WHY I SUPPORT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
By Uriah J. Fields
Time and time again before Vice-President Joe Biden voiced his support for same-sex marriage, President Barack Obama stated that his position on same-sex marriage was "evolving," even while affirming that marriage is between a man and a woman. On May 9, 2012, a few days after Biden made his comment, without permission from the White House, for which he later apologized for, Obama announced that his position on marriage had changed after having series of conversations and experiences that included talking to members of his staff and gay service members in the military, in committed relationships, and with his wife, 13- and 10- year old daughters, who have friends with two mothers or two fathers, which made it difficult for him to justify why they should not have the right to marry.
Like Obama, it was only after more than a few years of thoughts about homosexuals, some of which were homophobia-driven, just over a decade ago, my acceptance of same-sex equality evolved to where today I fully accept same-sex marriage no less than I accept opposite-sex marriage. Some people will say same-sex partners cannot bare children but neither can some opposite sex partners. Of course, they can adopt children who are plentiful and need surrogate parents.
My first encounter with homosexuals occurred when I was a soldier in the Military a year before the Korean War. At the time homosexuals were still in the closet and there was no "Don't ask, don't tell" policy for soldiers. The truth is no one admitted to being gay and no one asked long before President Bill Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. However I was aware soon after completing basic training that there were three homosexuals in my company. Later I observed there were more in Headquarters company. These homosexuals were respectful and performed their duties well. Only once do I recall having been approached sexually by a homosexual man during my four-year stint in the Military. Like heterosexuals, homosexuals seem to know who to approach expressing their sexual intent. I had as much appreciation for homosexual soldiers as I had for heterosexual soldiers.
Early in my ministry, while still in my early twenties, I became pastor of a Baptist church. There were some homosexual members in the congregation, including two members of the youth choir. Members knew that there were homosexuals in the congregation but as far as I could determine homosexuality was not an issue discussed.
During three years of my pastorate I matriculated at a Theological Seminary. My first year in Seminary for the first time I became aware of "gay" being used as a synonym for homosexual. Gay was also the surname of a fellow-seminarian. He was scholarly, having graduated second in the class "magna cum laude." This writer finished third, "cum laude," and our classsmate Bronson finished at the top of the class "summa cum laude." Gay was not a homosexual. I resented that the last name of my friend and a term I had identified with joy, happiness, beauty and the like, was being used to mean homosexual. At that time my feelings were that homosexuals should be tolerated, not accepted.
In the early 1960 I left Montgomery, Alabama and moved to Los Angeles, Califormia. I became the Chief founder and president of a quasi-religious organization. Early in the life of that organization two homosexuals were employed who I did not realize were homosexuals. One of the ministers on staff was furious about them being employees and adamant about them being terminated. I disagreed with him and these men remained employed for several years. I felt that homosexuals should be treated with the same respect and given the same consideration as heterosexual people. I had a similar feeling when I refused to bar youthful homosexuals from singing in the church choir.
Just over a decade ago I was catapulted into fully embracing homosexuals without a modicum of discriminatory toward them remaining in my psyche. Soon after My Most Significant and I moved from California to Arizona she became a friend of two lesbians who she fully accepted. Sometimes the four of us and at other times more than us, that included other gays, shared a variety of activities. Experiencing how My Most Significant Other related to gay people and how they respected her and me removed from my psyche any trace of homophobic thinking that I had refused to let go. I became fully accepting of gays. It is amazing how we are able to have respect for people when we come to know them. Since then, over a decade ago, I have been an advocate for equal rights and self-determination for gay people and all people who are discriminated against.
However, my acceptance of gays did not involve same-sex marriage. I was concerned that they be able to have a civil union relationship and enjoy the rights and benefits accorded others, especially in employment, and be treated with respect.
Like President Obama, about three years ago I came to realize that civil union is not enough to afford homosexuals the same rights granted heterosexuals, such as being able to visit their partners in hospitals and receiving inheritance and other benefits that are available for married people. Now I am a supporter of same-sex marriage.
Marriage is a term in the American lexicon and culture that applies to a man and a woman in an intimate union. Marriage does not mean the same thing in all cultures. Even in America all States do not consider community property in the 50-50 way as California when a couple is divorced. This indicates all marriages are not equal and that the meaning of marriage can change. This, is like voting rights in America that for more than 200 years granted only white men the right to vote except for a short period during Reconstruction when black men could vote. Afterwards they were denied the right to vote in the South.
