Professor Carol Lawson
March 25, 2013
GAY MARRIAGE ISSUES
Gay Marriage is a controversial topic both in society and in churches in the United States today. Proponents for gay marriage believe that same sex couples are entitled to all the rights and benefits bestowed on traditional couples allowed by law and church to marry. Today, more states and churches are agreeing with this position and allowing civil unions between same gender couples; however, the federal government soon will decide important issues relating to this.
Usually, Bible verses are offered to argue against gay marriage, but that there are some verses in the Bible that do just the opposite and support it. One such verse is Ruth 1: 16-17 and often read at marriage ceremonies of heterosexual couples: “But Ruth said, do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!" (NRSV Bible, 1989). As Mary Tolbert makes clear in her article, “Same Gender Marriage and the Bible” (transcript published in the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Pacific School of Religion, December 4, 2004), this passage emphasizes the intimacy, fidelity, commitment, and loving connection that should be present between partners in any marriage. These amazing words from the Book of Ruth embodying affection, faithfulness, and commitment until death are
from one woman to another woman. It is noteworthy to realize that this passage is quoted often at heterosexual weddings. I would submit that this passage could be offered to support same sex marriage.
Another beautiful passage from the Bible expounds on the love David and Jonathan had for one another. Their relationship...