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Does our "religious liberties" message apply to gays?


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As some of you know, New York has just passed legislation approving of gay marriage. They will now have the same civil liberties that heterosexuals have pertaining to marriage. Note: religious institutions are protected from lawsuits if they refuse to marry them or provide them with access to their infrastructures.

As the PARL(Public Affairs and Religious Liberties) director in my church, I am supporting this as a civil rights issue. I do not condone homosexual acts and by supporting this issue am separating the need for abiding by our 1st Amendment rights of separation of church and state.

Yet I'm being condemned by many as being a supporter of homosexuality by my support for this legislation. I feel that just as God gave all of us free will, homosexuals can choose their actions freely without the need for me to condemn them. Let God be their judge.

I simply feel that their civil rights must be protected even if they are "living in sin". BTW, so are we. If my memory serves me correctly, the Adventist church has supported issues in the past that were clearly condemned from a Biblical standpoint but we stood by our 1st Amendment understanding on these issues e.g. beliefs and practices of other religions.

We preach religious freedom here and all over the world. Why is it then, that we are selective in our promulgation of these freedoms specifically when homosexuals are involved?

Alex

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That's a good point. Yet, I don't think that homosexuals are in the fight for the "religious" reasons. They want to have the same benefits and social status as heterosexual marriage couples. It's really more of an issue of legal equality rather than religious acceptance.

I think that the root of the problem stems from governmental take-over of marriage via licensing, property ownership dispute laws, and subsequent taxation and classification, which ultimately results in governmental legal control over what can be considered marriage.

If marriage resided in sphere of religion, it would be much less fiery combat for homosexual community to breach into.

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Would you vote to legalize polygamy for the Mormons that still believe in it? And legalize Sharia law for Muslims in the USA?

No, since as far as I can see these are religious issues for both Mormons and Muslims, whereas marriage is not a religious issue for homosexuals but rather a civil issue dealing with societal equality.

Alex

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I think that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. There is a separation between church and state. If the only reason you are against same-sex marriage is from a religious point of view I believe our secular government should allow it. Those with no religious affiliation are allowed to marry and I see no difference between those individuals and same sex couples. They are marrying for the legal benifit and rights and not for a sanctified union.

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Religious Liberty is certainly a fundamental issue to Seventh-day Adventists and it's important we stand up and support other beliefs along those lines.

We also have an obligation to stand up for support of moral issues, like drinking, drug, prostitution laws, sexual religious activities. Add in that mix, Sharia Law and polygamy. Supporting religious liberty does not mean "anything goes". While some may have a problem with the gay lifestyle being "immoral", I don't. It is immoral, period. As such, I cannot support it privately, certainly not publicly anymore than I would support legalizing any other immoral practice. Regardless of the "legal" argument for doing so.

Using a reasonable logical legal argument is how Sunday laws will be passed.

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Originally Posted By: Gerry Cabalo
Would you vote to legalize polygamy for the Mormons that still believe in it? And legalize Sharia law for Muslims in the USA?

No, since as far as I can see these are religious issues for both Mormons and Muslims, whereas marriage is not a religious issue for homosexuals but rather a civil issue dealing with societal equality.

Alex

Then why should homosexual unions be a religious liberty issue?

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I still think Sir Elton John had the best solution:

Quote:
"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off.

"You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

I don't think gay marriage is so much for the ones getting "married," as it is an "in your face" nonverbal statement to the majority heterosexual population...

(Don't hit me...that's just how I see it..)

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I still think Sir Elton John had the best solution:

Quote:
"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off.

"You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

I don't think gay marriage is so much for the ones getting "married," as it is an "in your face" nonverbal statement to the majority heterosexual population...

(Don't hit me...that's just how I see it..)

You make a great point, and so does Elton John. I've heard a number of other couples say the same thing.

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We preach religious freedom here and all over the world. Why is it then, that we are selective in our promulgation of these freedoms specifically when homosexuals are involved?

Gay marriage is a threat to religious liberty. That is the position of our religious liberty organizations and has been plainly stated in It Is Written broadcasts.

