Regarding the Legitimacy of Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex (gay) marriage is a divisive topic. Twenty-five years ago it wasn’t really on the mainstream radar. It’s become a sort of litmus test in the tolerance and diversity arguments. Local, state, and national politicians are entering into the conversation. Even President Obama weighed in with his opinion recently. It’s a huge debate and there are both theological and cultural implications to this discussion.

To the same-sex marriage proponent or idealist, please respect the viewpoint of marriage traditionalists. There are many reasons why traditional marriage is valued, viewed as sacred, and enthusiastically supported by traditionalists. These reasons span the disciplines of theology, psychology, to sociology. The endeavor to promote an alternative as equal and valid as the original only serves to devalue the former.

To the ones that rush to label themselves either homosexual or heterosexual, when did sexuality become one’s identification? Why is either the “homosexual” or “heterosexual” label the primary identifier? Is it because of society’s sexual openness and brokenness that these identifiers are so readily claimed? I personally don’t believe that one’s sexuality should be their identification. I believe it’s both too confining and even destructive. As a Christ follower, my identify is found in Jesus. The chosen Lordship of Christ in my life determines to bring my life into conformity with Christ. He becomes and is my identity as a Christ follower. My identity as a person just as yours should not be from some perceived labeled notion of sexuality.

This brings me to my next thought. How do you define homosexual? Is it a person who struggles with same-gender attraction or is it the person who acts out in same-gender attraction behavior? Just because someone struggles with same-gender attraction and in many cases acted out behaviors associated with their struggle doesn’t define them as homosexual. Be careful how quickly you label and force people into categories or lifestyles. There’s another distinction here worth noting. I believe there is a difference between someone who simply struggles with same-gender attraction, tendencies, and thoughts and the person who intentionally chooses to live out a same-gender or homosexual lifestyle. The same-gender attraction struggler doesn’t have to act out on the attractions, tendencies, or thoughts. All people (including you) have a sin-bent and struggle with aspects of disobedience. Here’s another thought along those lines, since when does acting out one’s perceived natural inclinations or sin-bent make the choice appropriate, right, and acceptable? It doesn’t! I know several men and women who struggle with same-gender attraction. Some have sought therapy and now live in a healthy heterosexual relationship. Others have chosen to live celibate lives and honor God in purity and singleness. I have a lot of respect for these men and women.

With all that said, here’s my opinion. I don’t think it bigoted, hateful, or even narrow minded, but just logical. The legitimization of same-sex marriage is a slippery slope. There are implications as well as consequences with every decision. Personally, I do not agree with the criteria and methodology used to promote and condone the legitimization of same-sex marriage. Culturally it doesn’t make sense. Theologically, as both a pastor and theologian (use that term lightly), it is contrary to an orthodox interpretation of Scripture (sacred text). Same-sex marriage just isn’t a good choice.

10 thoughts on “Regarding the Legitimacy of Same-Sex Marriage

  1. Aaron Marcelli


    You have some good thoughts and I can tell you are trying to come off as balanced.

    To your point about labeling, whether it’s right, wrong or indifferent there is a lot of pressure, because this is a cultural hot issue right now, to label ourselves hetro or homo so people will know where we stand. Our sexuality is a big part of who we are. The same is done with race. You cannot tell someone who is a minority and fought to come to America for a better life to ignore all that and not identify themselves with their race. It’s part of who they are.

    Finally, you lost me on the “slippery slope” argument. These are words you can apply to anything you don’t like and because you’re calling it a slope to something worse, you appear balanced yet assume the moral high ground. Who wouldn’t want to agree with that? But, again, you can apply that logic to anything. And in the past, it has been. It’s been used in why we should not marry inter-racially. Why women should not have equal rights. Why aliens should not get health care. It’s an easy way to make your point and use a scare tactic to say that it will lead to something no one will like (not even those who support homosexual marriage).

  2. Brad Hoffmann


    Thanks for the comment.

    I do agree that sexuality is a big part of who we are, but definitely maintain it’s not our identity. It shapes us – for sure – but shouldn’t necessarily define us. Labels force people into boxes and molds – just don’t see the value of that. Also, I think the race piece is a far reach – very different than sexuality. For example, I have an adopted child of a different race. The birthparent’s nationality isn’t the identifier. The identifier is they’re my child. This identifier trumps both race and sexuality.

