The Covenant Of Marriage & North Carolina
On Tuesday, May 9th, around 9 PM, my heart broke as I read numerous tweets that flooded my phone. All of them had a similar tone, bashing the state of North Carolina; I knew that it mean one thing: Amendment 1 had passed. The entire day I had seen Facebook statuses and tweets pleaing with the citizens of North Carolina to strike down the the amendment that would ban the idea of same-sex marriage. The amendment reads, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
Most of the articles I have read in regard to this proposed, now passed, amendment have all had something in common: their usage of the term “traditional.” What a funny word, I thought. Traditional? Families have holiday traditions. Religions have ritual traditions. There are many forms of traditions. But aren’t all traditions in some state of near constant change over time? Family traditions change with each growing, younger generation. Religious traditions vary from faith to faith, denomination to denomination. In fact, if we stuck to the values that America once viewed as “traditional”, our world would be a much different place. Women would not have the right to vote. Barack Obama would not be president, and slavery might still exist. The political spectrum would be entirely controlled by white, adult, land-owning males. Using the word “traditional” so lightly is a very dangerous thing to do.
Then ads, such as this Vote for Marriage commercial, have been released. It makes assertions such as the idea of marriage has been defined by God in “The Bible.” It also states, very clearly, that “no one has the right to redefine marriage.” What an interesting idea! But when exactly is marriage defined in The Bible? With the creation story? Adam and Eve entered no evident legal agreement, yet they were told to be fruitful and multiply anyway. The mythological pair had children out of wedlock. What of Abraham and Sarah? Sarah offered up her slave when she herself could not reproduce an heir for her husband. Perhaps Jacob, Leah, and Rachel? Jacob, tricked into marrying the wrong sister, worked for seven more years to obtain a second wife. Is this not a defense of polygamy? And since when is polygamy a “one man-one woman” institution? “Marriage has been one man-one woman since before North Carolina was a state.” Yes, but before North Carolina was a state, there were several other forms of marriage. Not just one.
The ad also claims that God made marriage such so that children have both a mother and a father. Are we then to ignore Biblical stories such as that of Tamar and Judah? Tamar’s husband dies, and she is expected to reproduce with her husband’s brother, through levirate marriage, to obtain a male heir in her husbands name. But this also does not work out, and because of a greedy father-in-law she is left with no other option but to disguise herself as a prostitute, and sleep with her father-in-law to produce children. The story ends with Tamar giving to twins (a sign of a blessing from God). Is this God plan’s for marriage? Would the voters in North Carolina accept this?
Finally, the ad claims that this amendment is to protect marriage and to protect children. If we wish to protect marriage as an institution in a country where the divorce rate is quite high, should we not then ban divorce? Many New Testament writings, which are for many the guide of Christian life, speak out against divorce, claiming that women who are divorced are considered impure, and that a man who marries a divorced women is considered impure. If we were to ban divorce in this country it is likely most of the United States population would be upset.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). This is perhaps one of the hardest Biblical passages to ignore. This world is fully of many different kinds of people, many different ideas about life and existence. Does this passage exclude the LGBTQ community? I do not believe so. We are all unique, we all face different struggles we must endure to become the person we are meant to be, and that is not an idea that is limited to the heterosexual community. Marriage is a covenant; An agreement between to spirits who wish to unite in love. Should we as society decide, by a vote, who is given this essential right? How can a marriage between two legal, consenting adults be considered wrong? As this amendment was voted through, many hearts across the nation broke, but we will not be quiet. We will continue to fight for our full freedom and for the marriage freedom of generations to come.
Nicholas T.B.C Artrip. 19. Gay Jew. VCU student, and Alpha Epsilon Pi brother. My life is a cabaret of religion and disco trash.
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