Rev Matt Glover, a Baptist Church pastor in Melbourne wrote. “As a Christian minister, I believe that marriage is under threat from many angles, but also believe that recognising same-sex unions will help return marriage to its rightful place in society.”20
While some Christian leaders have faithfully reflected the teaching of Scripture in relation to marriage and family, some seem to have chosen to remain silent on the topic of same-sex marriage for fear of being labelled old fashioned, bigoted or homophobic. When the Church sends mixed messages, or refuses to address one of the most critical issues of our time, can we really expect our political leaders to be straight thinking and do the right thing? If our society is a mess, it is in large part because the Church is a mess. And our society will remain that way as long as the Church ignores God’s word.
On 11 August 2015 Australia came perilously close to legalising same-sex marriage. Thank God that Prime Minister Tony Abbott stood firm under heavy opposition from homosexual activists, the media, and some within his own party. Proponents of same-sex marriage are determined to continue agitating for same-sex marriage to become a reality in Australia. Surely then, now is the time for all Christian ministers to reinforce the teaching of Scripture in relation to marriage, and for all Christian people to make known their unwavering opposition to amending the Marriage Act to include same-sex couples.
We are all fallen beings who have often offended God in word, in deed, and in thought. Every part of our being, including our sexuality, has been tainted to some degree. While we can legitimately disapprove of homosexuals and their practices, as indeed Scripture resoundingly does, we believe that homosexuals, like us, are sinners for whom Christ died, and therefore that Christ can save and transform them.
We are eager to help them escape the bondage they have entangled themselves in. And they can be freed from their bondage. Speaking of people who were caught up in sexual sins, including homosexuality, the Scripture says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.21 But, just like everyone else, homosexuals must seek after God on his terms, they must trust in his Son Jesus Christ and call out to him to save, they must evidence heartfelt repentance by turning away from their sins and seeking to live a holy life by obeying the Word and being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit who promises to take up residence in their hearts. And, if they do these things, they will find forgiveness and rest for their souls, just as all who have trusted in Christ have.
*Speaking at the 2012 Sydney Writers’ Festival, Dennis Altman, a respected long-standing homosexual activist said, “Now I am going to speak now as a gay man: one of the things about gay male culture is that it is not a monogamous culture. All the evidence we have suggests that monogamy is a myth. There are many longstanding gay relationships. There are virtually no longstanding monogamous gay relationships. I happen to think that this is a good thing.”
2. Matthew 19:4-5.
16. Romans 1:26-27.
17. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-23464 694
21. 1 Corinthians 6:11.