    Regarding the slippery slope – comment well taken. It is perhaps synonymous with consequence. Every decision or action has a consequence – whether good or bad. There is a reaction for every action. There’s a lot of speculation on what’s next.



  3. Brenda Sanders

    Dear Pastor Brad,
    I disagree with Aaron’s comment. I do believe as a christian that homosexuality and civil rights and the women’s sufferage movement are not in the same context at all. God condems homosexuality in the Bible. It is now being pushed at our children through music, television and in our schools.
    We all need to pray for people with these tendecies that God will intervene in their lives.

  4. Anonymous

    Sexuality is a choice? I would be absolutely elated to hear about the time you decided to be straight.

  5. Anonymous

    The Bible also says that not to cut our hair or eat marine life that doesn’t have fins or scales. Are we skipping those?

    In the Middle Ages, left-handedness was thought to be sinful and a choice, because the Bible says so. Then, this fun new thing called science came along and every found out that being a lefty was a recessive gene. Why should homosexuality be any different?

    Also, the Bible says that homosexuality demands the death penalty. I assume you agree with this, too?

  6. Brad Hoffmann

    Anonymous – thanks for the comment. If you’ll go back and re-read the post, the choice piece references the acting out of behaviors. You have a choice regarding whether you will engage in certain behaviors – most certainly. Regarding apples and oranges, let’s keep in task subject wise. What does the Bible say about sexual ethics? What does the Bible say about sexual morality? Regardless of where you fall on the (preference) spectrum, you’re hard pressed to find a Biblical ethic or moral code which endorses homosexual behavior. If you’re looking for a legitimate discussion or debate on the topic, I’m game. I’m not looking to debate party rhetoric on either side though.

  7. wisdomfromvwilmink

    Your post on sexuality is interesting to say the least. I found the post while searching “gay marriage” in google images. I understand that Christians are freaked out by gay marriage because the bible states that homosexuals will burn in hell, or whatever. But shouldn’t legalizing gay marriage be a decision that is independent from any religion? Any heterosexual couple is allowed to get married in the U.S, regardless of religion. I, as an atheist, do not believe that homosexuality is wrong. Shouldn’t laws about marriage be inclusive of those in all faiths, or lack thereof? I understand your personal view of homosexuality, but I do not understand why your personal Christian view should apply to all people in the U.S, as we do not have a theocratic system of government.

  8. Brad Hoffmann

    Hey Wisdom, thanks for the comment. A culture has a moral code or framework by which it functions. Much of our “moral code” or “framework” as a nation is based upon Judeo- Christian principles. Fortunately or unfortunately, the American culture is influenced by a morality system based upon religion.

    Even as an atheist, you subscribe to a religious standard or beliefs. Choosing not to believe is a belief system.

    The issue of homosexuality goes beyond religion. What about the basis of functionality? Humanity reproduces only through heterosexual sexual relations. That’s a function. Anatomically – there’s a strong argument dismissing the argued normalcy of homosexuality. All religion aside, functionally it doesn’t make sense.

  9. wisdomfromvwilmink


    As an atheist, I do have a belief system, but it is not based in any kind of religion or faith, but that which I find tangible.

    True, the American system of government has been influenced by religion, and one might even say that it was founded on religious grounds, however, it does not mean that the Christian set of values is the one by which our culture must abide by. Our government was meant to be separated from the church, because previously there were issues with the church of England being too powerful in governmental decisions.

    Again, true. Heterosexual relationships can bear biological children and homosexual relationships cannot. However, sterile individuals are allowed to marry, and they cannot have children. And what about older adults? What’s the point of them marrying if no children can come out of that either? And how about those heterosexual couples who do not want kids. Should we disallow them from marrying? I guess what I’m saying is, even though homosexuality is uncommon, it does not mean it should be dealt with as though it is a problem in society. Marriage is functional for saving money on taxes, gaining benefits, etc. Couples do not marry only for kids.

    Let’s not forgot the number one reason anyone gets married nowadays: LOVE. Who is anyone to decide which love is the appropriate kind? Love does not conquer all, but it sure makes life a lot easier.

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