Session 3: Beyond the Noise, Beyond the Heat: Starting at the Right Place

Same-sex marriage should be legal if marriage is only a way that the government acknowledges feelings of love and affection between people. Do you agree with that statement? If this was all there was to marriage then keeping it from same-sex couples would be discrimination. But if we believe it matters who is in love and whether marriage has more to it than just being in love, then defining marriage more specifically becomes very important.

What are the essential qualities of marriage? When a couple applies for a marriage license, they are usually asked to prove two things: 1) How old they are and 2) That they are not related. This is the government’s way of determining what relationships qualify for marriage. The government is unconcerned with the level of love the couple has for one another, because love is not an essential quality for marriage. True discrimination is based on arbitrary qualities-those outside the essential qualities. In the case of marriage, if a couple were denied a marriage license based on their race or religious preference, this could be considered discrimination because these qualities fall outside of the essential qualities.

The point is this: The same-sex marriage debate often hinges on love, yet this concept is not an essential qualifier for marriage. A definition of marriage that transcends man and his changing culture is needed, and deriving that definition must start with the One Who created all beings.

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