That One Time I Attended a Same-Sex Wedding

I attended a same sex wedding for the first time last weekend.

I was honored that I was invited. Because I have had multiple conversations with one of the partners, who is my cousin, about the sin of homosexuality. I told him why I thought he and his partner should not adopt children. I told him I was glad when he was not in any relationship (at least, none that I knew of).

But I also have stayed close to him. When other family members stopped talking to him, I kept an open ear. When he entered into a new relationship (with the man he married on Saturday), I went to visit them. In fact, my wife, children, and I have stayed with them when we visited family on vacation.

My cousin chose love for me over our disagreement.

Over the past few years, I have been challenged in the assumptions I have held regarding same sex attraction. First of all, I had to accept the fact that the vast majority of scholarly research indicates a spectrum of sexuality and attraction that everyone is born with. Many people still want to deny this and research will continue happening, but biologically speaking it appears same sex attraction is indeed something you are born with. (I think environment and nurture play a role, as well, but biology plays a larger role.)

Second, it is clear that a lot of Christian theology has been lazy regarding same sex attraction. I grew up believing the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was about same sex behavior. In actuality, it is about domination, abuse, and lack of hospitality. The same sex behavior that takes place in the story has nothing to do with homosexuality, and everything to do with rape.

But Paul the Apostle does seem to say some pretty definite things about same sex behavior. So the bulk of my theological wandering has centered on Romans 1. But that particular struggle will need to be addressed in a different post. Suffice it to say that Paul had no concept of orientation, only behavior.

Third, I have really been wondering what it means to live in a democratically free nation. Although I think we get hung up on the separation of church and state argument in all sorts of distorted ways, it seems this country was founded on the ability for each person to choose his or her own religious experience. In other words, we were never a Christian nation, but we have always been a religiously free nation (dominated by Christians).

If that is the case, I cannot expect the entire nation to live according to my understanding of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Therefore, I cannot deny the right of marriage to a group of people because they have a sexual preference that I might disagree with.

So for me, these three challenges led me to the point where regardless of what I believed regarding same sex attraction or behavior, there is no legitimate, civic basis for denying the right of same sex couples to get married. Regardless of what God’s judgment will be, the government must recognize the right of its citizens to marry.

Throughout this wandering, I have talked with my cousin on several occasions. He has patiently answered my questions and been a willing conversation partner. We have been more than just cousins, we have remained friends.

We both have chosen our love for each other over our position.

And this is important to me because I still don’t entirely know where I stand. But I do know this: I stood on a porch and hugged my cousin and his husband last weekend. I know that my family and I will be back out to visit them again.

This is important to me because I interact with many people who are still mistreated and abused because of their sexuality, their orientation, or their gender. While we talk and research and discuss biology, environment, and theology, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are talking about people. More than people, we are talking about sons and daughters of God.

This is important to me because when my cousin asked my son to be the ring-bearer, he did so with the intent of speaking a blessing to my son. As my son took the rings forward, my cousin and his husband looked at him and promised to be there for him as he continues to grow, mature, and experience life as a gay man.

11863229_533720230108382_6743773718618264382_n

This is important to me because even though I cannot tell you my “Theology of Sexuality,” I can tell you my theology of God. It’s quite simple:

He always chooses people over positions.

8 thoughts on “That One Time I Attended a Same-Sex Wedding

  1. I posted this reply in Facebook. I thought I would post it here too. Good, gusty article on your part.
    —————————
    I really like the article. The best part is staying friends. Staying connected. That is good. But his premises are not perfect. For example, “God always chooses people over positions.” That is not true. God does not always capitulate truth for the sins of man. “Always” is not true. And I’m not sure sacrificing truth for people is true either. If so, then we have a can of worms opened.

    He didn’t have to participate. He could have just attended. By participating he modeled something scripture is against as being normal, to his son. WOW. I would attend, but no way would I have participated. Some would say I shouldn’t even attend. Anyway…

    Science and Biological research is not all in agreement. But let’s say it is. We don’t need it. We already know we are all sinful. Everyone is. No one knows sexual sin like me. I was horrible. Yet if research proved something was ok, would I then say, “Sorry God, you must have been wrong?” And would I do that on issues not like this one, but the ones I face myself? I would then at some point have to admit I don’t believe in absolute truth.

    The great thing for believers to do is not give in on truth, while at the same time changing our “propositional approach” to one of story – narrative that wraps issues around the narrative of God. Christians have been more negative not in the truth, but in the communication of truth. It’s rarely easy is express love while not compromising truth.

    I hope we change our approach on this issue. We have been too judgmental because we have been propositional instead of conversational.

    • Really really like this article, it’s openess and questioning, but I also agree with your criticisms Alan and thank you for sharing them. In Australia same-sex marriage is very much on the political agenda and we may be in the process of spending a vast quantity of money (millions) in order to have a public vote on the issue, my preferred option compared to a house of representatives vote (of our elected leaders) but I completely understand objections on using money for such a cause.

      In regards to Pauls decision that ‘there is no legitimate, civic basis for denying the right of same sex couples to get married. Regardless of what God’s judgment will be, the government must recognize the right of its citizens to marry.’ I agree with how he came to that decision but have previously disagreed that this should be called marriage – my main argument has been that God ordained marriage as between a man and a woman, that it’s very definition prohibits same-sex marriage. As a result I strongly support civil unions. My position is wavering however as I ponder what difference that really makes, do I believe you can’t have an official marriage but that you can still be called ‘married’, I don’t know…

      thank you for both sharing your thoughts

      • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as well. I believe the most important thing is communication, conversation. It is great to have dialogue and be able to say, “I don’t know” or “I think this, but it might also be that.” I pray for more openness and dialogue for you, specifically, as this issue is going to be such a hot button issue in the current political climate in Australia. Thank you for reading!

  2. That One Time I Admitted I Don’t Know What I Believe | a second time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s