Gay Marriage vs. the Church?

An Opinion piece in the New York Times this past weekend is well worth reading. The author, William N. Eskridge Jr. (a professor at Yale Law School), makes the case that the Judeo-Christian heritage is not uniformly against gay marriage nor sees homosexuality as a sinful state or set of sinful actions. Like it or not, many Christians are on each side of this issue, most claiming Scriptural support for their arguments.

This week, committed gay couples seeking the right to marry will take their case to the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges are supported by amicus briefs submitted by a variety of institutions and people, from the former N.F.L. player Chris Kluwe to Ken Mehlman, a past chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Religious groups are on their side, too. While several prominent religious organizations have filed briefs in opposition, leaders in the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the official organizations of conservative and reform Judaism, and more than 1,900 theologians signed a brief urging the court to legalize same-sex marriage.

In the process, he briefly outlines a few of the points I've written about on this site. From discussions of how conservative Christians have gotten interpretations wrong in the past (on race in particular) and how the current debate is not as clear from the texts as we might like today, it seems like a reasonable case to support giving freedom to those we may not agree with.

My point is not that the Bible must be read in a gay-friendly way; it is simply that the Bible is open to honest interpretations that refuse to condemn or that even embrace such families. I am doubtful that Scripture speaks with one voice about how to define civil marriage.