It is likely that “everyone” has heard by now that the Supreme Court has issued the opinion that gay couples have the same right to marriage to each other that heterosexual couples do. It would be possible, but hardly useful, to discuss the validity of this opinion.
Let us instead, consider one result of this ruling. It is highly likely that there will be at least one gay couple who will stroll into a church and request to be married there. And if the church in question holds to the belief that homosexual marriage is prohibited by God, then there is an opportunity for problems.
Now why did the couple want to get married in the church? I can think of only three reasons:
– They want their union to be blessed by God
– They want to thumb their noses at the church and hope to cause it damage or even close it down
– They don’t really want to but there is some external pressure (like from parents) to do so
If the church selected does not hold the belief that God frowns on homosexual marriages, then problems (in this world) are unlikely, and the first or third reasons should seem to be able to satisfied, and the second reason would not apply (unless the couple were really obtuse). Of course, there will be some who are anti-God or at least anti-church, and deliberately choose a church they feel sure will refuse them so a fuss can be made.
In that case, the church has four possible responses:
– Deny their beliefs and agree to the ceremony, which according to their beliefs will result in them being whacked by God
– Hold to their beliefs and refuse to perform the ceremony, which according to the current social climate, will get them whacked by the media and the government.
– Have a rigorous pre-marital program designed to get the couple “right with God” before scheduling the ceremony, which could only be achieved by the couple coming to the belief that God would be against their marriage, with the alternative solution that the couple would eventually give up on the ceremony in that church
– Perform a non-religious (civil) ceremony
Friends, we have been invited here today to share with ______ and ______ a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as married spouses.
For the opening prayer or reading, Bible verses, of course, would not be appropriate, unless the church felt the need to gently point out their view on God’s opinion of the ceremony. This would be difficult to do without incurring the same wrath that refusing to perform the ceremony would result in, and is really kind of twinky. If the church agrees (or is forced) to do the ceremony, they should at least live up to the standards of a justice of the peace.
Then there is usually a “definition” of marriage, pointing out the benefits and responsibilities. This can be as usual, showing how marriage is a social, and legal contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically, and emotionally. The contractual marriage agreement usually implies that the couple has legal obligations to each other throughout their lives or until they decide to divorce. Leave out any reference to sexual relations or indicate that despite the marriage ceremony, homosexual sex is believed to be rejected by God, that is, even being legally married does not guarantee that God accepts gay sex).
Now it is generally held that by being married, sexual relations between spouses is approved of by man and God. However, there are indications that God does not accept sexual relations between people of the same sex under any circumstances. Therefore, be aware that sexual activity after this ceremony is likely to be exactly as legal and moral as it was before this ceremony.
The rest of the ceremony can be pretty much standard, avoiding any reference to God or holiness. In particular, “What God has put together, let no man put asunder” and “By the authority granted to me by God…” should be definitely left out.
Some gay people believe in God and some do not. It seems like it would be difficult to believe in the God of the Bible and to also believe that a traditional church wedding would be appropriate, but there are all types. I suspect that the desire in some cases is not for the wedding, but to attack the church, as the worst elements of the gay community have already done to bakers and photographers.