Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gay Marriage Legislation

State government is poised to enact legislation that would give the same rights to gay and lesbian citizens that other citizens now enjoy. Will it happen on time for Governor Corzine to sign it? We will know very soon. I hope this is not a last minute gesture not intended for approval.

Whatever the outcome, it seems like destiny to me that this will eventually come to pass. Young people are increasingly influential in electing our leaders and they are more and more accepting of gay rights than their elders.

Still it would be unfair to make people wait at least four more years for justice to be served and that is what Governor Christie's election could mean.


BoomerChef said...

In 1951 I joined Delta Upsilon Fraternity at Ohio State University. Shortly thereafter several “liberal” Eastern chapters were kicked out of the national Fraternity for accepting negro “brothers” into our fellowship. Today, in 2010, our national DU Fraternity has a black president as does our nation.

At about the same time I attended Indianola Presbyterian Church, with Dr. Fred Christian as the pastor. An elder of the church, a PhD in Biology, professor at OSU, asked to speak to our college age youth group. The essence of her address was “how miscegenation will be genetic suicide”. Meanwhile, in the Agriculture college, I was learning that hybrids were stronger.

I believe it was the (1800's) incoming first president of our Union Theological Seminary, in Richmond, Virginia, whose inaugural sermon was entitled, “Why the Bible Requires the Institution of Slavery.” I have heard that recent graduates are still embarrassed by that.

In 1961 Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the convocation of clergy in Columbus, Ohio. His address was preceded by a black preacher declaring: “We say marriages are made in heaven. Then who are we to judge whom God has chosen for marriage?" I think we can borrow that argument from the civil rights’ movement.

A careful reading of the Old Testament will show that property inheritance is the Biblical foundation for marriage. A man’s property went to his male heirs. So it was necessary that a legal structure be in place to assure that one’s progeny were a)of his creation, and b) entitled to his inheritance. The whole idea of romantic love was a much later development. The Biblical foundations for marriage are clearly to establish financial responsibility, inheritance, etc. - having nothing to do with the emotion of love. Today’s impetus for recognition of gay marriage still rests on the recognition that two people have made a LEGAL commitment, including, but not necessarily, that ephemeral equation of “love.”

There seems to be much attention to how same sex couples express their love in a physical way. Historically, this concern is a new phenomenon! I think we need to do a dispassionate study of marriage, realizing that property rights and financial commitments are the basic issues in both Biblical and contemporary times. The contemporary (prurient interest?) hot button of sexual expression has cut us off from both Biblical and historical discussion of how marriage has evolved. The foundation of marriage is, and always has been, (believe it or not) about issues of property foremost, with issues of affection and/or means of sexual expression, a distant second.

It is obvious that single men and women have less social stability and responsibility than married people do. Preventing gay couples the opportunity to marry keeps them in the unstable condition of single-ness! We should eagerly welcome their willingness to take on the legal responsibility to care for one another. MARRIAGE ISN'T ABOUT SEX - IT'S ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY.

We didn't wait for the majority to approve racial emancipation! Neither should we wait for the majority to approve gay marriage!!

"Whom therefore God has joined together, let no one put asunder - or prevent from being married"

the Rev. Charles L. Hale, Jr., McCormick 1960, honorably retired, Presbytery of Elizabeth

Chuck & Tom Hale
63 Leland Ave., Apt. C
Plainfield, NJ 07062-1433
(908)757 0085 - home phone
2hales@comcast.net (note that this is a change)
Cell Phone: 908 347 4202 - Please use this ONLY if you cannot reach us at home.

Greg Vinkler said...

I couldn't agree more!

Anonymous said...

I believe in gay rights, but with the problems facing New Jersey, this is what they focus on?

1- What does it matter about gay rights if you cannot afford to live here?

2- Where was this congress for the past 4 years? They rush it through now? Seems as though they have been taking lessons from Plainfield, and doing the "Last Minute Do or Die" dance.

Anonymous said...

Wow. . .I think I have a new hero; BoomerChef !!!

and he signs his name to his blog comment. . .nice!

I think it's important to add that marriages, which the writer referenced, are really civil unions. These unions weren't prevalent in the church like they are today until the late 18th century. Most marriages were performed by Magistrates. So 'marriage by church' is really a new phenomenon.

The church that I attend here in Plainfield will allow a civil union ceremony to be performed in their gardens. Then you can come into the church for a blessing. Kind of like having to ride in the back of the bus or using a different water fountain. Many of the houses of worship in our Town wouldn't even go that far. Most of the Clergy in these church's will not even hear of us (homosexuals) compare our plight to that of the civil rights movements. They hide behind their biblical ignorance.

Whether now is the time? I think John Shelby Spong, Retired Newark Episcopal Bishop says it best " Can any of us imagine having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? "

Many of our politicians are hiding from the Gay Marriage movement. I am happy Councilman that you have the courage to post this issue to your blog. And more importantly that you recognize the harm that the election of Chris Christie will do to our fundamental rights. You mention that "this will eventually come to pass" and that it's "unfair to make people wait at least four more years for justice ". It is unfair, and I tire from waiting. . . . justice postponed is justice denied. . .jim spear

Anonymous said...

You have over simplified an issue. It does not help if you, as a leader, fail to enunciate the practical objections such as ecomoic and tax ramifications. It is too bad that you are not as outspoken about issues that you have control over such as quality of life concerns irksome to 2nd Ward residents. One could think you are pandering to your gay & lesbian constiuents.