In 1920 voting rights were expanded to mean that white women could vote and in 1965 voting rights were expanded to grant African Americans the right to vote. The point being made is, the meaning of voting rights expanded between 1776 and 1965 to mean that all men and women could vote. Another example of a term changing is that of the United States which consisted of the 13 original colonies in 1776 that comprised an area that was 360,000 square miles or 830,000 square miles of land ceded to the young country by Britain at the end of the Revolutionary War. Today, the 50 States consist of 3,537,438.44 square miles. What a change in the meaning of the United States. Surely, the people of Mexico did not approve of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California becoming a part of the expanded definition of the United States just as there were Americans who did not approve of interracial marriage between black Americans and white Americans when interracial marriage became legal in the late 1960s.
Among those disapproving of same-sex marriage is Evangelist Billy Graham. The weekend before the recent election when people voted on the North Carolina Amendment to ban gay marriage, Graham took out full-page ads in 14 of North Carolina Newspapers supporting the Amendment which later passed with 61 per cent of the votes, amending the Constitution, making illegal same -sex marriage. In those ads Graham said "The Bible is clear on marriage."
This writer recalls that during the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott in which he served as secretary for the first six months of the twelve-month bus boycott of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) that directed the bus boycott there were times when we discussed at MIA board meeting the failure of Billy Graham and other leading white ministers to support the bus boycott and their criticism of Martin Luther King, Jr., and other bus boycott leaders who they charged with being unChristian. During that period when Graham was questioned about segregation, which he practiced at his crusades held in the South, he said "The Bible had nothing to say about segregation." Yet, as stated earlier, in supporting the North Carolina Amendment to ban gay marriage, he said "The Bible is clear on marriage." I would like to inform Graham that the Bible is clear on everything that concerns human relationships, and more. The Bible says, with Jesus speaking regarding marriage, "For some are eunuchs because they are born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage." Matt.19:12). Eunuchs are not inclined to be in traditional marriages. To repeat, "Some are eunuchs because they are born that way." Some 47.7 per cent of marriages end in divorce and 10.3 per cent of Americans over 30 years of age have never married.
It was three years after the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 decision in "Brown vs the Board of Education" which outlawed segregation in Education, that the same Court ruled that segregation on Montgomery buses was unconstitutional. Not many days later in the wee hours of January 10, 1957 die-hard segregationists bombed four churches and two parsonages, including the church this writer was pastor of. Later that year Billy Graham invited Martin Luther King, Jr., to join him in the pulpit at his 16-week revival in New York City. King attended but they were never seen together again during the next 11 years before King was assassinated. Graham did not use his influence during the 1960s to support civil rights when civil rights protesters, both blacks and whites from the North, were being murdered. It is worth noting that Graham invited King to join him in New York City, not Dallas, Texas where in 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
When I considered the mistreatment of African Americans over a period of 244 years during slavery, and nearly a hundred years of legalized segregation and the failure of, in quote, "good white people" to oppose racists, I am inclined to be for whatever true inheritors of the white supremacy mentality are against and against what they are for. On matters of immigration, poverty and same-sex marriage I fined it easy to take opposite positions from those held by perpetrators embracing the white supremacy ideology who frequently call themselves conservatives. For their views are of the same persuasion as those who during slavery proclaimed, "Slaves obey your earthly masters, with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ." (Eph. 6:5)
I support same-sex marriage because I am for equality for all people;
I support same-sex marriage because I am for self-determination for all people;
I support same-sex marriage because I disapprove of the government, spies,
and voyeurs knowing what is going on in any bedroom except their own;
I support same-sex marriage because I acknowledge that in essence human
being are androgynous, i.e., expressly there is so much male in female and
so much female in male that it scarcely behooves any male or female to deny
what Psychologist Carl Jung refers to as the "anima" to describe the feminine
side and "animus" to describe the masculine side of a person, every person.
My Letter to an Opponent of Gay Marriage
I have received a number of responses to my "Letter to the Editor" that appeared in the "Daily Progress" (5/22/12 and my letter titled "Uriah Fields Explores the Concept of Same-Sex Marriage" (May, 2012), posted on www.george.loper.org. These responses have been pro and con.
