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“Follow those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it.”

This quote lies at the foundation of my moral and spiritual life. I’m a skeptic, a doubter, someone who is never quite satisfied with traditional explanations. But even I will say that sometimes there are truths so self-evident, so clearly moral and just, that it’s possible to say “I believe in this 100% and I will fight to make this belief a reality.” Ladies and gentleman, gay marriage is one of these truths. The United States is slowly realizing this fact - as of February 2015 37 states had legalized Gay Marriage, and 7 of the remaining 13 have an active appeal to overturn their respective Gay Marriage bans. 

I'm the type of person that sees this in the store and thinks... "Wait a minute..."

I’ll dedicate this blog to expanding upon the reasons that I feel so strongly about this topic, and I’ll try to give a proper thrashing to some of the common arguments against this extension of equality and civil rights. I'm focusing this blog on people who find homosexuality acceptable but draw a line at same sex marriage, but it's a fun read for everyone!

Two sides to every coin?

To those of you who oppose same sex marriage, I understand that your opinion on this topic is based on a series of life experiences and a certain system of beliefs or assumptions.  I would even go as far to assume that you’ve arrived at this position after a great deal of soul searching, discussion, and possibly even prayer. But I’m challenging you to go further.  It’s time to rethink your position, to have new discussions, and to eventually join the side of equality. Because like every issue, there are two sides to this coin.  In this case, it’s equality or intolerance. And I’m intolerant of your intolerance.

My awakening

My journey towards supporting same sex marriage is part of a larger change in my beliefs and perspectives. This shift started in the Australian outback, where I spent a week with a student group learning about the oppression and racism inflicted on the Australian Aboriginal community. This example encouraged me to reevaluate my worldview, and search for other injustices around the world. I found an alarming re-occurrence of oppression and blatant discrimination against minority groups across the planet. Both modern and historical events told the same story. Structural Racism. Systemic Inequality. Cultural Homicide. Genocide. Denial of Civil Rights.

Over time it became clear that the struggle for marriage equality was very similar to the struggles of women or African Americans pursuing civil rights. All three consist of groups that were traditionally oppressed or villianized working together to gain civil rights while certain members of the already-privileged society fight against the equality for what in hindsight look like ridiculous reasons. For example:

  • In 1873, Harvard professor Dr. Edward Clarke wrote a best-selling book stating that if young women studied too much they would divert blood away from the uterus to the brain, rendering themselves irritable and infertile.”
  • In 1957, Governor Orval Faubus announced on statewide television that "Blood will run in the streets if Negro pupils should attempt to enter Central High School."
  • In 2012, the Family Research Council posted the following statement on their website: "Sympathy must be extended to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions, and every effort should be made to assist such persons to overcome those attractions, as many already have."

Our Mission: Not to be a modern-day Orval Faubus

Maybe that connection is a bit overstated. Maybe you think that this time it’s all about the institution of marriage, the sanctity of marriage, etc. etc. Well, let's talk. 

Redefining “traditional” marriage worked before

Marriage had always been about one man and one woman. Well, except for the Old Testament, where it was one man with a few women. But we changed that! And recently we changed it again to include marriage for love. Through change, we strengthened the institution of marriage …..

It’s the same way this time, where changing “the traditional definition” of marriage to be the loving union of two committed individuals will be a step toward increasing inequality and lessening oppression, thereby strengthening the institution of marriage. 

Sanctity and exclusion do not go together.

Marriage is sacred! It’s a pure, loving bond between two people that keeps them together for the rest of their lives at least 50% of the time…

If you want to strengthen something, look at the causes of the weakness. In this case, our society should have a critical discussion about the cultural and societal factors that lead to such a high rate of divorce. Denying loving couples the right to marry will not help strengthen the institution of marriage. 

You can’t pick and choose Biblical Laws

Of course I follow Leviticus 15:19-30“When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean...", so why should I not follow Leviticus 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

And to this point, I quote the eminent scholar Mackelmore, from his recent song about gay marriage, entitled “Same Love”:

America the brave

Still fears what we don't know

And God loves all his children it's somehow forgotten

But we paraphrase a book written

3,500 hundred years ago

It’s won’t even directly affect your life

Same sex marriage will negatively affect my life and the life of similar families around the country. Here's an example. Three years ago I planted a flourishing vegetable garden. A year later, my neighbor planted a similarly successful garden with different types of vegetables. My garden is now seriously damaged.

That’s the silliness of this idea. Same sex marriage isn’t going to negatively affect other marriages. Period.

In the end, I'm choosing equality

Marriage should be the loving and committed union of two individuals regardless of gender.

This isn’t politics. It’s not Democrat v. Republican. It’s simply not up for debate. By supporting gay marriage, we are extending marriage equality to all Americans regardless of sexual orientation. By opposing gay marriage, we are withholding this right and continuing the cycle of ignorant oppression that has marred so much of the earth’s history. 

Please join me in supporting the legalization of same sex marriage in the entire United States and the world beyond. 


Kurt Berning

Hug the Rhino
For a better life