A petition organized by the Australian Christian Lobby can be found at www.australianmarriage.org.
The view on that website is clearly against legislating for gay marriage, and this view point is presented by some homosexual Christians as well as a broad range of (presumably) heterosexual Christians.
The Australian Marriage website does not present the argument for gay marriage. There are, however, Christians who support gay marriage and equally deserve a voice. I know Franciscan Tertiaries whose children are married to same sex partners. I know Tertiaries who wish they could marry their same sex partner. I know also that for some Tertiaries, mine will be a challenging viewpoint: let’s argue the case with respect and love!
If you wish to send a message to the ALP delegates in favour of gay marriage, you may wish to make use of the points below. Send your letter to your local ALP branch, to your local member if she or he is ALP, or to the ALP Senators in your State or Territory.
Some thoughts on gay marriage from a Christian perspective
Christians who support gay marriage agree with the secular arguments that to oppose gay marriage is discriminatory and that all civil rights should be extended to people who are not heterosexual.
However, as Christians, they also argue from Genesis 2 for gay marriage. It is clear in Genesis 2 that the man (Adam) is seeking intimacy and companionship and finds that with the woman who is created from him. Heterosexual marriages are normal and usual! But it is not then necessary to assume that gays are excluded from marriage as Genesis 2 describes it. A woman can find intimacy and companionship with another woman in ‘flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone’ relationship, and surely find it blessed by God.
St Paul in Galatians 3:28 makes a strong case that ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’ Quite clearly, Paul does not mean that in Christ the distinctions are meaningless; there continue to be Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, and males and females. The point he is stressing is that these categories are not important ‘in Christ’: at some levels, it doesn’t matter to Christ whether you are male or female. This is a radical teaching, asking us not to be so accepting of socially constructed roles that we stop seeing the basic humanity of people. In a relationship, it is not your sex that counts. It is your ability to give and receive love. It doesn’t matter in Christ whether your partner is male or female.
In Ephesians 5:24-30, Paul carefully outlines the connection between marriage – the love of spouse for spouse – and the love of Christ for the Church; Christ as bridegroom, Church as bride. In the Anglican prayer book tradition this is given as the first reason for marriage . It has a sacramental import. The first aspect is that the love Christ has for the Church empowers the married couple. Their love derives from His. The second aspect is that marriage then becomes a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. When you look at a married couple, you see Christ’s love illustrated plain.
In real life, we see gay marriages which are strong and tender and are pictures of Christ’s love for the Church. It is difficult to argue that the love expressed in these gay marriages is not provided by Christ. Where else would such love come from? Why are these relationships less illustrative of God’s love than some fragile heterosexual marriage?
For these and other reasons, I as a Christian support gay marriage.
Eugene Rogers’s Christian Century article is helpful in exploring these arguments.