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Apr-01-2013 12:20printcomments

Tell Me Again Why Same-Sex Marriage is Bad

Rod's statement to the RI Senate Judiciary Committee from March 21.

State capitol at Providence
State capitol at Providence. Photo courtesy: NPR

(RICHMOND, RI) - I’ve heard many reasons why same-sex marriage is bad – and I’m still confused.

The bible itself contradicts the argument that God required marriage to be “between one man and one woman.” Many men in the bible had multiple wives. Solomon held the record with 700 wives and 300 concubines. God offered to give David more wives if the ones he had were insufficient.

Talk of marriage as a “holy institution” is comical in Rhode Island. Neither church nor clergy is required to “join persons in marriage.” A long list of authorized people (at RIGL 15-3-5) includes judges, magistrates, clerks and secretaries. Actually anyone else can also perform a marriage if he or she gets a bill passed under the heading “solemnization of marriage.” When I was in the RI House we passed hundreds of such bills, authorizing a specific individual to join specific persons in marriage on a specific day. I didn’t know the people being “ordained”– or even whether they were adults or U.S. citizens.

In the first three months of 2013 more than 60 such bills have been introduced in the General Assembly. Why are there no objections from those concerned about the “sanctity” of marriage?

It is also emphasized that marriage is all about procreation. Hence only a man and a woman may marry – because other couples can’t procreate. Well my wife and I are 80 and our children are in their 50s. So we’re unlikely to be doing any more procreating.

Should our marriage now be nullified?

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Rod Driver studied engineering and mathematics at the University of Minnesota, receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1960. He worked at Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque for six years before taking a teaching position at the University of Rhode Island for 30 years. Rod says he became a 'peacenik' in 1951 (thanks to a few weeks on Pariss Island). He became particularly active in opposition to U.S. wars in Indochina and U.S. involvement in overthrowing governments and supporting dictators in Latin America and Iran. As the Vietnam war was winding down Rod began paying attention to the abuse of Palestinians - enabled with U.S. weapons and dollars, which has never stopped. Rod is the founder and president of the non-profit Justice First Foundation.

In Rhode Island Rod was an elected delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1986, Then he was elected a state representative for 10 years. At this time he is not in office. You can write to Rod Driver at this address: rod@roddriver.com

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Ralph E. Stone April 2, 2013 7:33 am (Pacific time)

As this article points out "because the Bible tells us so" is a suspect reason to oppose same-sex marriage. While I am not a Biblical scholar didn't Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or how about Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? And weren't Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel— these fathers and heroes -- polygamists?

The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to marriage manual?

Thus, the Biblical argument against same-sex marriage goes something like this: "The Bible and Jesus define marriage as between one man and one woman. The church cannot condone or bless same-sex marriages because this stands in opposition to Scripture and our tradition. To which there are two obvious responses: First, while the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman. And second, as the examples above illustrate, no sensible modern person wants marriage—theirs or anyone else's —to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes. "Marriage" in America refers to two separate things, a religious institution and a civil one, though it is most often enacted as a messy conflation of the two.

In that light, Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married—and a number of excellent reasons why they should.


D. Gilmore April 1, 2013 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

IMO, too many quote the Bible without studying it first. Its easy to take scripture out of context, which this article does. Setting that aside, I dont care if gays want to get married. If they are that stupid, let stupid do what stupid does. Marriage is not a sanctity anymore, it is government approval,and controlled by the banks. If you want to get a divorce, you need government approval..Not very romantic to me... Sorry for re-posting my song, and I will get this on music soon, but here are part of the lyrics. I dont need no papers, dont need no permission, I just wanna be with you, wanna be with you. Dont need no instructions, dont need no deductions, I just wanna be with you, wanna be with you.

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