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If the only reason you are against same-sex marriage is from a religious point of view I believe our secular government should allow it.

That is a very big "if". There are civil reasons to be against gay marriage. One of those reasons is immigration.

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Originally Posted By: abelisle

We preach religious freedom here and all over the world. Why is it then, that we are selective in our promulgation of these freedoms specifically when homosexuals are involved?

Gay marriage is a threat to religious liberty. That is the position of our religious liberty organizations and has been plainly stated in It Is Written broadcasts.

Gay marriage is no more of a threat to my religious liberty than the marriage of athiest, pagens, ect. Me enforcing my religious beliefs on them is a threat to their religious liberty. I don't believe God blesses gay unions, but then there are some heterosexual unions that are not blessed of God. Should we prevent them from being married? Or is it the obviousness of the union that people object to.

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"Civil unions" take care of all the legal rights of gays to be together as a couple. However, to favor their "marriage" means that as Christians we are saying that their unions are the same as marriage between a husband and a wife, an instituiton which was created by God as a blessing to the world. In a marriage the unions produce "one flesh." That is because such unions result in a creation in the image of God. A male alone is not in the image of God. Two males are not in the image of God; but male and female, together, is the image of God. That is why the Bible says God made humans as male and female. Gen 1: 27. After God made the woman, God brought her to the man. Gen 2: 22. Jesus said, "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Matt. 19: 6. " But is this true of gay unions? It can't be. Such unions in "marriage" are a mockery of the image of God.

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Make the case that if two gay people cannot get married-- but can only have "civil unions"-- their religious liberty is denied.

I know a lot of gay people and I don't know of a single one who has expressed the conviction that if they are not allowed to get married, their religious liberty is being denied. A lot of gays don't have any desire to get "married," and most gays that I know of are entirely satisfied with the right of "civil union."

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I would suggest that it is the thinking of those that see gay marriage as a threat to their religious liberty that will in time lead us down the path to losing more of the distinction due to their desire for more legislated morality.

(Sheesh...SDA's and Sex......starts synapse miss-firing.....me thinks)

There is a whole list of sins in the NT that we probably need legislation against, gossip, false witness, etc...... jus' sayn'!!

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I don't see gay marriage as a threat to my religious liberty.

I believe the state should give gays the right of civil union so that gays are protected legally from injustice-- such as not being able to visit a companion in the hospital-- but that can be done without the church and individual Christians supporting marriage of two men or two women, which the Bible does not condone.

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I think that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. There is a separation between church and state. If the only reason you are against same-sex marriage is from a religious point of view I believe our secular government should allow it. Those with no religious affiliation are allowed to marry and I see no difference between those individuals and same sex couples. They are marrying for the legal benifit and rights and not for a sanctified union.
No "difference' eh? WOW. That's amazing.
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I would suggest that it is the thinking of those that see gay marriage as a threat to their religious liberty that will in time lead us down the path to losing more of the distinction due to their desire for more legislated morality.

(Sheesh...SDA's and Sex......starts synapse miss-firing.....me thinks)

There is a whole list of sins in the NT that we probably need legislation against, gossip, false witness, etc...... jus' sayn'!!

What we're talking about here is keeping marriage the way it has been since God made it. So it is not a question of trying to change morality by legislation. The fact is that those who are in favor of legislation want it to force society to change its moral values. I don't want legislated morality, and that is why I don't favor changing the law in regard to marriage.

We don't want the state to legislate the laws of the church or of the New Testament. That is not the point. The state can do whatever it wants to do, but do Seventh-day Adventists want to be a part of the reason that the state changes its laws so that they oppose the laws of God?

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I still think Sir Elton John had the best solution:

Quote:
"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off.

"You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

I don't think gay marriage is so much for the ones getting "married," as it is an "in your face" nonverbal statement to the majority heterosexual population...

(Don't hit me...that's just how I see it..)

Pam, I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head.

I don't think I would have a problem with what Elton John said. To call a homosexual union "marriage" is another perversion the word.

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