Below is a letter I received from T.R.J. followed by my reply to his letter. He writes: "I read your letter to the editor of the "Daily Progress" dated 05/22/2012 with a topic that read, "Evolving thought on gay marriage." I saw your name and said that you were one of H.E.'s friends. We attended one of your Sunday afternoon's Bible studies with H.E. one time. We also see you at McDonald's sometimes.
Since your letter mentioned that you were a pastor, I became concerned with (a Pastor -man of God) that supports gay marriage. I am just a layman of the Bible studies. Please tell me the scriptures in the Bible that would support God's approval of gay marriages.
I pray that God will show you the way and not follow Satan's path.
This is my reply to T.R.J.'s letter:
Dear Mr. J.
Thank you for your letter (5-23-12 that expressed your concern and, may I add your disagreement, with what I espoused in my letter "Evolving thought on gay marriage" that appeared in the "Daily Progress" 5/22/12).
Before commenting on this issue of homosexuality, let me agree with you that H.E. was my friend and I know she was a friend of you and your wife who befriended her until she departed this life. She thought a lot of both of you. You are right sometimes we see each other at McDonald's
I believe the Bible speaks to everything that we can imagine and more. However, I am reminded that in 1956 when I was helping to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott Evangelist Billy Graham and some other leading white ministers opposed the bus boycott and criticized Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for leading the bus boycott. At that time, Graham was asked about segregation and his response was "The Bible does not have anything to say about segregation." But the Bible has something to say about racial segregation and about homosexuality.
You have asked me to give you a scripture(s) that support God's approval of homosexuality. I visited Harley Pinon's website, producer of the attached information you enclosed with your letter to me, so I am aware that you have scriptures to indicate that God disapproves of homosexuality. I do not question what the Bible has to say about this or any other topic. Speaking to his disciples about marriage Jesus said:
For there are some eunuchs: which were so born from their mothers' wombs: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake." (Matt 19:12)
I will only say, some people are not constituted to be in traditional marriages.
When I wrote about same-sex marriage in my letter to the "Daily Progress" I mentioned expanding the definition of marriage to include people who are not presently included. I cited how for over 200 years "voting rights" in America were only for white men. Then in 1920 white women gained the right to vote and in 1965 African Americans throughout America gained the right to vote. Extending women and African Americans the right to vote did not take anything away from white men's right to vote. In my opinion, neither will extending the right to homosexuals to marry take anything away from people in heterosexual marriages. But this will mean that married homosexuals will enjoy certain rights that are enjoyed by married people, including being able to visit a partner in the hospital, receive inheritance benefits and the list goes on. There are homosexuals in the military fighting to protect our freedoms that include self-determination, not other-determination.
T.R.J., I realize that your concern is whether the Bible supports homosexuality? Frankly, that question can be asked in reference to many things that most Christians approve of, such as playing baseball and football on Sundays, Sunday race car racing and being armed everyday and nearly everywhere. This scripture was used to justify slavery:
Slaves obey your earthly masters, with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ." (Eph. 6:5 NIV). It matters not how much a person seeks to justify slavery based on that scripture, there are people, including myself, who cannot accept slavery as being God-ordained anymore than accepting tyrannical governments as being God-ordained.
These two Scriptures seem to cover everything: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). And I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it to the full." (John 10:10).
In His Love,
Uriah J. Fields
This is T.R.J.'s reply to my letter:
Dear Mr. Fields,
I thank you for your response to my 05/23/2012 letter with your thoughts on homosexuality. Also your kind words concerning our deceased friend H.E.
In reading your two-page letter I could not find any reference where God approves of same-sex marriage. I think you know that the Bible says it is a sin. You are correct in that the scriptures I mentioned shows God's disapproval of homosexuality.
I also have friends that are gays/lesbians. They know that I (and our Church) do not approve of it but I still pray for them and love them.
Homosexuality is against God's will, so I doubt homo marriage is sanctioned. Since marriage is a union between man and woman, blessed by God, any union between same-sex couples will definitely not be blessed by God, as He states plainly that it is an abomination.
We prayed for you at our Wednesday Night Prayer meeting at Calvary. We pray that you would receive the truth from God and stop encouraging the same-sex marriage that God says is a sin.
This will be my last letter to you concerning this subject. You have your belief and I have mine.
Copyright 2012 (c) by Uriah J. Fields